The Rockwell Museum in Corning has been a staple in the community for decades, 40 years to be exact. It all started in 1976 when local business owners and avid art collectors Bob and Hertha Rockwell gifted their collection of American art and artifacts to the Corning community. This year celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the museum and they have been doing some extraordinary things to celebrate this milestone, and have more planned yet! They have exciting updates, cool events, and special guests making this year one of their best yet.
They started celebrating early in November 2015 when they earned the designation of being a Smithsonian Affiliate, the only one in Upstate New York and only one of just over 200 museums nationwide to receive this designation. So what does that mean for the museum and specifically for the 40th Anniversary Celebration? Well first off it shows what a hidden gem The Rockwell is to be recognized by such a prestigious organization, it's easy to understand how it's been a community favorite for 40 years. This also means that "The Rockwell will be able to borrow artifacts and artworks from the Smithsonian collection, as well as access Smithsonian story-tellers, artists, speakers and performers." The Rockwell will also be able to share pieces from its collection with the Smithsonian. This is huge for the museum and the community. Famous artwork that people may never have gotten a chance to see could be on display in our beloved hometown museum.
One of the biggest changes the museum has gone through this year is updating the guest check-in area and the gift shop that offers only USA and Native American made items. Guests are greeted with a new reception area where they begin their museum experience.
A top to bottom transformation of the gallery spaces has refreshed and revitalized the museum. Every gallery has been reinstalled and new, never before seen objects in the gallery spaces. If you haven't been recently it is the perfect time to check out all of the new updates while enjoying some amazing works of art. "A fresh approach to the permanent galleries at The Rockwell stems from the expansion of our mission statement , Art about the American Experience, in an effort to contextualize the core collection of American Western art. Each exhibition is inspired by our vision to challenge our visitor's perspectives, to provoke curiosity, and to reflect and engage with art about America," says Kristin Swain, Executive Director. The updates give a revitalized and fresh prespective to the museum and to the visitors.
As a special celebration for the 40th Celebration of The Rockwell guest artists, and brothers, Steven and William Ladd will create 40 for 40: Anniversary Highlights from The Rockwell Collection. They will create 40 visual stories that reflect their American Experience. Be one of the first to check out this unique exhibit during the Urban Arts Crawl on September 30th from 5-8 pm during the free public opening where there will be a ribbon cutting.
On November 19th The Rockwell will be hosting a 40th Anniversary Black and Gold Gala to celebrate its 40th Birthday. Enjoy an elegant evening vintage Hollywood style with a bar, Hors d'oeuvres and decadent desserts, live music by the Silver Arrow Band, and dancing, it will be a great celebration of all The Rockwell has done in the last four decades. Reserve your tickets now on the Rockwell's website.
The Rockwell Museum has been a treasured part of its community for the last 40 years by giving back and offering a look into the world of American Art. Here's to the next 40 years!