The Rockwell Museum Celebrates 40 Years in Corning

From Left: Senator Tom O'Mara, Deb Naylor, Rockwell Board President and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano

In recognition of The Rockwell Museum’s 40th Anniversary, Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano presented a 40th anniversary proclamation during a reception Wednesday in Corning. The Senator and Assemblyman presented the proclamation on behalf of Members of the Assembly and Senate, the State of New York and on behalf of the citizens of the 132rd Assembly District and the 58th Senate District of New York.  The presentation was held during an event co-hosted by the Museum Association of New York, the state level advocacy organization supporting  diverse museums, heritage and related organizations across New York.

 “This region is so strong especially because of our cultural offerings. The work of museums and our educators brings a sense of livelihood to the region and it is so important to have a vibrant quality of life,” said Senator Tom O’Mara. “It is with great honor that we recognize The Rockwell Museum for its 40 years.”

2016 has been a culminating year for The Rockwell as it settles in to its newest affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution all the while celebrating our 40th anniversary with momentous activity.  Just this year, The Rockwell has opened a new Modern and Contemporary gallery, added to the collection with new art acquisitions, visited the National Parks during a museum-sponsored trip, opened the newly revitalized museum store, and is currently featuring a special anniversary exhibition.

“Since my involvement began at The Rockwell, I have witnessed firsthand the innovation and creativity that happens here.  I’m proud of my association with this gem of a museum.  The Rockwell is 40 years young and I’m excited to see what the next 40 years will bring,” says Deb Naylor, Board President of The Rockwell Museum Board of Trustees.

40th Anniversary Exhibition, on view through January 15, 2017

 In celebration of The Rockwell Museum’s 40th anniversary, guest artists Steven Ladd and William Ladd were asked to curate an exhibition that reflects their American experience. The brothers mined The Rockwell’s collection in order to create 40 visual stories. Each object has been installed in a unique grouping designed to alter its original meaning, encouraging us to view them in a new light. In 40 for 40, the artistic creation is the new context rather than the objects themselves. The Ladds will also install select pieces of their own work alongside objects curated from The Rockwell’s collection in order to better tell their American story. Universal themes such as “Childhood,” “Home,” and “Ceremony” will resonate with museum visitors.

“Forty for 40 explores the art of looking! It does not require a knowledge of art. It prompts us to filter each work through the lens of our own personal experience. This new approach to curation has never before been explored at The Rockwell. This 40th anniversary exhibition will provoke our visitors’ curiosity, ignite imagination, and challenge their perspectives,” says Kirsty Buchanan, Curator of Collections at The Rockwell Museum.

From toys, to firearms, to baskets and works on paper, The Ladd Brothers are finding inspiration in the museum’s memories, and are curating a collection of 40 Rockwell memories to commemorate 40 years. Visitors will find a little bit of everything in this guest-curated exhibit – all very different, all very Rockwell.

About The Rockwell Museum: A Smithsonian Affiliate

The Rockwell Museum, in association with the Smithsonian Institution, believes in arts in education and is passionate about ensuring that the arts remain a part of student learning.  Rockwell educators are at the forefront of art enrichment and working with surrounding school districts that face economic hardships. The Rockwell’s Arts in Education program advances a vision to be an integral and progressive part of the arts by serving surrounding communities and providing enriching experiences for school, family and adult audiences.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016, The Rockwell is an evolving community center which showcases the best of America through compelling exhibitions and imaginative programs.  The diverse collection includes a mix of contemporary American art with traditional bronze sculptures, landscape paintings and other works that embody the American experience. Housed in the beautifully restored 19th century Old City Hall building, The Rockwell is active in the local community and holds special events and educational programming with area public schools. The Rockwell provokes curiosity, engagement and reflection about art and the American experience.

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