By Arleigh Rodgers
When I think of a weekend in the Finger Lakes Region, I think of a few days full of great food, maybe a concert listening to a local musician, and enjoying scenery unlike any other place in New York. But one of my favorite parts about the region is the number of compelling museums, whether they dive into the area’s past history or current art scene. Below are a few museums that I think represent the region in a complex and interesting way!
The Corning Museum of Glass, One Museum Way – Corning, NY 14830
Topping off the list is the well-known home of glass blowers, intricate glass creations and curious observers. This museum offers 35 centuries of glass artistry in the galleries and free admission for kids and teens 17-years-old and under. The museum also offers almost daily special events, including live glass blowings.
NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center, 25 South Street Auburn, New York 13021
It’s no secret the Finger Lakes region is the partial home of the Women’s Rights Movement — see number seven on this list — and this Heritage Center is no exception. The state-of-the-art exhibit “Seeing Equal Rights in NYS” displays the ways that New York visual artists stand for social justice.
The Rockwell Museum, 111 Cedar Street Corning, New York 14830
This is another museum in Corning, but instead of glass, this one “portrays the spirit, character and values of America through the eyes of American artists, focusing on the complex story of the great migration West,” according to the website. The museum features collections from Native American artists and an art lab, an interactive family studio.
Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, 8419 Route 54 Hammondsport, New York
The name of this museum harkens back to the aviator Glenn Curtiss, whose career started with building motorcycles and evolved into aircraft architecture. The museum displays these motorcycles and aircrafts, but it also includes antique tools, toys, and boats. Currently, the museum hosts a “Snoopy and the Red Barron” traveling exhibit, a narrative and visual tribute to the lovable World War I Flying Ace.
National Women’s Hall of Fame, 1 Canal Street Seneca Falls, New York 13148
As I referenced before, women’s history has a solid foundation in the Finger Lakes region. The website’s front page, and the museum’s mission, reads, “Showcasing great women…inspiring all!” The hall does this by showcasing influential historical women like Maya Angelou, Sylvia A. Earle, Julia Child, and Gwendolyn Douglass — showcasing great women indeed.