I’ll be honest, my interest in Western Art is a 4 on a scale from 1 to 1,000,000. That being said, I’m open to becoming more interested in Western Art, and it so happens that we have a place in town called, the Rockwell Museum of Western Art.
I visit the Rockwell about once per year. However, this year I have found myself visiting more often. 1) Glassfest wine tasting. 2) Out of town friends wanting a tour. 3) Gallery opening of the National Geographic photo exhibit (worth checking out). 4) Because I’m super special and the Rockwell called and offered me a tour recently! 5) Future attendee of their Music, Margaritas, and Sunsets events.
I took up the Rockwell’s offer for an abbreviated tour. They must know me, because on my list of top 3 favorite types of tours, abbreviated is #1. My girlfriend being an archaeologist, I visit a lot of museums; here are a couple of tips to get the most out of museums: A) Take an official tour or B) Date an Archaeologist.
I find it interesting that the museum began as a private collection of over 2500 works of mostly Carder Steuben glass. The collection, also consisting of classic guns and toys (not the same thing, kids), was amassed by Bob and Hertha Rockwell for display in their Market St department store (now the Rockwell Center). In the 70’s, Corning Glass Works (now Corning Inc) helped turn the varied collection into a museum. By the early-mid 80’s, the glass collection moved to CMoG, while the Rockwell settled on its western theme and its location (which at one point was a fire station / women’s prison / city hall).
From Andy Warhol to Remington, within 3 stories you’ll find themed galleries, changing exhibits, and a large classic firearms collection. There are activities for kids (I saw a kid having the time of her life on a treasure hunt activity with her grandmother) and of course the aforementioned summer parties where they get you liquored up and try to sell you a (discounted) membership… which I’m actually considering because 1) I love the current National Geographic exhibit. 2) I have gone enough times this year to validate a membership that includes bringing guests for free. 3) Membership extends to other reciprocal museums, which my girlfriend will inevitably have me visiting soon. Get over to the Rockwell and check it out!
Rockwell Museum of Western Art | 111 Cedar St, Corning, NY 14830 | (607) 937-5386