The Rockwell Museum, Corning, New York
You have to love this wild building. It's formerly the City Hall in Corning, NY, now transformed into the Rockwell Museum. My wife Alice and I visited there last weekend and became instant fans. Founded some 41 years ago with a focus on the art of the West, the Museum has recently embarked on a mission to broaden its focus to other schools of art.
And since January, it has a new Director, Brian Whisenhunt. Brian until recently was the Director at the Museum of the Southwest in Texas and before that Director of the Swope Art Museum in Indiana (where my solo exhibition continues through March 25, 2017. It really is a small world).
One of the first pieces to greet you as you enter the Museum is this bronze Deborah Butterfield untitled horse from 2000 (above). Nearby is the temporary exhibit Modern Masters, Contemporary Icons on loan from the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, TX. I'd have posted images of some of its works (including Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and Warhol among others) but Museum asks that you not photograph work borrowed from other collections. Modern Masters is on view through April 23, 2017.
Following is a quick tour of some of Rockwell's permanent collection.
Here's my wife Alice in one of the large upstairs galleries that has an enormous Albert Bierstadt oil Mt. Whitney on the far wall.
A favorite of ours was this etching by Gene Kloss (Am. 1903-1996), one of the Taos, NM circle of artists. Penetenites by Moonlight, circa 1950, depicts a religious procession under a tumultuous sky. In 1925 Kloss changed her name to the more masculine sounding "Gene" in hope of avoiding the prevailing bias against female artists in her day.
I was struck by the atmosphere and depth in an oil by an artist who was new to me, Sydney Laurence (1865-1940), Mt. McKinley from 1922.
N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), oil I shall never forget the sight... from 1918.
The Winter Campaign, an oil by Frederic Remington (1861-1909) was painted during the artist's final year. It is a scene from the military campaigns against the Native American Remington witnessed as a correspondent during the the 1880's.
Wonderfully light-filled shadows are a hallmark of this oil by Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953), The Gift Dance Drummers, circa 1920.
A Time of Hunger, an oil from 1975 by the painter John F. Clymer (1907-1989). Several years ago I had an exhibition of my own paintings in the Clymer Museum in Ellensburg, WA that is devoted to Clymer's art. I lived in that town for a year when I taught painting at Central Washington University but unfortunately wasn't aware of Clymer's work in those days. I think he had a terrific feeling for the snow in this painting.
A custom made metal bear emerges from one of light fixtures in the Museum's Members' Gallery. It made me laugh.
Here's Alice in one of the galleries. The day we visited the town of Corning was bitterly cold, though the Rockwell itself was cozy. Nonetheless I think Alice was secretly wishing there was a blaze going in this fireplace.