When The Rockwell Museum was established in November of 1976, our founders intended The Rockwell to be a vibrant and dynamic institution. Not only has our collection grown over the past four decades, but our mission has evolved as well.
Today, November 8, we celebrate Founder’s Day — the birthday of our founding collector, Bob Rockwell. Bob’s desire to make the collection accessible to as many people as possible remains a guiding principle. This month kicks-off an important milestone in our institutional history as we prepare to celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2016 by presenting new programming and exhibitions. Strategic growth of our collections, programming, educational outreach and audience is at the core of our institutional plan.
As we approach our 40th anniversary, we have been exploring ways to expand our collection, enhance our visitor experience, and enable The Rockwell to become a greater local and national resource.
You may have already noticed some of the updates we’ve recently made like the streamlining of our name to The Rockwell Museum, modernizing our logo and our website, reimagining galleries like the Southwest Lodge, Museum Store renovations and the opening of the Family Exploration Studio. Just last month we launched our Rockwell Roadhouse event series. Visitors have already told us that they love the changes we have started to make, and we look forward to sharing more with you in the near future.
The Rockwell is home to a significant collection of art and we strive to be a culturally engaging place to see and experience stories that challenge perspectives about America through our exhibitions and programs. Our programs and exhibits are dedicated to education and art appreciation, inspired by American popular culture, social issues, nature, cultural heritage and traditional art history. We think of The Rockwell as a site for civic dialogues about community interest and the social issues that face our global world. And we also believe we can be powerful agents in helping all children understand the world they live in by offering authentic cultural experiences.
Our hope is to enrich your lives by being a place that is relevant emotionally and culturally to the greater Corning community. We are well-positioned to become the premier leader in Upstate New York for displaying art and telling stories about the ever-changing American experience. We want to be a sought-after professional resource for educators, recognized for educational contributions toward student achievement. These goals are good for the museum and also good for the community.
Over 40 weeks, beginning in February 2016, The Rockwell will feature a series of programs and exhibitions, a family festival, guest artists, a nationally recognized guest lecturer (stay tuned – details are forthcoming ), a community open house and many special activities. Additionally, from a dedicated gallery of American Southwestern art to a reimagined Visions of America gallery, the transformations we are already making have put wind in our sails as we move ahead toward the next 40 years.
There’s an exciting time ahead for The Rockwell, but our daily mission remains the same: to continue to serve the Corning community, to care for the collections and our historic building, and to grow the arts education programs that the community has put into our trust.
We look forward to seeing you often at The Rockwell!
Kristin A. Swain
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