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Celebrating #NationalWomensDay – Today and Every Day

The Rockwell’s goal is to provoke curiosity, engagement and reflection about art and the American experience.  Ultimately, we want our visitors to see themselves and their experience in the art on view.

It’s true that gender bias still exists in the fine art world. Women artists are disproportionately underrepresented in museum collections, despite receiving critical recognition and focused scholarship. As The Rockwell Museum moves towards in gradually expanding our permanent collection in this dedicated field, our featured exhibitions and contemporary guest artists give us the opportunity to present the work of contemporary female artists.

Top 5 Ways to Celebrate #NationalWomensDay at The Rockwell

1. Perspectives of the American Experience: A National Exhibition of Women Artists

Kathleen Giles
Kathleen S. Giles, Mallory’s Hands. Transparent watercolor. 19 x 29 in. Signature Member of AWA.

On View: January 19 – April 22, 2018
Closing Reception: Friday, April 20, 2018

The Rockwell is pleased to collaborate with American Women Artists for the 25 in 25 campaign, producing twenty-five museum shows over 25 years in honor of women in the visual arts. This competition showcases representational works by female artists in a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture.

American Women Artists (AWA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the inspiration, celebration, and encouragement of women in the visual fine arts. Members come from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The goal of AWA is to increase the number of professional opportunities for women in the visual fine arts by creating the kinds of opportunities that lead to greater inclusion.

Learn more     Full exhibition catalog

2. Through the Thread: Inaugural Antigravity Installation by Guest Artist Crystal Gregory

Crystal Gregory
Through the Thread, 2018. Woven lace and pewter.

On view: March 2, 2018 – February 17, 2019

The Rockwell introduces an inaugural new exhibition series: Antigravity!  Each year, the museum will commission one emerging artist to create a site-specific installation for The Rockwell’s rotunda entryway. The 2018 inaugural installation will feature the work of sculptor and fiber artist Crystal Gregory. Gregory uses woven lace structures as the foundation of her work, paying particular attention to negative space and light. A self proclaimed “mad scientist,” Gregory experiments by pairing materials not often found together in her work such as hand-woven fabrics and molten pewter or lace and concrete. 

This week only (March 5 – 9, 2018) see Crystal Gregory at work at Corning Museum of Glass, where she is working with the expert gaffers in the Amphitheater Hot Shop to realize and interpret her textile designs in glass.

5 ways to experience antigravity

3. Recently Installed Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Gallery

Beaded Cap
Child’s Beaded Cap, Circa 1880-1890. Cotton, wool velvet, glass beads, 5 x 5½ in. Clara S. Peck Fund Purchase. 2017.10.8.

In case you missed it, a new gallery dedicated to Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) art and culture debuted as part of The Rockwell’s permanent collection in November 2017. Haudenosaunee, which translates to The People of the Longhouse, refers to the six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy – Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Tuscarora, and Mohawk. This new permanent gallery at The Rockwell will feature a blend of art and objects of material culture of many different Nations, from pre-contact tools to 19th-century clothes, toys, dolls, baskets and bowls, as well as contemporary fine art by artists including Shelley Niro, Peter Jemison and Richard Glazer-Danay.

Clan membership is passed down through one’s mother, making the Haudenosaunee a matrilineal society. Haudenosaunee women wield much power in their communities: they own land, determine the Chief, lead the clans, participate in religious ceremonies, and maintain tribal culture. They influenced the Women’s Suffrage movement in the United States, resulting in the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.

learn more

John Sloan
John Sloan, Gwendolyn, c. 1918. Oil on canvas. On loan from Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gift of Mrs. John Sloan. 1996.58.

4. Now on Loan From Smithsonian American Art Museum – Gwendolyn by John Sloan

The Rockwell Museum is a proud affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and a main conduit to Smithsonian collections in Upstate New York. Opportunities for long-term loans such as this allow The Rockwell to provide a greater cultural context to our visitors.

This portrait of Gwendolyn, a young African-American girl, was a progressive subject for Sloan to paint in the early 20th century. Historically, portraits were commissioned by the elite to demonstrate their wealth, social, and political power. Many artists made a good living painting portraits, and the face of 19th century American portraiture is overwhelmingly white. Sloan breaks that tradition by deeming Gwendolyn as worthy to paint, an artistic approach consistent with social realism.

Visit today to see this important artwork on view!

5. Blanket Stories: Western Door, Salt Sacks and Three Sisters

Marie Watt
Artist Marie Watt

Many visitors will remember last summer’s featured exhibition by Seneca native artist and proto–feminist Marie Watt. You may not know that the blanket tower became part of The Rockwell’s permanent art collection, and is now on view (at its full height) in the Modern & Contemporary Gallery on our third floor. 

Marie Watt describes herself as a multidisciplinary artist who draws from biography, history, Seneca proto-feminism and Iroquois teachings. She gathers stories that tether her to place and community, creating fiber-inspired sculptures

browse blanket stories    more about marie watt