The Rockwell Museum, ongoing
This story was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art June 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
For almost four decades, The Rockwell Museum has been a linchpin of the Corning, NY, community, providing a unique space where people connect and reflect on the quintessential story of America—its history, culture, and spirit—through the eyes of American artists. In honor of its upcoming 40th anniversary, the museum has planned a year of special exhibits, revamped installations, and newly inspired gallery spaces. “The reinterpretation of the permanent galleries at the museum is an effort to contextualize our core collection of American and western art, and it stems from our mission [to highlight] ‘art about America,’” says Kirsty Buchanan, the museum’s curator of collections.
The series of projects begins with the opening of the Southwest Lodge Gallery, a space dedicated to the works of the Taos school of artists, the Santa Fe school, and the native Pueblo artists of the Southwest. “The inspiration for this new gallery came from the generous loan of the Nancy and Alan Cameros collection of southwestern pottery,” Buchanan says. “The museum is proud to exhibit this nationally celebrated private collection in conjunction with select masterworks of Southwest art from our permanent collection,” she adds.
The exhibit includes about 70 pieces of pottery and about 20 paintings and works on paper by legendary artists such as E.M. Hennings, Walter Ufer, E.I. Couse, W. Herbert Dunton, Joseph H. Sharp, Oscar Berninghaus, Gene Kloss, Gustave Baumann, and Ernest L. Blumenschein. One of Buchanan’s favorite pieces in the exhibit is Blumenschein’s JURY FOR TRIAL OF A SHEEPHERDER FOR MURDER. “I love this painting, and it has special significance because Blumenschein spoke of it toward the end of his life and declared it to be his best work,” Buchanan says. All the works in the exhibit hold a significant place in western art history, making them an important component of the larger American story. “I especially like the greater context we’re able to create for the Southwestern artworks in this exhibit,” Buchanan says. “And this is just the first of several exciting [projects] as we approach our 40-year anniversary and look to the future,” she adds. —Lindsay Mitchell
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