A visit to the Memorial Art Gallery is a journey through more than 5,000 years of art history. From the relics of antiquity to works in the vanguard of contemporary movements, the Gallery offers a panorama of the world’s art.
The Gallery’s permanent collection of more than 12,000 objects has been called the best balanced in the state outside of metropolitan New York City. In addition to its collection, the Gallery offers a year-round schedule of temporary exhibitions, lectures, concerts, tours and family activities.
The Gallery was founded in 1913 by Emily Sibley Watson as a memorial to her son, architect James Averell. Given in trust to the University of Rochester, it is one of the few university-affiliated art museums in the country that also serve as community art museums. Today it is supported primarily by its members, the University of Rochester and public funds from Monroe County and the New York State Council on the Arts.
“Only through art can we get outside ourselves and know another’s view of the universe, which is not the same as ours…Thanks to art, instead of seeing a single world, our own, we see it multiply until we have as many worlds as there are original artists.” Marcel Proust
Welcome to the Memorial Art Gallery’s website, one of the many new ways by which we, in common with other art museums, connect people with art. We are now able to share with an international audience the Gallery’s many programs and events, as well as a permanent collection described as the “best-balanced collection in the state outside of metropolitan New York City.”
Through this site, you can also learn about our year-round schedule of exhibitions, tours and events, including concerts on North America’s only full-size Italian Baroque organ.
The Gallery takes pride in its outreach to, and involvement with, the greater Rochester community, from family days to pioneering educational programs with the Rochester City School District. Conversely, the community’s generous support of the Gallery (as evidenced in the highest per capita membership for an art museum in the country and more volunteers than any art museum in the Northeast) helps make the Gallery a vital cultural and educational resource in western New York.
We look forward to the Gallery’s Centennial year and our Centennial Sculpture Park, where the site-specific sculptures, amphitheater and small bronzes—along with “art walks” and landscaped gardens—will transform University Avenue and create a cultural destination for the entire region.
Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director
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