memorial art gallery centennial

Memorial Art Gallery Factoids

  • 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, the Gallery is one of the few university-affiliated art museums in the country that also serves as a public art museum.
  • To accommodate the growing collections and increased level of activity, the Gallery was expanded in 1926, 1968 and 1987.
  • Its permanent collection of 12,000 works spans 50 centuries of world art and includes important works by Monet, Cézanne, Matisse, Homer and Cassatt.
  • Contemporary masters in the collection include Wendell Castle, Albert Paley, Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe and Helen Frankenthaler.
  • We have the only full-size Italian Baroque organ in North America, on permanent loan from the Eastman School of Music.
  • The most recent expansion added nearly 46,000 square feet of new and remodeled space, increasing exhibition areas by nearly 60 percent.
  • The latest expansion, the Centennial Sculpture Park allows public access to art and sculpture 24/7 and covers 3.4 acres with an additional .75 acres added in Phase 2.
  • Since the opening of the new facility in May 1987, attendance has more than doubled, as has the number of children and adults participating in docent-led tours.
  • During fiscal year 2010–11, the Gallery welcomed 229,918 visitors. Of this number, 13,449 visitors, including 9,256 students in grades K–12, enjoyed docent-led tours of the collection.
  • Throughout the year, the Gallery offers a full schedule of lectures, concerts, guided tours, family activities, educational programs and art classes.
  • With more than 5,000 individual and corporate supporters, the Gallery has one of the highest per capita memberships in the country.
  • In 2010–11, 1,126 volunteers gave 33,823 total hours at the Gallery, one of the highest rates of volunteer participation in the country.
  • Free to members, University of Rochester students, and children 5 and under.
  • Audio descriptions and a braille calendar of events are available for the visually impaired.
  • The Gallery Council is a volunteer organization that serves the Memorial Art Gallery by organizing special events to raise funds in support of the visual arts. Since it was founded, the Gallery Council has contributed $3 million to the MAG. The Gallery Council (originally called the Women’s Council) was founded in 1940.
  • The Gallery’s 45,000-volume Charlotte Whitney Allen Library, located in Cutler Union, is open to the public for browsing; Gallery members and University of Rochester students and staff may borrow books.
  • In 1957, 101 exhibitors and 2,000 bargain hunters braved the wind and rain of Hurricane Audrey at the Memorial Art Gallery’s first Clothesline Festival.
  • The Clothesline Art Festival is Rochester’s largest and longest-running jurored, fine art and crafts festival.
  • Art classes have been held at the Memorial Art Gallery since 1918.
  • The Creative Workshop offers year-round art and art history classes for adults, teens and children as young as 21⁄2.
  • The Memorial Art Gallery’s centennial year is presented by Lynne Lovejoy, with additional support from Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull, ESL Charitable Foundation, and Nocon & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.