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.