Looking Back: Clothesline Through the Years 1957–2010

2011 publicity images

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At the first Clothesline Festival, in June 1957, 101 exhibitors and 2,000 bargain hunters braved the wind and rain of Hurricane Audrey. (In subsequent years, the Festival moved to the weekend after Labor Day.)
clothesline1958.jpg 576 KB The brainchild of Langdon Clay, the Gallery's longtime director of education, and Creative Workshop instructor Edna Weeks Smith, Clothesline quickly caught on.
ponyride1958.jpg 530 KB 25-cent pony rides were a popular feature of Festivals in the 1950s.
clothesline1960.jpg 398KB Some things have changed since the early days, but Clothesline is still the place to discover new artists and find great bargains.
clothesline1963.jpg 590KB The 1960s saw steady growth both in the number of artists and the number of visitors.
clothesline1963-2.jpg 396KB In the early years, art really did hang on Clotheslines.
clothesline1973.jpg 448KB The early careers of such notable Rochester artists as Wendell Castle, Peter Berg and Kathy Calderwood have
all been linked to Clothesline . And the possibility of finding future luminaries who will go on to command greater fame and higher prices has always been part of the excitement.
cake1988.jpg 344KB In 1988, the Gallery celebrated its 75th anniversary, and Clothesline featured an 8-foot-high birthday cake sculpture. Visitors who autographed the sculpture were entered in a drawing for prizes including artworks and real cakes from Rochester bakeries.
clothesline1996.jpg 366 KB While Mother Nature has smiled most years on Clothesline, the Festival goes on--weather or not. In 1996, the remnants of Hurricane Fran kept away all but the hardiest visitors. But after Democrat and Chronicle reporter Carol Ritter wrote a sympathetic column, an outpouring of contributions from the community helped the Gallery avoid a funding gap.
seligmans07.jpg 622KB UR President Joel Seligman and his wife, Friederike (in red T-shirts) joined the ranks of volunteers in 2005 and have returned each year since.

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After more than fifty years, Clothesline is still the place to browse, buy and enjoy live entertainment.
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sahara.jpg 780KB Visitors of all ages can enjoy continuous live entertainment on the soundstage and free demonstrations and art activities at the Gallery's Creative Workshop.
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