Council History

The Power of Volunteers: The History of the Gallery Council

What is the Gallery Council of the Memorial Art Gallery?

  • It is an all-volunteer membership organization of over 170 men and women, bolstered by the many talents, professional experiences and generosity of its members.
  • It was organized in 1940 when Gallery Director Gertrude Herdle Moore gathered eight women to form a Women’s Council. The name was changed in 1994 to the Gallery Council after men began to join.
  • Members contribute their time, talent and treasure and take pride in the role they play in moving the Gallery forward and extending its reach in the community.

How has the Gallery Council supported the Memorial Art Gallery?

  • The Gallery Council has renewed itself many times over the years to reflect the changing needs of the MAG.
  • Over the course of eight decades, it is estimated that the Council has raised over 4 million dollars to support the MAG’s collections and programs. Currently, the Fine Craft Show and Sale, the Art & Treasures Sale, Art Tours and most recently Art in Bloom have all bolstered the Council’s coffers and enabled the Council to support exhibitions, the Celebration Series, the Creative Workshop, the docent program and the expansion of the Centennial Sculpture Park. In addition, Council volunteers provide significant support for the Gallery Store.
  • From holiday open houses to mounting exhibitions, Council members have created many projects that have become a permanent part of offerings at the MAG. The Celebration Series, the docent program, the Gallery’s first restaurant, and the Clothesline Art Festival all had their beginning as Council projects.
  • Gallery Council volunteers have greatly enhanced and influenced what the Memorial Art Gallery is today. They have truly enriched the culture that defines Rochester.
  • The Gallery Council will continue having fun while raising funds for the future.

Past Gallery Council Presidents

2020-22 Bonnie Voll
2018-2020 Pamela Miller Ness
2016-18 Lois Sumberg
2014-16 Marilyn Merrigan
2010–14 Mary Sue Jack
2008–10 Sandra Koon
2006–08 Judith Van Bramer
2004–06 Theodora Carr
2002–04 Mary Goldman Crowe
2000–02 Laura Swett

1998–00 Mary Koegel
1996–98 Margaret Thompson
1994–96 Charlotte Herrera
1992–94 Joyce Thompson
1990–92 Helen Berkeley
1988–90 Pat Legge
1986–88 Liz Harvey
1984–86 Judy McKelvey
1982–84 Emille Allen
1980–82 Mildred Boylan
1978–80 Dodo Centner
1976–78 Essie Germanow
1974–76 Lyn Kayser
1972–74 Janet Forbes
1970–72 Marjorie Ingersoll

1968–70 Nancy Turner
1966–68 Peggy Post
1964–66 Fla Macomber
1962–64 Dotty Wadsworth
1960–62 Barbara Reichart
1958–60 Ramsay Lawless
1956–58 Ruth Schumacher
1954–56 Brenda Rowntree
1952–54 Madeline Heilbrunn
1950–52 Hilda May
1948–50 Elizabeth Solbert
1945–48 Jean McCurdy
1943–45 Carolyn Smith
1941–43 Mary Potter
1940–41 Margaret Bakker