Known as the "Best of the West in the East," the Rockwell Museum in Corning, NY showcases the finest collection of western art east of the Mississippi. Just picture "western art" in your mind for a moment. What do you see? Images of wide open spaces? Visions of Native Americans and cowboys riding horses through deserts?
The "western frontier" we think of now, was not always the same geographic region. It was once located in eastern states like New York, but has shifted with waves of new settlers over the years. Today, the West is more a part of our imaginations than it is a geographic point on the map – as is the concept of western art, itself. It is also part of the historic Tiffany & Treasures Trail.
Named for its founding collectors, Bob and Hertha Rockwell, Jr., the Rockwell Museum houses three floors of works illustrating many eras and regions by different artists from varying backgrounds and perspectives. The top floor is dedicated to Cowboys and Indians. View a gallery with art focusing on the idea of Indian identity and culture as it evolves in society. See an exhibit about the legendary cowboys history created as rescuers of damsels in distress. Also explore museum galleries dedicated to buffalo and the wilderness, in general. Learn about the creature whose population used to number 60 million in North America. See works about manifest destiny, and the great exploration of the "vacant wilderness of America."
Wander through the second floor's "Remington & Russell Lodge," a beautifully-crafted gallery named in honor of two of the West's most famous artists, Frederic Remington (1861-1909) and Charles M. "Charlie" Russell (1864-1926). It was these images that shaped the concepts about the West for more than a century. View a changing exhibition on the first floor.
Kids Rock at the Rockwell Museum! Go on an Art Hunt through the galleries, and search for images in paintings and objects using clues provided. Art Pack Activity offers backpacks filled with puzzles, games, and creative activities to help children connect with the artwork they're seeing. Take an Explore the West Activity Booklet through the museum, and play hide-and-go-seek, and even learn to draw a horse. There is also a Kids' West Play Area, where youngsters can dress up in old-time costumes and play in a child-sized tipi.
The Trading Post is the museum's gift shop, selling everything from music and jewelry to stationery and pottery.