Rochester, N.Y. (June 24, 2021) —The George Eastman Museum is hosting a community forum on Wednesday, June 30, at 5:30 p.m., to share information about its New Galleries Project, as well as a major marketing and tourism program designed to support the upcoming exhibition Joshua Rashaad McFadden: I Believe I’ll Run On, an early-career survey of the works of the Rochester-based visual artist. The museum invites the public to attend and learn more about the status of these projects and their next phases, as well as ask questions and provide input. The forum will be held in the new multipurpose hall at the George Eastman Museum, 900 East Avenue, Rochester.
The George Eastman Museum needs support for a project to enhance its visitors’ experience by creating new galleries through renovation of unrestored spaces in George Eastman’s mansion. These areas contain minimal historic elements. The institution also needs support for its efforts to better serve the diverse Rochester community and underserved audiences across the United States.
In July, the museum will submit two grant applications for funding from Empire State Development and the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. Grant funding from New York State will ensure that the museum is able to provide an accessible, high-quality, and enriching experience for visitors to the Finger Lakes region so that they will return to the area and recommend it to others. Initial funding for the New Galleries Project has been received from longtime benefactor Thomas N. Tischer and the Pace Family Fund of the Rochester Area Community Foundation. These private funds will support architectural and engineering services for the project.
As part of the New Galleries Project, more than 3,700 square feet of existing space on the first and second floors of the mansion will be converted to new public galleries. These unrestored areas include staff offices, a staff lunchroom, and the former staff reception area. The project also includes a new unisex restroom on the first floor; renovated accessible restrooms on the second floor; installation of a new elevator to serve people with physical challenges; and creation of a catering kitchen in the basement.
On the first floor, new galleries will present a long-term exhibition that offers a contemporary, balanced interpretation of many aspects of Eastman’s life—his merits and limitations—and their impact on the city of Rochester and its people. On the second floor, the galleries will exhibit cameras and other equipment from the museum’s collection to explore the history and evolution of photographic technology from its invention through the present. These new exhibitions, in a welcoming environment, will attract and engage culturally diverse and technology-savvy audiences in meaningful ways that respond to their quest for knowledge.
The museum will also seek funding for regional tourism promotion with a focus on the upcoming exhibition Joshua Rashaad McFadden: I Believe I’ll Run On, which will be presented in the Eastman Museum’s main galleries from November 5, 2021, through June 19, 2022. McFadden’s work examines race, masculinity, sexuality, and gender in the United States. As such, the exhibition provides an opportunity to promote education, conversation, and understanding, as well as to highlight the museum and our region as a tourist destination relevant to current times.
About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active book publishing program, and its L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation’s graduate program (in collaboration with the University of Rochester) makes critical contributions to film preservation. For more information, visit eastman.org.
# # #
Media Contact: Eliza Kozlowski