Thursday, July 16, 2009

07-09 Rockwell Museum of Western Art

Painting by William R. Leigh tilted “Master of His Domain”

Wednesday July 15th we drove back to Corning, NY to visit the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. Here is the origin of the museum copied from their web site:

Bob and Hertha Rockwell, local business owners who had amassed an incredible collection of Western art and artifacts, Carder Steuben glass, firearms, and antique toys, originally displayed some of their vast collection in their family department store, at the site now known as the Rockwell Center.

However, the store allowed only a small portion of their growing collection to be shown, without the benefits of temperature and humidity control, security and, most importantly, the interpretation that a museum could bring. The Rockwell's generously decided to donate the majority of their collection so that it could be protected, seen and enjoyed by many more people.

The museum is excellent. It has galleries on three floors with outstanding works of western art. It has paintings, sculpture, pottery, and a collection of bead work. Many of the top western artist’s works are included. Two of the best known are Frederick Remington and Charles M. Russell.

Below is a bronze work we liked by Edward James Fraughton tilted “The Spirit of Wyoming”. I thought I had seen some of the bronzes in other museums. I may be right. I learned that an artist will sculpt the statue and then go through a process to make a mold. Once made, multiple copies are often poured. The artist finishes each molded piece to remove mold lines and possibly add color or other finishing touches. I saw some pieces in the museum that ranged from 1 of 10 to 1 of 200.

Here is another favorite by Cyrus Edwin Dallion titled “ Appeal to the Great Spirit”

There were two versions. The one above is about 3’ high the following is about 1’ high.

Here is an illustration titled “The First Shot” by Remington for a magazine short story written by Teddy Roosevelt.

A painting by Charlie Russell titled “Sun Rise War Party”

The following painting by Frank Earle Schoonover titled “ Ojibway Indian Spearing the Maskenozha (Pike)” caught our eye because of a conversation we had with a nice couple that morning in the campground. Jim and Nicky had come from Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend a unique seminar at Keuka College. The seminar has a series of classes about how to restore various types of old canoes. Jim and Nicky showed us a picture of a wooden canoe their son recently acquired that is over 90 years old. It was built by a man who once worked for Old Town Canoe in Maine. They also showed us pictures of 2 birch bark canoes their son had made with the aid of 5th and 6th grade students in a unique school near Grand Rapids. The canoes were beautiful. Jim has helped his son on the other canoes and wanted to learn more about how to restore the old wooden canoe that among other things needs canvas restored to its outer surface. Nicky plans to improve her skills in cane weaving to restore the seats to their original form. We were fascinated to learn that a seminar with several days worth of classes had been established just about restoring different types of antique canoes. We hope to hear in the future how the restoration goes.

Monique said her expression would look just this horse if she ever encountered a bear. The painting is by Charles Schreyvogel and is titled “An unexpected enemy”

This last picture was one of our favorites since it reminded us of touring the Grand Canyon. Likewise it reminded us of the colored sand formations we saw earlier this year at Providence Canyon, Georgia. The painting is by Thomas Moran and is titled “Clouds in the Canyon”.

1 comment:

  1. My name is Beth, and I work at the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. I came across your blog through Google and it made me so happy to see what a wonderful time you had at the Museum.

    Please come back often and please tell all your friends about us!

    This blog is a great start of telling our story.

    Thank you and safe travels,