The Genesee Country Village & Museum, chartered by the state Education Department as an educational institution, was founded to preserve prime examples of architecture from Upstate New York and to foster an understanding of New York and American history. Through interactive programs, events and exhibits, the museum helps visitors understand the lives and times of 19th-century Americans.
The institution is the largest and most comprehensive living history museum in New York and has the nation’s third-largest collection of historic buildings. The 68 historic structures are furnished with 15,000 artifacts, and visitors interact with interpreters in period dress. Among the buildings preserved are Nathaniel Rochester’s house and George Eastman’s childhood home.
Some 24 special events are run from mid-May to mid-October. They include the War of 1812 Encampment, Civil War re-enactment, Fiddlers Fair and historic Independence Day celebration as well as Laura Ingalls Wilder Days, a celebration of the author’s books and family connections to Western New York. The museum also boasts several unique interactive exhibits-most notably, the only full-sized working recreation of a Civil War era gas balloon and a 19th-century working brewery.
The village includes historic gardens and farm landscapes with domestic animal enclosures. Craft, cooking and agricultural demonstrations occur daily. In addition, the heirloom gardens and farm tracts are used to teach the conservation of agricultural biodiversity and to demonstrate preservation of fragile landscapes.
The renovated John L. Wehle Gallery holds one of the nation’s premier collections of 19th-century hunting and sporting art, with three original first-edition Fredrick Remington bronzes. The gallery also features the nationally acclaimed Susan Greene costume collection comprising almost 3,000 unique pieces of 19th-century clothing, much of it in near mint condition. The most recent costume exhibit is "Fashions in Fiction."
The 700-acre complex also is home to the Genesee Country Nature Center, which has more than five miles of hiking trails and 175 acres of wildlife habitat with interpretive signs. The center is used to teach environmental stewardship and the ecological history of New York and the mid-Atlantic region.
Educational programs include historic and nature-themed tours, classes and day camps for children ages 4 to 16; adult classes; and professional development programs for teachers. Moveable Museum educational programs also travel to schoolchildren and other groups.
The museum, located at 1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford, has 189 employees, and Peter Arnold is its president and CEO. The website is www.gcv.org.
Financial Record Year ended Dec. 31, 2013
Contributions and gifts $1,513,289 47
Admissions fees 692,152 21
Retail operations, net of discounts, cost of goods sold 285,628 9
Facility rentals 158,356 5
Membership dues 141,448 4
Gifts-in-kind 121,972 4
Investment income designated for operations 121,000 4
Special events, net of direct expenses 89,285 3
Government grants 80,500 2
Other 48,495 1
Total revenue $3,252,125 100
Program services 2,707,116 78
Management and general 534,474 15
Fundraising 252,710 7
Total expenses $3,494,300 100
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses $(242,175)
Board of Directors
Gayle Stiles, chairman
Elizabeth Wehle, vice chairman
Susan van der Stricht, treasurer
Anthony Selvaggio, secretary
Philip Wehrheim, immediate past chair
Sherman Farnham Jr.
Clifford Smith Jr.
11/28/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email [email protected]