The Memorial Art Gallery has been one of Rochester’s coolest spaces for more than a century.
Emily Sibley Watson founded the museum in 1913 as a memorial to her son, architect James Averell. It was later given in trust to the University of Rochester and is one of the few university-affiliated art museums in the country that doubles as a community art museum.
The Memorial Art Gallery has more than 12,000 pieces of art in its collection spanning 5,000 years. The 14-acre campus was expanded in 1926, 1968, 1987 and 2014 and additional public space is scheduled to be added this year and next.
The museum has more than 4,200 members and received nearly 240,000 visitors last year. It has a robust volunteer community, with 1,153 people volunteering 38,572 hours at the museum last year.
Jonathan Binstock has served as the museum’s seventh director since July 2014.
An outdoor sculpture park turned 10 acres of the grounds into a showcase of public art and urban space. Four major artists—Wendell Castle, Jackie Ferrara, Tom Otterness and Albert Paley—were commissioned to create site specific work for the park.
As part of the Art Walk Extension Enhancements Project in the Neighborhood of the Arts, Story Walk is an interactive artistic sidewalk installed along Goodman Street, while Poets Walk honors poets along University Avenue.
Inside the museum, people can enjoy a meal at the Brown Hound Downtown
The museum also serves as an event space for wedding receptions, holiday parties and corporate meetings.