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Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester

(4.4/5 based on 170+ reviews on the web)
The Memorial Art Gallery is the civic art museum of Rochester, New York. Founded in 1913, it is part of the University of Rochester and occupies the southern half of the University's former Prince Street campus. It is the focal point of fine arts activity in the region and hosts the biennial Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition and the annual Clothesline Festival.HistoryThe Gallery is a memorial to James George Averell, a grandson of Hiram Sibley. After Averell died at age 26, his mother, Emily S. Watson (by then the wife of James Sibley Watson), spent several years seeking a way to publicly commemorate him. Meanwhile, Rush Rhees, president of the University of Rochester, had been looking for benefactors to help him add to the University's campus, then located on Prince Street in the City of Rochester. Hiram Sibley had some 30 years previous funded the construction of the University's library which displayed part of Sibley's art collection on its upper floor for a time, but Rhees wanted to construct a dedicated art gallery. The Rochester Art Club, which was the focal point for art enthusiasts of the area and which had exhibited and taught at art venues of the time (Reynolds Arcade, the Bevier Memorial Building, and the Powers Block) supported the creation of the gallery. Rhees assembled a board of managers, including the Art Club's president, George L. Herdle, in November 1912 and by the eighth of the following October, presided over the Gallery's opening. The inaugural exhibition consisted of paintings from dealers for sale, with the Gallery taking a 10% commission. The most wealthy families immediately gifted their purchases to the gallery to start its permanent collection.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Memorial Art Gallery is well worth your visit. We were here to visit the Escher exhibit. There was so much to take in, that we plan to return for another visit. 
  • We stopped in specifically to see the Escher exhibit, and it didn't disappoint! Other than that, pretty typical of what you see in other museums. 
  • There permanent collection was great and varied but the highlight was a large exhibition of work by Escher. Loved Boom Town by Benton also. 
Google
  • Great place to check out beautiful works of art. Monet's, mummy, and rotating gallery are cool features.
  • Reasonable price, for a really nice museum. There's also art outside the museum that is fun drive past and look at
  • Great art gallery with a rotating display of exhibits. Always some interesting things to look at. Price is reasonable and the building itself is really cool.
  • You'll love it. Must see
  • This gallery is OK. It has a wide variety of items, but it's pretty small.