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Explore Museums Dedicated to Famous Artists in Upstate NY

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2023-03-12 21:13:00

You probably know that Upstate New York has plenty of museums to visit. But did you know some of them are dedicated to famous artists who had roots right here in New York State? This winter, explore the life, legacies and work of Frederic Remington and George Eastman, both of whom have connections to the Empire State that you may not have known about.

Frederic Remington was one of the most iconic artists to depict the American West. But he also has ties tonorthern New York! Located along the St. Lawrence River, the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg is home to much of the artist’s famous work, includingpaintings, bronzes, and drawings. But what may evoke an even greater sense of his presence is the number of personal belongings that have found their way to the Remington Museum. The museum is filled with thousands of annotated scrapbooks, pages of notes, and photographs; work tools emington actually used, like easels, paintbrushes, and a sculpting stand; and even unique items like his hockey stick, cufflinks made from an elk’s teeth, and the cigars that were in his pocket before he died. Remington’s library is housed on the second floor of the museum today, as well as some of the furniture from his estate, and his paintings are displayed in the house’s former dining room.

If you like Western art, but Ogdensburg is a little too far of a hike, you can also find some of Remington’s work on display at the Rockwell Museum of Western Art in the Finger Lakes town of Corning. That’s where you’ll also find displays on many other famous artists who created works about the West—who knew there was so much Western art and culture to be found in Upstate New York?  

Meanwhile, in Rochester, the home of renowned photographer and motion picture film pioneer George Eastman has been turned into the George Eastman Museum, a timeless display honoring the art of photography and film along with the life and legacy of the man himself. Founded in 1947 as an independent nonprofit institution, the museum boasts the distinction of being the oldest photography museum and one of the oldest film archives in the world and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum holds unparalleled collections—encompassing several million objects—in the fields of photography, cinema, and photographic and cinematographic technology, and photographically illustrated books, and is also a longtime leader in film preservation and photographic conservation. The collection includes such treasures as the originally Technicolor negatives for “Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz”, alongside titles from a broad array of famous names to grace the director’s chair. The Eastman Museum is also home to the Dryden Theatre, which can seat up to 500 viewers who come to enjoy the more than 300 films shown here annually.Of course, before you go, make sure to check the museums’ websites for hours and admission information, as always. And don’t be afraid to add more museums to explore while you’re out and about-- there are ton of art museums featuring famous works throughout Upstate New York, but these special gems are dedicated to unique pioneers who set the stage for the art we see today. 


Remington museum exterior photo credit Frederic Remington Art Museum
Bronze sculpture photo credit Frederic Remington Art Museum
Eastman museum exterior photo credit George Eastman Museum
Exhibit photo credit George Eastman Museum

posted at: 2023-03-12 21:13:00, last updated: 2023-03-31 20:31:13

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