Centennial Sculpture Park: Wendell Castle’s Unicorn Family


Wendell Castle is an American furniture artist and a leading figure in American craft. He is often credited with being the father of the art furniture movement. His bold and graceful pieces, often organic, and sometimes whimsical, are crafted from rare and beautiful hardwoods, plastics, veneers, and metals in a timeless contemporary style. His expression of color and exotic materials are synonymous with the Wendell Castle name.

The Memorial Art Gallery commissioned this monumental cast-iron sculpture by Castle as one of the anchor installations of its planned Centennial Sculpture Park. The piece (working title Unicorn Family) will measure 22 feet in diameter and consist of a gathering area with a table and three chairs and a 13-foot LED lamp. A maquette of the work is on view in the Gallery’s Vanden Brul Pavilion. The piece is planned to be installed in spring 2013.

Read the Press release.

Some items in Central’s collection.

This is a reference book in Local History. A circulating copy is on order.


Becoming Modern: Armory Show Artists at the MAG

January 25-May 12, 2013


Gaston Lachaise, Standing Woman (1917). Gift of Charlotte Whitney Allen.

In 1913 the Armory Show in New York City shocked American artists and audiences with the radical abstractions of the European modernists. Later that year the Memorial Art Gallery opened its doors in Rochester, a city of predominantly conservative tastes at the time.

The Armory Show refers to the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art that was organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors. The exhibition ran in New York City’s 69th Regiment Armory, on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets, from February 17 until March 15, and became an important event in the history of American art, introducing astonished New Yorkers, accustomed to realistic art to modern art. The show served as a catalyst for American artists, who became more independent and created their own “artistic language”.

On the 100th anniversary of both events, this exhibition at the MAG will explore how the Gallery’s history and collection have been shaped by the avant-garde art in the Armory Show and the Rochesterians who came to champion it. It will include over 35 paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture by modernist masters including Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Stuart Davis and John Marin.




Some artists who exhibited in the original Armory show in 1913.

European Artists




American Artists




Memorial Art Gallery: Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 3

November 18, 2012–February 10, 2013 in the Grand Gallery

This exhibition, the third in a series organized by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, showcases contemporary Native and First Nations artists from the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast USA, as well as Northeastern Canada. Exciting new work in ceramics, glass, metal, wood, fiber, and mixed media demonstrate how traditional cultural values and aesthetics are being renewed and debated by artists caught between traditional and dominant cultures.

Pictured from left: David Pruitt, Hands of the Real People—The Past Present and Future (2011). Courtesy of the artist.   Robert Tannahill, Wise Ass (2010). Courtesy of the artist.   Jeremy Frey, Best of Show Basket, SWAIA (2011). Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Ari and Lea Plosker. Image ©2012 Ari Plosker, all rights reserved.   Gail Tremblay, It Was Never About Cowboys and Indians (2011). Courtesy of the artist.

Wendell Castle: Volumes and Voids at Friedman Benda Gallery NY

October 25, 2012 – January 26, 2013

If you are in NY you’ll be able to view Wendell Castle‘s new work at the Friedman Benda Gallery. The gallery has not published a catalog yet.

Wendell Castle is an American furniture artist and a leading figure in American craft. He is often credited with being the father of the art furniture movement. (From Wikipedia).  He resides in Scottsville, NY, outside Rochester.

Items in Central’s Art Division.

Visit the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY to view his work.

At the Memorial Art Gallery: Japanese Artist Utagawa Hiroshige

Framing Edo: Masterworks from Hiroshige’s One Hundred Famous Views

Utagawa Hiroshige, Suidō Bridge and Surugadai (1856–58). Arthur R. Miller collection.

Selections from the Arthur R. Miller Collection

September 21, 2012–January 13, 2013 in the Lockhart Gallery

This exhibition showcases more than 30 highlights from the Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige’s masterpiece One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (ca. 1856-58). Drawn from the extensive collection of Professor Arthur R. Miller, UR ’56, ’08 (Hon), these stunningly beautiful prints represent Hiroshige’s visual technique as well as his nostalgic response to the city€’s rapid change after Japan opened to the West during the mid-1800s.

Some items the Art Division owns on Utagawa Hiroshige

Clothesline Art Festival at the Memorial Art Gallery

Visit Rochester’s largest and longest-running fine art and crafts festival at the Memorial Art Gallery. It’s a great place to experience all-day live entertainment, sample food from some of Rochester’s favorite vendors, enjoy free family art activities, visit the museum, and  of course, browse and buy original work by regional artists.

Museum Passes Available at the Central Library

Your library card is the key to museum discounts!

The Monroe County Library System is proud to announce the V.I.P pass program, a partnership with the Memorial Art Gallery, the Rochester Museum and Science Center, the Genesee Country Village and Museum, Geva Theatre Center and the George Eastman House, which allows libraries to circulate discount passes for each of these institutions.  V.I.P stands for “Very Important Places” marking the relevance of libraries, theatres and museums to the life of the community.  Working together, our organizations are able to provide multiple opportunities for education, inspiration and enrichment to the residents of Monroe County.

Library card holders can visit a participating library, choose a pass to a museum or theatre, check out the pass and show it at the admissions desk to receive a discount.  The pass is then returned to the library for the next user.  Great discounts to great places, just by using your library card!  Horizons can be expanded by seeing a play at Geva, or star gazing at the Strasenburgh Planetarium.  An interest in technology or a love of art can be discovered enjoying the exhibits at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, or exploring the Memorial Art Gallery.  Visiting the George Eastman House, can give you a glimpse of “lifestyles of the rich and famous Rochester edition” and show how Eastman’s inventions changed the world by making photography accessible to all.  Travel back in time and experience, hands on, life in the 19th century at the Genesee Country Village and Museum.

Your library card is the key. It not only gets you access to thousands of books and DVDs, now it gets you special discounts at area museums and theatres. These passes are good through May 2013.