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Discover four centuries of world-class art

In addition to our collections, we feature special exhibits throughout the year.

Gone Fishin'

Gone Fishin'

Tracing a route that begins with Native American practices, Gone Fishin' explores the sport through its art, while suggesting how Native American fishing methods, documented with fish hooks, net weights and a spear (c.3500 BCE), influenced settlement patterns of native people and later European settlers. The exhibit examines the work of those like Rochester’s Seth Green, who in 1864 in Caledonia started the first commercial fish hatchery in the Western Hemisphere and was among others concerned with the impact of pollution, deforestation and overfishing. In addition, it presents a fascinating collection of rods, reels, creels (fish baskets), lures and other fishing tackle created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when fishing became big business.

Among the many highlights are 4,000-year-old fish hooks and a work by Winslow Homer

Fashions In Fiction

Fashions In Fiction

Fashions in Fiction artfully brings together characters from classic literature with period clothing and accessories. More than 100 artifacts explore popular fashions through celebrated 19th-century fiction. Together, the books and the clothes form a portal leading the viewer closer to those who came before.  

Though their prose may often seem complex in this age of texts and tweets, read it carefully, and you will discover the common threads that weave the generations together. Like today, our predecessors dreamed of worlds, old and new; of adventure and romance. They fantasied about time travel and possibilities that scientific discoveries might yield. They puzzled over mysteries and wiled away a winter’s night with tales of romance humor and wit. Sentimental stories warmed the heart; novels of social protest galvanized the nation.

Authors often shaped their character through both subtle and calculated references to the clothing of their fictional corps dramatique. The dramatic sweep of a cloak, the rustling of a petticoat or the cocky angle of a hat set a mood or defined and revealed much about the hero and heroine.

Using the Greene Costume Collection, the gallery presents some of the most beloved characters of popularly read 19th-century books.

Among the best and/or constant sellers included in the exhibit: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (ghost story) by Washington Irving, Jane Eyre (Gothic romance/mystery) by Charlotte Bronte, Kidnapped (adventure) by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Virginian (Western) by Owen Wister, A Christmas Carol (time travel) by Charles Dickens, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (social protest) by Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Invisible Man (sci-fi) by H. G. Wells, Around the World in 80 Days,(techno-adventure) by Jules Verne, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (humor) by Mark Twain, The Red Badge of Courage (realism) by Stephen Crane and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (detective) by Arthur Conan Doyle.