"Consuming Desires: The Great American Wedding"
This exhibit examined the American wedding from parlor to industry giant. How did we move from intimate family gatherings to large, opulent public spectacles? Marriage was explored as a pathway to legal personhood for Americans of color. The property rights of married women begs the modern audience to ask exactly who owns all this finery once the walk down the aisle is completed. “Consuming Desires” was on view throughout the 2021 and 2022 seasons, and closed to the public in October of 2022.
"Nature's Chain: The Land and Our Place in It"
The Genesee country has seen many changes over thousands of years of settlement. Native animal populations were replaced by new species. Canal and town building in the 19th century altered the contours of the landscape. Today, the land is shifting again due to invasive species of both plants and animals, the climate, and from human use.
Wildlife artists particularly felt the desire to both document the natural world and work toward habitat preservation and public education. This spirit of conservation continues today as artists use their medium to raise awareness of climate change, habitat preservation, and sustainable practices.
“Fan Favorites” featured fine art, housewares, historical clothing and textiles, 19th-century agricultural technologies, musical instruments, material culture, and ephemera chosen from across our collections as favorite pieces. This colorful exhibit opened to the public on Labor Day Weekend, 2020, and enjoyed a successful two-year run, closing in November 2021.
This exhibit presented a stunning group of 14 paintings from the Taos Art Colony collected by Jack Wehle. In the late 19th century, as the Old West was slowly vanishing, a diverse group of American artists was drawn to the remote New Mexico village of Taos. There, the Old West lived on in the unspoiled landscapes and the native Pueblo peoples. The dramatic colors, mountains, and ancient Pueblo culture lured these artists from their New York studios to New Mexico’s villages where they produced a distinctly American style of art and one of the few regional schools that gained international recognition.
"Wild in the Country"
This exhibit explored the work of the “Big Four”— Bruno Liljefors, Wilhelm Kuhnert, Carl Rungius, and Bob Kuhn. These four painters changed wildlife painting, transforming the genre into an art form filled with sweeping and innovative portrayals of the natural world. We also presented works by two contemporary artists, British painter David Shepherd and Honeoye Falls, NY sculptor Mary Taylor who bring their own styles and interpretations to wildlife art.