In the 1960s, Robert F. Rockwell, Jr. and his wife Hertha began collecting western art and displaying it in their local department store. However, by the early 1970s the collection had outgrown the Rockwell’s small space in Steuben County.
In 1974, Corning Incorporated agreed to help the Rockwell’s develop a new space to hold the ever-expanding collection in Corning. Eventually, The Rockwell Museum of Western Art found a new home in Corning’s former City Hall building. Built 1893, and heavily damaged by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, it took almost a decade for the building to be completely restored and renovated.
Today, what started out as a collection of western art in a department store has evolved into one of the nation’s most prestigious museums devoted to western and Native American artwork. The Rockwell Museum, where a marriage of art and architectural has made another unique stop on New York’s Path Through History.