Everson Museum of Art
Museum building, designed by I. M. Pei
|Location||401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York, USA|
|Founder||George Fisk Comfort|
The museum was founded in 1897 by art historian George Fisk Comfort (who also helped found the Metropolitan Museum of Art); at that time, it was called the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts. In 1911, it announced that it would seek to collect only American art.
Over time the museum occupied several different buildings, including the Onondaga Savings Bank and the Syracuse Public Library, but it outgrew each facility.
In 1941, Helen Everson made a gift to the city of Syracuse for the purpose of erecting an art museum. A groundbreaking took place in 1965, and in 1968 the new Everson Museum of Art opened. The new building was designed by internationally acclaimed architect I. M. Pei, and is regarded as a work of art in its own right.
The Everson Museum collaborates with Light Work and the Urban Video Project (UVP) to exhibit video art on the facade of the building, including important works by Bill Viola, Jenny Holzer, William Wegman, among others. In the summer time, they host a film series which is very popular for residents of Syracuse.
The Everson Museum of Art is also a famous location for skateboarders. Although illegal, on June 21, better known as National Go Skateboarding Day, skateboarders are allowed to skate at the museum. Central New York skateboarders often have signs that say "FREE eVe" meaning free the Everson Museum of Art.
The Everson houses roughly 11,000 pieces of art, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, and video.
Paintings include one of Gilbert Stuart's portraits of George Washington, Edward Hicks's The Peaceable Kingdom, and works by Eastman Johnson, Charles Burchfield, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock and others as well as outdoors sculptures (Marja Vallila). In 1980 the Everson introduced Ching Ho Cheng's "Intimate Illuminations", the first Chinese-American contemporary painter to exhibit a one-man show nationally.
The Syracuse China Center for the Study of Ceramics is one of the largest ceramics collections in the nation, with pieces ranging from ancient sculpture and Ming dynasty porcelain up to contemporary works.
The museum established one of the first video art collections in the United States; its video collection is the largest in the world. Nam June Paik exhibited early works at the Everson, including his United States retrospective in 1974. Bill Viola's first job was as a video technician at the Everson; his works are now in the collection.
Location and opening hours
The museum is located in the southeast corner of Downtown Syracuse, at 401 Harrison Street, near the Oncenter complex. It is directly accessible from Interstate 81 Exit 18 (Adams Street / Harrison Street).
Currently the museum is open the following hours:
- Wednesday, Friday & Sunday: Noon - 5:00pm
- Thursday: Noon - 8:00pm
- Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
- It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Notable traveling exhibitions
The Everson has presented a number of exhibitions that are available for loan, either in entirety or broken down as individual artworks, including:
- Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller
- Fantasies and Fairy-Tales: Maxfield Parrish and the Art of the Print
- Turner to Cézanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection, National Museum Wales
- Pollock Matters
- Marie Antoinette: Styling the 18th-Century Superstar