Corning, NY 14830
Free admission in celebration of the birthday of the late Robert “Bob” Rockwell, founding collector of the Museum. A longtime collector of artworks celebrating the Old West, Mr. Rockwell donated a large portion of his collection to the Museum that would bear his name. The Rockwell Museum opened in 1976 and has become known nationwide as home to one of the country’s finest collections of Western and Native American art. Facts about Robert F. Rockwell, Jr Born Nov. 8, 1911 in Bradford, PA. Grew up on his family’s cattle ranch near Gunnison, Colo., where he developed his love of Western lore and Western art. Graduated from Stanford University in early 1930s. Helped his grandfather, Lemuel Wilson Rockwell, run the family’s group of department stores, including one in Corning, N.Y. Met and married Hertha Godley, who worked in the store’s accounting department, in 1941. Enlisted in the United States Navy’s Construction Battalion (Seebees) in 1942; served 3 ½ years in North Africa. After returning to Corning following WWII, began a family: daughter Sandra and son Robert F. (Bobby) Rockwell III. Served as president of the Corning Rotary Club in 1949. In the 1960s, helped to establish the National Cowboy Artists Hall of Fame and fueled the group’s initial exhibits with his personal art collection. Collaborated with Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated) on a community project to build an Art Museum to house much of his collection.