Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute
Art Museum
Fountain Elms
House Museum
August 4, 2005

Another beastly hot day.  This has been quite an unusual summer.  Last year there was one day above 90 in Syracuse.  There have been around 20 so far this year.  We looked for an air-conditioned place to spend the mid-day.  It has been at least ten years since we visited this museum and we enjoyed seeing all the changes.

Fountain Elms is a family home which was given as part of an endowment for an art museum.  Mr. Alfred Munson, who became a millionaire in the early 1800s in coal and transportation, with help from the creation of the Erie Canal, had two children.  His daughter, Helen, married James Watson Williams.  The Williams daughters married the Proctor boys late in their lives and had no children.   With their great  fortune, they  endowed the  museum.
Fountain Elms was initially the museum, but in the 1960s, Philip Johnson designed the present art museum building and the home was returned to a house museum.  The present evolution includes about 10% original furniture on the first floor, with the rest acquisitions appropriate to the period (late Victorian). 

There are marvelous pieces by Herter, Finlay, Belter, Galusha.  There are four furnished and decorated rooms - dining room, parlor, study, and bedroom (as well as central hall).  The second floor  houses the family collections - presently on display are glass (especially Tiffany) and watches.  There are also marvelous furniture acquisitions.     The museum is collecting the best of the best of 19th century furniture, and you can see it up-close and with no crowds. 
The art museum has as its foundation four Coles paintings.  They are very large, with marvelous frames.

Currently they are focusing on a display of collecting modern art.  There are pieces by Picasso, Dali, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Pollock, etc.  Wow - every artist you have ever heard of is available to see.

This Georgia O'Keefe painting needs to be seen in person.  It is called Pelvis with Pedernal.
A websearch finds the definition of pedernal to be flint.  Hmmm.

I was fascinated by this work, and took photos from three angles.
It is entitled Vascillating Progression, by Irene Rice Pereira.
Oil and plastic paint on glass.  (the glass is scalloped).
There are many sculptures, many styles, many media.
We found it  a fascinating  collection with huge variety.

The curator, in describing the modern art collection, notes:
"this body of material is one of the two most important public collections of its type in New York State outside of New York City."

It's a lovely museum and well worth the drive.

310 Genesee Street

Utica, NY  13502

e-mail us here.

Here's a link to all the rest of the grandkids' pages.

This has been a spring and summer of getting around.

You can see those pictures:
A trip to Utica to see Munson-Williams-Proctor Museum and Fountain Elms
We rented a canoe at Nathaniel Cole Park.

A visit to Hanford Mills and the Lumberjack Show
Hancock Shaker Village.
A trip to Pixley Falls and Delta Lake.
We watched them set up the Big Top at the Circus
We went to the Utica Zoo
Then we went to the Syracuse Zoo
Wickwire House in Cortland
A trip to babysit the grandkids
A visit to Boston to see a Red Sox Game
Drive through Edmeston area to see the animals
Ithaca Herbert F. Johnson museum trip
And there are lots of pictures of our trip out west.

Hot adventures
from other summers:

Chittenango Falls
Fort Stanwix

Other interests: 


Leslie designed a webpage for:
Stride of Central New York

Flower and Garden 
Flowers, etc
Pink and Purple 
June 6, 2000
July, 2000 


Flower and Garden 
Animals hummingbirds
robin baby
Insects  - moth pictures - polyphemus
Hummingbird Moth
Oxford House
Tree Disaster
In Autumn    Before/After Exterior
July 98
Christmas 98
Liz/George Wedding
Wendy & Sam

Links to all the Baby pages for Frankie and Peri


Published 8/05/05
Photos by Leslie or David

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