On Wednesday, October 13, the Cayuga Museum of History and Art officially celebrated its 85th anniversary, the oldest operating museum in Auburn. Many of Auburn’s most prominent families came together to found the museum as a local exhibition and meeting space for the community to create and enjoy the arts.
The idea for a museum began in 1932 during meetings of the Daubers Club, a local art group. Walter Long, an art professor at Syracuse University, came up with the idea of ââa civic center for Auburn, and support for the idea was immediate. The group began to search for a suitable building to house this center, and after attempting to secure the GW Richardson store on South Street, they were approached by Theodore Case (the inventor of the sound film), who donated his mansion. family run on West Genesee Street. for â$ 5 and a box of cigarsâ. The museum was founded on October 13, 1936.
Long envisioned the museum as a community project where citizens could display their own art and historical artifacts and participate in art and culture classes. The purpose of the museum was “to increase the appreciation of art, history and science“, but the founders did not develop a typical museum. From the start, it was imagined that the building would house various artistic, musical, historical and cultural clubs and associations of Cayuga County. While they would all develop exhibits, the clubs would also be able to rehearse, research and perform in the museum.
To celebrate the occasion, the staff of the Cayuga Museum organized a temporary exhibition of works of art by Frank Barney, founding member of the museum. Barney was a highly skilled impressionist and landscape artist, participating in the Federal Arts Project of the Works Project Administration and celebrated by the museum’s Daubers Club, which published an article in 1952 saying, “If it is true that there has been many very talented artists in Auburn history, none of them has contributed to the delight of our citizens with so many pleasing paintings over such a long period of time.
This temporary exhibition will be on display until Saturday 8 January. The museum is located at 203 Genesee St., Auburn, and is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
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