Founded in 1897 as the Syracuse Museum of Fine Art by Metropolitan Museum co-founder George Comfort Fisk, the Everson has been at the center of the Syracuse art scene since it opened in 1900. Eleven years later, it became the first museum in the world dedicated solely to the pursuit and collection of American art. Its permanent collection now contains some 11,000 works that span the breadth of American history, including pieces by Gilbert Stuart, Eastman Johnson and Helen Frankenthaler. The Museum also boasts the world’s largest collection of video art, as well as a renowned concentration of American ceramics and a growing collection of pieces from the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century.
Owing to continued growth, the Everson moved several times in its early decades, but a gift from Helen S. Everson in 1941 led to the construction of its permanent home in 1965. The building was the first museum designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, and has snagged a couple of design awards over the years. In front, you’ll find a small sculpture patio; the back has a wide plaza and a sunken, modernist fountain. You’ll probably see a skateboarder or two, as well; the building has been prime skating real estate for decades, and gets “taken over” (with the museum’s implicit consent) every June 21 for National Go Skateboarding Day.
Everson Museum of Art Information
- Public Transportation: Good (the free Connective Corridor Shuttle has a stop at the museum. Also a short walk from Centro bus 72 at Harrison Street/State Street, and buses 40, 42, 138, and 236 at Madison Street/State Street)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Tuesday–Friday and Sunday noon–5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Admission: Suggested donation of $5
- Free Day: The third Thursday of every month from 5 p.m.–8 p.m.
- Tour: Free docent-led tours are available Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–noon. Afternoon and weekend tours are available on a limited basis. Tours last one hour unless other arrangements are made. Group size is limited to 50 people, however, larger groups may reserve two consecutive sessions. Tour reservations should be made at least two weeks in advance
- Membership: Individual membership is $50 (Senior/Student/Military/Educator $40, Senior Household $60, Regular Household $75). Benefits are tiered, with every member receiving a 20% discount on art education programs; a 10% Museum Shop discount; invitations to openings, special lectures & Everson Trips; a subscription to Everson Museum of Art Bulletin; and Empire State Museums Reciprocal Membership privileges with more than 20 museums throughout New York State
- Other Benefits: At the Patron level ($500) members receive an invitation to the Annual Patrons’ Lecture, and at the Everson Circle Gold level ($2,500) members receive an invitation to the Annual Behind-the-Scenes Event.