Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

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Munson Museum of Art
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Location310 Genesee St., Utica, New York
Coordinates 43°5′49″N75°14′29″W / 43.09694°N 75.24139°W / 43.09694; -75.24139 Coordinates: 43°5′49″N75°14′29″W / 43.09694°N 75.24139°W / 43.09694; -75.24139
Arealess than one acre
Architect Philip Johnson
Architectural styleInternational-style
NRHP reference No. 10000727 [1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 9, 2010

Munson (Formally Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute) is a regional fine arts center founded in 1919 and located in Utica, New York. The institute has three program divisions, museum of art, performing arts and school of art.


Museum of art

The museum of art has a substantial permanent collection of internationally recognized works. They are exhibited in the Munson Museum of Art Building. It is an International-style building designed by architect Philip Johnson and completed in 1960. A model of the building was exhibited in the United States Pavilion at the Brussels' World's Fair of 1958. It is a 60,000 sqft [2] square and supported by eight external ferro-concrete piers, or two on each side. The exterior structural members are clad in bronze and "black" Canadian granite. The windowless cube is set above windowed office areas recessed in a dry moat, giving a "floating" effect. The interior features a two-story central courtyard, illuminated by a skylight, known as the Edward Wales Root Sculpture Court. It also holds an auditorium seating 271. [3] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. [1]

Next-door is a Victorian-era Italianate mansion called Fountain Elms , listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. [4] It houses the Munson decorative arts collection. It is connected to the Museum of Art building by an education wing built in 1995.

The museum has an extensive collection of European and American art. A highlight of the permanent collection is the first of the two original sets of Thomas Cole's famous series of paintings titled The Voyage of Life : The second set is at the National Gallery Washington, DC.

In 2023, as part of a rebranding effort facilitated by a Brooklyn-based design agency, the museum rebranded itself simply "Munson". The museum president stated that despite its familiarity, few people knew the entire 10-syllable name of the museum. [5]

School of art

The art school was begun 1936, when The Arts Guild of New York City moved its school to a remodeled garage on the ground of the Institute and, under the name of the School of Related Arts and Sciences, began to offer courses in visual arts, the history and philosophy of art, and comparative symbolism. [6]

In 1999, Munson became a satellite campus of the Pratt Institute. [7] A program called Pratt at Munson-Williams-Proctor or PrattMWP allows students to study for two years in Utica, New York, called a "Foundations Program", before completing their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Pratt Institute's main campus in Brooklyn, New York. [8] PrattMWP is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Middle States Association, and New York State Education Department. [9]

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  1. 1 2 "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly list of actions taken on properties: 9/07/10 through 9/10/10. National Park Service. September 17, 2010.
  2. Syrkett, Asad (August 30, 2010). "A Golden Anniversary for a Philip Johnson Museum". Architectural Record. Retrieved March 29, 2023.
  3. "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Archived from the original (Searchable database) on July 1, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2016.Note: This includes Rand Carter and Travis Bowman (December 2009). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute" (PDF). Retrieved August 1, 2016. and Accompanying five photographs
  4. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  5. Zigrino, Kali. "Utica arts institute changes name to 'Munson' as part of larger rebranding plan". WKTV NewsChannel2. Retrieved March 29, 2023.
  6. Workers of the Writers’ Program of the Works Progress Administration in the State of New York (WPA). Utica. In: The WPA Guide to New York. 1940 p. 539.
  7. "History". Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  8. "PrattMWP". Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  9. "Accreditation and Rankings". Retrieved December 4, 2021.