About the

Photo provided by the Everson Museum of Art

The Everson is for everyone, a place where community connects and inspiration surrounds you.


The Everson is a museum of firsts. It was the first museum to dedicate itself to the collection of American art, to create a permanent collection of ceramics, to collect video art, to create a docent program and to hire the now internationally known architect I.M. Pei to design its building, a sculptural work of art in its own right. The Everson is home to more than 10,000 works of art: American paintings, sculpture, drawings, video, graphics and one of the largest holdings of international ceramics in the nation.

Our Mission

Through dynamic and meaningful encounters with modern and contemporary American art, the Everson Museum of Art engages diverse communities, inspires curiosity and lifelong learning, and contributes to a more vital and inclusive society.

Our Vision

  • We capitalize on the innate, natural attraction of people to art and believe in its transformative power.
  • We are dedicated to the cultivation of lifelong learning using the universal language of art.
  • We cultivate curiosity within an inviting and dynamic environment.
  • We embrace collaboration and partnerships to build bridges among disciplines.
  • We are committed to serving our community by remaining relevant and accessible.
  • We are a unique cultural anchor and an integral part of a vibrant downtown community.

Our Acknowledgement

The Everson Museum of Art would like to acknowledge the Indigenous peoples on whose ancestral land the Everson Museum now stands and the role it played in the displacement of the predominantly Black residents of the 15th Ward in the 1960s as part of a harmful urban renewal plan which included the building of the Everson Museum.

Our Commitment

The Everson Museum of Art is committed to a holistic approach to Diversity Equity Access and Inclusion practices within our organization. We put this commitment into action by:

  • Acquiring and displaying works of art that are representative of the diverse communities we serve.
  • Removing barriers to accessing art and providing equitable points of entry and participation for all patrons and artists.
  • Providing inclusive platforms for artists to exhibit their work and tell their stories.
  • Ensuring that the visitor experience within our building is accessible to individuals of all abilities.
  • Presenting and operating our building and grounds as a community space where all people are welcome, represented, and seen.
  • Implementing a zero-tolerance policy for individuals within our organization, and among our partners and patrons, for any disenfranchising or discriminatory behaviors.


When the Everson Museum of Art opened its quarters in 1968, it was dubbed “a work of art for works of art.” As the first museum designed by internationally acclaimed architect I. M. Pei, the Everson’s design has been credited with launching Pei’s world-famous career and putting the museum at the forefront of contemporary architecture. Today, the Museum has assumed a vital role in the reinvigoration of downtown Syracuse through artistic programs designed to maximize community involvement.

The Everson Museum of Art’s roots extend back to the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, founded in 1897 by George Fisk Comfort, a well-known art educator who helped establish the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts’ inaugural exhibition was held in 1900. Within twenty years, the Syracuse Museum made two character-setting decisions under the leadership of Fernando Carter, the second director of the Museum.

In 1911, the Everson declared that it would collect only American art; the first museum to do so. This decision led to a permanent collection comprised largely of American paintings, sculpture, drawings and graphics that date from Colonial times to the present. The Everson established one of the first video art collections in the United States and holds one of the largest video art collections in the world.

The Everson’s second decision set the course for the Museum’s long-term commitment to the ceramic arts. In 1916, a group of porcelains was purchased from Syracuse potter Adelaide Alsop Robineau, who is considered one of America’s finest ceramists and whose work is known throughout the world. This first purchase was soon followed by the acquisition of additional pieces of her work. In 1932, the Ceramic National exhibitions were established in her memory by Director Anna Olmsted. This important series of exhibitions not only represented the sole national platform for the exposition of ceramics during its early years of operation, but enabled the Museum to amass one of the most comprehensive holdings of American ceramic art in the nation.

Over the years the Museum had several homes, such as the Onondaga Savings Bank and the Syracuse Public Library. The rapidly expanding museum outgrew each facility. In 1941, Helen Everson made a gift to the City of Syracuse to be used for the purpose of erecting a museum dedicated to art appreciation and education. Under the guidance of Director Max Sullivan, ground was broken for the present Everson Museum of Art in 1965.

  1. Soon!

    Coming soon, the Everson Museum of Art is opening a farm-and-kiln-to-table restaurant—the only one of its kind. The restaurant is affectionately named Louise after collector, artist, and dedicated Everson supporter Louise Rosenfield. Ms. Rosenfield has generously donated over 3,000 pieces from her private ceramics collection for use and display in the restaurant. Louise will offer a unique culinary, arts, and design experience that allows guests to enjoy food and drink on functional ceramic art. The objects incorporated into this experience hail from some of the most talented ceramic artists in the world. With the help of scannable Radio-Frequency Identification chip technology, guests will have the ability to learn more about the artists and ceramic pieces from which they are sipping or eating. Beyond adding a much-needed visitor amenity, the new restaurant will offer a hands-on art experience not found in any other fine arts museum.

    Image courtesy of MILLIØNS (Zeina Koreitem & John May).

  2. Deaccession Pollock painting


    The Board of Trustees of the Everson Museum of Art voted unanimously to deaccession a painting by Jackson Pollock from the Museum’s collection, in order to refine, diversify, and build its collection for the future.

  3. I.M. Pei, the Prolific and Iconic Architect, Dies at 102


    Ieoh Ming (I.M.) Pei— born in Guangzhou, China, in 1917, died in New York City. Pei left an indelible body of work in the form of modern architecture across the globe. Perhaps best known for his controversial 1989 design of a glass pyramid at the entrance to the Louvre in Paris, Pei had a prolific career in architecture that lasted six decades.

  4. 50th Year Anniversary


    The Everson celebrated the 50th anniversary of its iconic Pei-designed building and announced a $17 million comprehensive fundraising campaign.

  5. The Newly Renovated Ceramics Gallery Opens


    The renovated Ceramics Gallery opened at the Everson Museum with the exhibition, A Century of Collecting: Ceramics at the Everson from 1916 to the Present.

  6. Computers and Art, a Groundbreaking Exhibition Sponsored by IBM, Opens at The Everson


    Computers and Art, a groundbreaking exhibition sponsored by IBM, opens at the Everson. It features 120 works by 80 contemporary artists who use the computer as a toll or as imagery in their work.

  7. A Century of Ceramics in the United States 1878-1978 Opens at The Everson


    A Century of Ceramics in the United States 1878-1978 opens at the Everson.

  8. David Ross organizes Open Circuit: A Video Invitational


    David Ross organizes Open Circuit: A Video Invitational, the first major video invitational ever assembled. It includes thirty hours of work on videotape by fifty-two artists.

  9. The Everson Opens a Video Arts Department


    The Everson opens a video arts department headed by David Ross, a graduate of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. One of the Museum’s first video exhibitions features a collaboration between Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik.

  10. The Everson Museum of Art Opening Weekend


    October 25, 1968
    The Everson Museum hosts a building dedication dinner and celebration of its inaugural exhibition, featuring work from the Rockefeller Collection.

    October 26, 1968
    The Everson hosts a dedication luncheon at the Hotel Syracuse. Dedication ceremonies, including a ribbon-cutting ceremony, are held at the Everson, along with an open house for members, donors, and invited guests.

    October 27, 1968
    The Everson Museum of Art officially opens to the public at noon.

  11. Ground is Broken for Everson Construction


    Ground is broken for construction of the Everson Museum in what is advertised as the first known nighttime groundbreaking ceremony in the country.

  12. I.M. Pei’s Preliminary Design for the Everson is Revealed


    Pei’s preliminary design for the new Everson Museum is unveiled to the public.

  13. The Everson and Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts Boards Announce They Will Merge


    The Everson and Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts Boards announce they will merge under the Everson name and erect a new art museum if the City of Syracuse will provide a site.

  14. Everson Boards of Directors is Officially Established


    The Everson Board of Directors is officially established and the New York State Board of Regents grants a charter for the Everson Museum of Art.

  15. Helen Everson Dies, leaves $1 Million for the Everson Museum of Art


    Helen Everson dies, leaving approximately one million dollars “for the purpose of founding, erecting, and maintaining a Museum of Art to be known as ‘Everson Museum of Art’ to be located in the City of Syracuse, New York.”

  16. The Museum opens on James Street


    The Museum opens in its new location, the former Lynch Mansion on the corner of James and State Streets in downtown Syracuse. The Museum purchased the building from the Knights of Columbus, who had renovated the building to include a new wing and an auditorium.

  17. Anna Olmsted founds the Ceramic Nationals


    Olmsted founds the Ceramic National exhibitions in honor of Adelaide Alsop Robineau. In the first year, the exhibition is called the Robineau Memorial Ceramic Exhibition; eventually the name changes to Ceramic National.

  18. Fernando Carter purchases 32 porcelains by Adelaide Alsop Robineau


    Fernando Carter purchases thirty-two porcelains by Adelaide Alsop Robineau, the first ceramics in the Museum’s collection. The collection includes the Viking Ship Vase.

    Adelaide Alsop Robineau, Viking Ship Vase, 1905, porcelain, 7¼ x 2¾ inches, Everson Museum of Art; Museum purchase, 16.4.1

  19. Fernando Carter purchases American paintings


    Fernando Carter declares the Museum will focus its attention on collecting American paintings, and establishes the Friends of American Art Fund to be used for the purchase of American works. He purchases four paintings this year, including a self portrait by Charles Loring Elliott.

  20. George Fisk Comfort founds the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts


    George Fisk Comfort founds the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum is granted a charter by the Board of Regents of the State University of New York, and opens in the Onondaga County Savings Bank. Comfort serves as the Director.

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