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Bevier Gallery exhibition announcements

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0659

Scope and Contents

The earliest piece in this collection is a 1903 "Exhibition of Arts & Crafts held at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute from April 15th to the 25th. The announcement states, "The Directors of the Mechanics Institute of Rochester take pleasure in making the announcement that the finest exhibtition of Arts and Crafts ever seen in this country will be held at the Eastman Building." This was before benefactor Susan Bevier had pledged money for an arts building to be built in memory of her daughter. The Bevier Memorial Building was built in 1910 and served the Institute until the campus moved in 1968. Within this building, the beautiful three story building designed by Rochester architect, Claude Bragdon, was a gallery space. Some of the early exhibitions in this space were "Rochester Home Furnishings" in the early 1920's. Later, the gallery was used more to showcase works from the School of Art and Design faculty and students.

This collection of announcements continues through to current years, giving a look at who and what was on display in this premier space on the Henrietta campus.


  • Creation: 1950-2015

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Susan A. Bevier (1821-1903), née Nelson, was born in May 1821 and eventually married Henry H. Bevier. Although Henry was originally from Binghamton, NY, he moved to New York City sometime after 1863. The Beviers were a prominent family in Manhattan, having achieved financial success. Susan Bevier, an art enthusiast, visited family and friends in Rochester, NY every summer. She actively collected artwork and was a proponent of art education. Thus, when Mrs. Bevier passed away she left a large portion of her estate to the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (renamed the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1944).

Susan Bevier had already given financial support to the Institute's Department of Fine Arts. The money she left in her will was to be used to construct and equip a fine arts building, as well as support the program's instruction costs. The building was to have a permanent gallery, classrooms, and workshops. In addition, an auditorium was to be included in the structure and named in memory of Bevier's daughter, Alice D. Bevier. Alice died on March 2, 1896. Mrs. Bevier also specified in her will that any remaining funds should be used to purchase artwork for the school on an annual basis.

The Bevier Memorial Building was erected in 1910 on the site of Colonel Nathaniel Rochester's house. Colonel Rochester purchased land in 1803 that eventually became the city of Rochester, NY. The building, designed by architect Claude F. Bragdon, housed the Institute's various art programs, as well as the Bevier art collection and officially opened on December 4, 1911. Then, the Institute relocated from the city of Rochester to the suburbs of Henrietta in 1968. A gallery in the James E. Booth building on the new campus was named the Bevier Gallery in Mrs. Bevier's honor.

Throughout the years, the school of Art and Design of RIT continued a vital and stimulating exhibition schedule in the Bevier Gallery. These exhibitions brought many successful painters, designers, photographers and sculptors, exposing them to the RIT student body and to the city of Rochester.


0.5 Linear Feet (2 doc boxes)




A collection of exhibition announcements beginning as early as 1903 at the Mechanics Institute in Rochester, NY before the Bevier Building was built, through the most current exhibition schedule and announcements at the Bevier Gallery today.


Exhibition announcements are in chronological order.


Annual accruals are expected.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in July 2016.

Bevier Gallery exhibition announcements
RIT Archives
Jody Sidlauskas
20 July 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA