The Vestal Museum is a department of the Town of Vestal and is an organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of local history. The Vestal Museum serves as the repository of local artifacts and archives. Public education is accomplished through collection care, exhibits and public and school programs. Museum programs are developed in cooperation with Vestal Historical Society members and community volunteers.
Along with being an exhibition space and gallery, The Vestal Museum is a public space where people are welcome to spend a quiet hour reading, or use as a shared work space. Artists should feel welcome to set up shop during museum hours to paint and sketch. We have two public computers and wifi on hand. The museum can be a meeting place for book clubs, child play groups, or any other group who needs a space to meet. And we will make you a cup of tea or coffee.
Built in 1881, the D.L. & W. depot at Vestal opened in time for the first scheduled passenger train on October 3rd. Abandoned after the 1960 merger of the D.L. & W and Erie railroads, the station was used as a warehouse until the Town of Vestal purchased it for $201 to use as a Museum. On a cold, snowy December day in 1972 the depot was moved to the library campus where four years of restoration by the Town and Vestal Historical Society began. On June 4, 1976, the depot opened as the town Museum under the stewardship of the Historical Society.
The same Carpenter Gothic style was used for other depots on both the D.L. & W. and Erie lines. Restoration of the 73 foot long depot included replacing rotted siding, installing a new bathroom, replacing the furnace, constructing stairs to the basement, adding decking for easy access, repairing the slate roof, and finishing with a good coat of paint. The depot remains largely unchanged after 136 years and it still promises adventure to all who enter.
The building was designated a local historic landmark in 2012.
Join us Saturday August 3rd from 1PM-3PM for the opening of an art exhibition featuring the work of Tom Besom. The exhibition will be on display through Saturday September 21st.
“My work represents the intersection of two movements in art history: minimalism and neo-surrealism. When I started doing sculpture in the early 1980s, I caught the tail end of minimalism. Following the precepts of the movement, I tried to make pieces that were “cool” rather than “emotional.” I emphasized simple geometric shapes. And I removed any hint of myself, as the artist, from the work; for instance, in painting the sculptures, I ensured that the brushwork was invisible. I tended to use a bright palette, consisting of primary and secondary colors, or employed a color triad that is important in other cultures. The triad consists of black, white, and red. I also sought to blur the distinction between sculpture and painting. While a student at the University of Virginia, I took part in a neo-surrealist movement. I started using dream imagery in my work, often juxtaposing everyday objects in surprising ways. The point was to elevate the ordinary to the realm of the fantastic.” – an excerpt from Tom Besom’s artist statement
The Vestal Museum is located at 328 Vestal Pkwy E, Vestal, NY 13850 next to the Vestal Public Library. It is open Thursdays and Fridays from 10AM-2PM, Saturdays from 10AM-3PM, and Sundays from 1PM-3PM.