Barrow Gallery: A Finger Lakes Treasure

August 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

Pastoral Scene in the Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes scene looking similar to today

One of my favorite Finger Lakes Treasures is hidden right in downtown Skaneateles. It is the John D. Barrow Art Gallery.  The Gallery is a red brick building attached to the Skaneateles Public Library,  located at 49 East Genesee Street. (Route 20).

This tiny gallery contains around 300 paintings — all by John D Barrow, and has been open since 1900.

Who is John D. Barrow?

John Dodgson Barrow was both a landscape painter and portrait painter.  Born in New York City, he moved with his family to the small, central New York town of Skaneateles in 1839.  This moved was important to Barrow, since the majority of his paintings are of people and places located in or near this Finger Lakes village.

Shortly after this move, Barrow was sent to England for his schooling, where he began his lifelong study of painting.  On his return, he moved to New York City where, in 1856, he opened a studio. Barrow was influenced while in New York City by George Inness (1825-1894), who encouraged Barrow’s new interest in landscape painting.  Inness was a member of the Hudson River School, and later Barrow’s art was classified as “second generation” Hudson River School.  Barrow landscapes glorify nature, especially in their use of light.

Painting by John D. Barrow

Winter scene from the Barrow Gallery

Between 1852 and 1879, Barrow’s works were included in nineteen of the Annual Exhibitions at the National Academy of Design.  His paintings were also exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Boston Athenaeum, and the Union League of New York.

Barrow returned to Skaneateles in the 1880’s and remained there for the rest of his life.  He continued to paint, taught art at Syracuse Univeristy, and wrote both poetry and art criticism.  In 1900 he designed and built, at his own expense, the John D. Barrow Art Gallery in order to best display his paintings. A unique feature of the gallery is the wainscoting display of many of these paintings.

Skaneatleles art gallery

A view of the John D Barrow Art Gallery

In addition to the more than 300 paintings in the Gallery’s collection, Barrow’s works hang in the Onondaga Historical Association and in the main Onondaga County Public Library in Syracuse.

Barrow Gallery in Skaneateles New Yorkhours (subject to change) : January-April Thursday & Friday 10-3
May-Labor Day Monday-Friday 1-4 Saturday 11-4
Labor Day-Thanksgiving Thursday & Friday 10-3
Thanksgiving-Christmas Thursday-Saturday 1-4

Private hours by Appointment 315 685-5135



Entry filed under: Activities, Art Galleries, Finger Lakes, Gallery, New York, Skaneateles Lake. Tags: , , , , .

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