The Rockwell Museum of Western Art, a fixture in Corning since 1976, will now be known as simply The Rockwell Museum.

The Rockwell Museum of Western Art, a fixture in Corning since 1976, will now be known as simply The Rockwell Museum.

The museum announced its new name, a rebranding initiative and a new family exploration studio during a press conference Tuesday.

Beth Manwaring, marketing and communications director for The Rockwell Museum, said the museum’s rebranding isn’t a complete overhaul.

“This isn’t a reinvention of the museum, its programs, exhibits or services. The name consolidation is simply a rebranding device to help show the other side of what we do and what we offer the community,” Manwaring said, referring to youth educational programs, public events and other offerings.

As part of the rebrand, The Rockwell’s staff and board members will focus on enhancing the visitor experience, with an updated logo and website, as well as a new family exploration studio and a refreshed admission lobby and shop downstairs.

Each improvement offers a chance for a more hands-on experience - something Manwaring believes is necessary in order to keep up with the changing times.

“Our museum audience demands more than just art on a wall. They’re active participants; they’re not just spectators,” Manwaring said. “They expect innovative, creative and engaging learning experiences.”

Having been involved with the museum in various capacities since 1976, The Rockwell’s Executive Director Kristin Swain has experienced multiple changes in the museum.

“I’ve witnessed the growth of our collections, the development of our significant educational program and all of the services that The Rockwell provides to the community,” Swain said. “This is just another evolution in the history of The Rockwell Museum.”

Swain also cited the growth of Finger Lakes tourism as a major factor in the museum’s rebranding.

“Just as important as the growth of The Rockwell, I’ve witnessed the deliberate and organic growth of the Finger Lakes region,” Swain said. “Making our community a rich destination for residents and visitors.”

The idea for the rebranding initiative was hatched approximately two years ago, and the redesign began in February.

As for the simplification of the name, Swain says the museum followed the lead of its audience.

“Everybody in the region refers to us as The Rockwell, so we’re just going back to those roots,” Swain said.