Founded by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1967 as the “cultural gem of the SUNY system,” Purchase College has long been fertile ground for artists, explorers, and intellectuals.
He envisioned a campus where conservatory training in the visual and performing arts would reside alongside programs in the liberal arts and sciences, based on the principle that arts and scholarship are indispensable to each other and to an enlightened society.
The City Within the Country
The choice of 500 acres of rural land was initially contested and the location criticized for its liminal proximity to New York City. But Rockefeller was intent on creating a landmark campus, and invited the creative muscle to bring his dreams to fruition.
Rockefeller enlisted renowned architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, whose master plan for the campus was loosely based on Thomas Jefferson’s for the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. Barnes clustered the buildings in a village center surrounded by the vast open space he left preserved. He brought together a team of the era’s leading architects to design the individual buildings and chose the ubiquitous brown brick as a means to unify the disparate designs of Philip Johnson and John Burgee; Venturi and Rauch; Paul Rudolph; Gunnar Birkerts; Norman C. Fletcher; and Gwathmey, Henderson, and Siegel.
Our arts organizations have been a point of pride from the very start. The Neuberger Museum of Art formed when Rockefeller approached financier Roy R. Neuberger to donate a portion of his significant American art collection to found a museum that would bear his name. The initial gift in 1969 and the additional objects donated over time form the Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Collection, nearly 900 objects that are the heart and soul of the more than 7,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, installations, and time-based work that now make up the museum’s permanent collection.
The Performing Arts Center (PAC) is another example of our dedication to the arts. A four-theatre complex that presents a full season of professional performing arts, it also provides the space for conservatory productions each semester.
Both the Neuberger and the PAC embrace education as their core mission and tie their programs to our academics as well as connect us to the surrounding community.
Purchase Through The Years
- <h3 class="gallery-title"> Photos</h3><a href="/live/galleries/57-historical-images"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/18/width/350/height/250/crop/1/1945_strathglassfarm-LG.rev.1481830642.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/18/width/350/height/250/crop/1/1945_strathglassfarm-LG.rev.1481830642.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/18/width/350/height/250/crop/1/1945_strathglassfarm-LG.rev.1481830642.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/18/width/350/height/250/crop/1/1945_strathglassfarm-LG.rev.1481830642.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/18/width/350/height/250/crop/1/1945_strathglassfarm-LG.rev.1481830642.jpg" alt="Historical Images" width="350" height="250" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/18/width/350/height/250/crop/1/1945_strathglassfarm-LG.rev.1481830642.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1024" data-max-h="724" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a><h4><a href="/live/galleries/57-historical-images">Historical Images</a></h4><div></div>