The Charles E. Gagnon Museum & Sculpture Garden preserves and promotes the life and work of Rochester sculptor Charles Chuck Gagnon (1934-2012). Located in his home, the museum was established by his wife, Arlyn, in 2018. Gagnon created bronze sculptures over a 50-year career and his work is known around the world. The museum offers tours of the home, galleries, and studio. There is also a library open to art students. Special exhibitions of Gagnon's work are held throughout the year.
Charles Eugene Gagnon was born on February 24, 1934 in Minneapolis. He showed an interest and aptitude for art at a young age, especially in drawing and carving. He would carve a variety of materials including soap, wood, clay and, interestingly, potatoes. In addition to art, he loved golf, baseball, and speed skating. As a young man, he joined the Navy in 1952 and later attended in the University of Minnesota, earning his master's degree in 1960.
His first studio, a carriage house, was located on the property of a friend's house and he held his first show in their yard. Over time, his reputation for creating memorable sculptures grew. Notable sculptures of his include the Dancer Stretching, the Dancer at Rest, the Renaissance Man and Woman, Celebration/Emergence of Life (this is housed in the Vatican Art Collection), and Peace Fountain. After Gagnon passed away in 2012, Arlyn began the process of converting the home into a museum. It opened in August, 2018.