Water/Ways, a Smithsonian Institution Exhibit


In partnership with the Museum Association of New York (MANY), the Erie Canal Museum is hosting Water/Ways, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program. Water/Ways explores water’s effects on migration and settlement, and the relationship between water and politics, economics, and culture. Water/Ways will be on display in the second-floor Weighlock Gallery from June 29 through August 11, 2019. We are honored to be selected as one of only six institutions statewide to host this outstanding exhibition.

We are presenting the following free public programs in association with Water/Ways. We hope you’ll join us for one or all of them!


Interpreted Bicycle RideInterpreted Bicycle Ride

Tuesday, July 16, 6 p.m.

Join staff of the Erie Canal Museum on this recreational bike ride along the route of the Erie Canal in Syracuse, New York. Learn about the 19th century Canal in downtown Syracuse, and explore some of the city’s historic and contemporary Canal systems, including the Creekwalk, the Inner Harbor, and Onondaga Lake. Meet at the Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse. Helmets are required. Free and open to the public.


New York's Queen City: A History of Buffalo

New York’s Queen City: A History of Buffalo

Wednesday, August 1, 12 p.m.

How did Buffalo earn its spot as the western terminus of the Erie Canal? And how did it grow into the Empire State’s second largest city? Learn the answers to these and other questions about this major New York city during our third curator talk of 2019. Ashley Maready will unpack the history of Buffalo, sharing research findings as well as images and archival documents from our collection. Free and open to the public.


More programs added soon!

Check back soon! More programs will be added.




Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Museum Association of New York, and was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Smithsonian Institution logo

Museum Association of New York logo




Water/Ways public programs are supported by a generous grant from the M&T Charitable Foundation.