Tag Archives: Cooperstown

American Modernism at Fenimore Museum

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Some of the best of American Modernist art will be featured at the Fenimore Art Museum this summer in Prendergast to Pollock: American Modernism from the Munson-Williams Proctor Arts Institute. This exhibition, which opened last week, showcases 35 key works from every major artist from the first half of the 20th century, including Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko.

Organized by subject matter, the exhibition displays the radical transformation of art in the early 20th-century. In an innovative interpretation, three thematic sections—landscapes, figure studies, and still lifes—will reference 19th-century traditions that the artworks were built upon.

Exhibition labels will refer Museum visitors to other galleries in the Museum where they can view examples of these precedents. Museum President and CEO, Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio, explains: “These three subject areas of the exhibition reflect the 19th-century pieces in the Permanent Collection of the Fenimore Art Museum. The interpretation itself will help bridge the gap between traditionalism and modernism, allowing the exhibition to resonate with fans of both styles.”

While some celebrated 20th-century painters built upon 19th-century artistic traditions, others consciously sought to rebel against those same traditions. It began with the Ashcan school protesting against elitism by being more inclusive with their subject matter. As the American Modernism movement grew, Abstract Expressionism liberated color and form from the description of objects, creating the revolutionary artwork featured in the fourth and final section of the exhibition.

This sea of change brought the center of the art world to New York City, shifting away from the traditional capitol of Paris. Prendergast to Pollock uniquely represents the art of this era.

This traveling exhibition was organized by the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts institute Museum of Art, Utica, New York. The national tour sponsor for the exhibition is the MetLife Foundation. The Henry Luce Foundation provided funding for the conservation of artworks in the exhibition.

For more information visit the Fenimore Art Museum’s website.

Illustration: Jackson Pollock. Number 34, 1949, 1949. Enamel on paper mounted on masonite. 22 x 30-1/2 in. Edward W. Root Bequest. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY.

Farmers’ Museum Exhibit: New York’s Good Eats!

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Do the words “Buffalo Wings” make your mouth water or do you prefer Shredded Wheat? Either way, you can thank New York State for bringing you both of these foods and many others as well. A new exhibition at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown tells the story of the foods that got their start in New York State. New York’s Good Eats! Our Fabulous Foods opens this Saturday, May 28th.

Several foods commonly eaten everyday across the nation were invented or first produced in New York State. Buffalo wings and potato chips are probably the most famous, but Thousand Island dressing was also created in the Empire State, and celery was first commercially farmed here. The exhibition will profile over a dozen foods – everything from Jell-O to Lifesavers to ice cream sundaes.

“New York has a rich agricultural and culinary history,” says Museum Curator Erin Richardson. “The whole family will enjoy learning about their favorite foods, discovering how they got their start, how they’ve changed, and the impact they have had.” In addition to fun food facts, New York’s Good Eats! will showcase important objects and artifacts, such as the oldest known tomato ketchup recipe, classic Jell-O molds, and an original packing crate for Shredded Wheat.

This new exhibition promises to be popular—not only because of the topic, but also because of how it is designed. “The Farmers’ Museum has developed an innovative, hands-on approach to engage visitors of all ages with this exhibition,” says Richardson. “From recipe sharing to an interactive family guide to trivia quizzes and coloring stations, there is something fun for everyone.”

New York’s Good Eats! Our Fabulous Foods opens Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday, May 28th in the Main Barn of The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. The exhibition will run through October 2012. It is sponsored in part by Price Chopper, The Tianederrah Foundation, WMHT, Savor New York, and The New York State Council on the Arts. Visit FarmersMuseum.org for more information.

Illustration: The Saratoga Specialties Company makes potato chips according to the original recipe used by George Crum. The chips are made by hand and packaged in replica Moon’s Lake House take-out boxes. Ccourtesy of Saratoga Specialties Company.

Fenimore Features Edward Hopper Exhibit

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An exhibition showcasing the life work of noted 20th-century artist Edward Hopper opens May 28th at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. A Window into Edward Hopper will focus on the evolution of Hopper’s work from the 1890s to the 1930s, giving visitors a deeper insight into the man, his process, and his art.

As part of an innovative collaboration, the exhibition coincides with The Glimmerglass Festival’s presentation of Later the Same Evening, a 2007 contemporary opera based on five Hopper paintings. The opera brings the paintings to life and eventually intertwines them on a single night in New York City in 1932. One of the arias, “Out My One Window,” serves as the inspiration for the title of Fenimore Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition.

Approximately 40 works will be on display in the exhibition including early watercolors, etchings, drawings, and major oil paintings. Fenimore Art Museum President and CEO, Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio, comments, “In compiling this exhibition, we selected works that share the sensibility andstyle that Hopper is known for – an exploration of solitude and the desire for connection. Whether painting an urban or costal setting, the distinctive qualities of Hopper’s artistic vision come through.” Hopper played a key role in bridging the gap between traditionalists and modernists. His work is rooted in realism but his streamlined compositions capture the essence of modern American life.

A Window Into Edward Hopper is the first major exhibition of Hopper’s works in Central New York. A surprising fact, given that two of Hopper’s patrons, Edward Root and Stephen C. Clark, were based in the area.

For more information about this and other exhibitions, visit the Fenimore Art Museum’s website.

Illustration: Freight Cars, Gloucester, 1929. Oil on Canvas, 29 x 40 1/8. Gift of Edward Wales Root in recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the Addison Gallery. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts.

Grants for School Travel to Cooperstown Museums

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The Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York, have received a donation from KeyBank for $5,000. The gift was given to support travel grant opportunities that will cover transportation costs for fourth grade students, in Otsego County and the surrounding region, planning to visit the Museums. These grants will pay partial or total transportation costs depending on the school’s location and need.

The programs are currently available for the fourth grade only. For Otsego County fourth grade students, both bussing and admissions can be covered by this grant. For students outside of Otsego County, NYSHA is offering matching grants to PTOs or schools who are providing most of the costs of the field trips.

“We know that school budgets are tighter than ever, and we thank KeyBank for their part in supporting this much needed program to bring students to our museums,” said John Buchinger, Associate Director of Education at the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum.

Summer Kids Program at Farmers Museum

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The Farmers’ Museum, one of the nation’s premier rural history museums, is currently recruiting for this summer’s Young Interpreter program. Boys and girls between the ages of 12 to 14, as of May 1st, are invited to apply by May 15th.

Young Interpreters have the opportunity to work in various selected sites throughout The Farmers’ Museum including: Peleg Field Blacksmith Shop, Lippitt Farmhouse, Dr. Thrall’s Pharmacy, The Middlefield Printing Office, Todd’s General Store, the Children’s Barnyard, or developing spinning and weaving skills. “This program is so popular because the boys and girls who participate enjoy working one-on-one with our experienced staff to learn new and unique skills,” says program manager Gwen Miner. “Plus, the leadership and presentation skills they gain over the summer are life-long benefits.”

A limited number of students will be accepted for the program; the application process is competitive. To apply, submit by May 15th a one to two page letter expressing your interest and reasons for wanting to be a Young Interpreter, as well as, an explanation of which apprenticeship you would like and why. Mail to: Young Interpreter Program, The Farmers’ Museum, P.O. Box 30, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Letters of reference are not necessary.

A committee of museum staff will review the applications. Applicants will be chosen based on their commitment and interest, maturity, willingness to learn, and ease with the public.

Young interpreters are expected to work one day a week for a period of eight weeks, beginning the last week in June and ending the last week in August. Students applying for the Young Interpreter Program must have parental permission and transportation to the Museum during the course of the program.

The program takes place at The Farmers’ Museum, a premier rural history museum established in 1943. The Museum presents the trades and crafts common to ordinary people of rural 19th-century New York State in its historic village and farmstead.

Applications for Fenimore’s ‘Art By The Lake’ Due

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Fenimore Art Museum is still accepting submissions for its outdoor, juried art competition – which attracted over 800 visitors last year from all over the region. The 4th annual Art By The Lake will be held Saturday, August 6, 2011 on the Museum’s grounds overlooking Otsego Lake.

Art by the Lake is a juried art invitational celebrating artists and landscape. An artist’s information packet and application is available on the Museum’s website at FenimoreArtMuseum.org/lake.

Selected artists will have the opportunity to display, demonstrate, and sell their art. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

• Best Interpretation of New York Landscape

• Most Outstanding Use of Color

• Most Original Style

• Audience Favorite

Judges’ decisions will be based on creativity, craftsmanship, and relationship to the landscape theme.

Applications must be postmarked by May 2, 2011. (Late applications may be accepted at the discretion of the jury if space is available.) Artists will be notified of their acceptance by May 16, 2011, at which point they will receive detailed event information and an artist’s contract.

In addition to showcasing outstanding artists in all genres of landscape art, Art By the Lake features interactive demonstrations, educational programming, live entertainment, and tastings of some of the best food, wine, and beer from across the state, all with the backdrop of the spectacular Otsego Lake.

New President of Farmers’ Museum, NYSHA

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The election of Dr. Paul D’Ambrosio as President of The Farmers’ Museum/New York State Historical Association was announced yesterday by Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of The Farmers’ Museum, Inc. and Dr. Douglas E. Evelyn, Chairman of The New York State Historical Association, effective April 1, 2011.

Dr. D’Ambrosio succeeds D. Stephen Elliott as President and C.E.O. Mr. Elliott, who served nearly six years as President, has been appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Minnesota Historical Society.

In a joint statement, Jane Forbes Clark and Douglas Evelyn said, “although we are sorry that Steve Elliott is leaving Cooperstown after six very productive years, we have a most capable successor in Paul D’Ambrosio. Paul’s leadership, experience and creativity have been on ample display at The Farmers’ Museum and The Fenimore Art Museum, and we are fortunate to have such a worthy and skilled museum professional within our ranks to promote to our highest administrative position.”

Mr. Elliott stated that “it has been an honor to work with the very capable and dedicated staffs of the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum and I look forward to applying what I have learned from my colleagues in Cooperstown to my forthcoming work with another of America’s premier history institutions.”

Paul D’Ambrosio has been associated with The Farmers’ Museum, The New York State Historical Association and its Fenimore Art Museum for 26 years. He has been Vice President and Chief Curator since 1998 and has been responsible for organizing and traveling exhibits, acquisitions, publications, research, academic study and the care of objects. Dr. D’Ambrosio has also taken the lead role in the adoption of the many new forms of social media at the Museums, thereby making their collections and programs open and accessible (see his blog). In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor of Museum Studies at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, a Member of the American Folk Art Society and has served as a Museum Panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts.

A nationally recognized expert of American Folk Art, Dr. D’Ambrosio is the author of Ralph Fasanella’s America, numerous exhibition catalogs and articles, and co-author of Folk Art’s Many Faces. He holds a B.A. from SUNY Cortland, an M.A. from SUNY Oneonta’s Cooperstown Graduate Program and a Ph.D. from Boston University. Dr. D’Ambrosio, his wife Anna and their family reside in New Hartford, New York.

The Farmers’ Museum, founded in 1943, is an educational organization devoted to presenting the lives of ordinary people and the agricultural and trade processes of rural 19th century New York State; it is one of the oldest and most popular continuously operating outdoor museums in the United States. Founded in 1899, The New York State Historical Association preserves and exhibits objects and documents significant to New York history and American culture. The Association is home to The Fenimore Art Museum that features collections of American folk art, 19th century American fine art, and the acclaimed Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.

Photo: Paul D’Ambrosio with students form the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

Fenimore’s Art by the Lake Set for Saturday

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The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown announces its third annual juried art event celebrating the relationship between artists and the landscape – Art by the Lake, taking place Saturday, August 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the Museum’s expansive back lawn. The event offers plein-air painting demonstrations, exhibits of works by contemporary landscape artists, music, educational programs, and samplings of New York State foods and beverages – all in a lavish setting overlooking Otsego Lake.

Art by the Lake is a juried art competition featuring 12 selected artists. These artists, chosen this past May, include Jessica Dalrymple (oil), Evelyn Dankovich (Oil, Watercolor, Acrylic), Denise Dolge (Pastel), Grant Dolge (Pastel), Lois Holz (Watercolor), Tom Hussey (oil), Bill Mowson (Watercolor), Marilyn A. Roveland (watercolor), Elaine Wentworth (watercolor, acrylic), Meg Anderson Argo (Soft Pastels), Andrea House (Oil), and Susan Jones Kenyon (Oil). A panel of judges will determine awards for categories such as “Best Interpretation of a New York Landscape,” Most Outstanding Use of Color,” and others. There will be spectator voting for the “Audience Favorite” until 2:30 p.m. The award ceremony takes place at 3:00 p.m.

The Museum will provide tours of current exhibitions including Empire Waists, Bustles & Lace: A Century of New York Fashion with curator Chris Rossi (11:00 a.m.); Watermark with artist Michele Harvey (12:00 p.m.); In Our Time: The World as Seen by Magnum Photographers with curator Michelle Murdock (1:00 p.m.); and John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Praise of Women with chief curator Paul D’Ambrosio (2:00 p.m.). The Mohawk Bark House and Interpretive Trail will also be open in the afternoon.

Author Marian Mullet will be signing copies of her book, Richard Andrew: Called to Paint, throughout the day and Cynthia Marsh will have information available on the Oneonta Mural Project.

In addition to the art, there will be children’s activities from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. including lawn games such as bocce and croquet. Kids can also create their own postcard and partake in an afternoon tea (1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.).

Art by the Lake provides delectable culinary experiences including wine and beer tastings from Cooperstown Brewing Company and Four Chimneys Organic Winery (11:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.). The Museum’s food staff will create dishes incorporating ingredients from local sources – available for purchase from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 pm. Cabot/McCadam Cheese will offer samples and the Fenimore Art Museum Café will be open throughout the day.

Admission to the event is free with paid admission to the Fenimore Art Museum. Adults (13-64): $12.00 and seniors (65+): $10.50. Members of NYSHA, children 12 and under, as well as active and retired career military (must present card at admissions) are free.

Visit their website for more information at FenimoreArtMuseum.org/lake.

Lecture to Focus on Southern Otsego County

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Join Mark Simonson as he discusses the development of southern Otsego County as well as the preservation work of Hanford Mills and Hyde Hall – both co-sponsors of the lecture. Mr. Simonson is the Otsego City Historian and an interpreter at The Farmers’ Museum. The lecture will be held in the auditorium of the Fenimore Art Museum on Tuesday, June 8, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The Fenimore Art Museum, located on the shores of Otsego Lake — James Fenimore Cooper’s “Glimmerglass Lake” — in historic Cooperstown, New York, features a wide-ranging collection of American art.

Fenimore Art Museum exhibits include: folk art; important American 18th- and 19th-century landscape, genre, and portrait paintings; an extensive collection of domestic artifacts; more than 125,000 historical photographs representing the technical developments made in photography and providing extensive visual documentation of the region’s unique history; and the renowned Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art comprising more than 800 art objects representative of a broad geographic range of North American Indian cultures, from the Northwest Coast, Eastern Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Great Lakes, and Prairie regions. Founded in 1945, the Fenimore Art Museum is NYSHA’s showcase museum.