Tag Archives: Fenimore Art Museum

Native Artisans at the Fenimore Art Museum

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The Fenimore Art Museum welcomes five Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists this summer to spend three days in the museum galleries and outdoors at our Native American interpretive site, Otsego: A Meeting Place. Engaging conversations with these artists offer a delightful, insightful way to learn about traditional Native American art skills that have been handed down for generations.

June 18-20: In addition to traditional pottery, Natasha Smoke Santiago, a self-taught artist, casts the bellies of pregnant women and then forms the casts into sculptural objects incorporating Haudenosaunee craft techniques. She will be creating pottery on site and sharing its relationship to Haudenosaunee tradition and stories.

July 17-19: Penelope S. Minner is a fourth-generation traditional artist making black ash splint baskets and cornhusk dolls. Working in the customary Seneca way, Penny uses no forms for basket shapes and sizes.

August 5-7: Karen Ann Hoffman creates beautiful decorative pieces following the traditions of Iroquois raised beadwork and embodying Iroquoisworldviews.

August 21-23: Ken Maracle creates beads from quahog shells and has been making reproduction wampum belts for more than 25 years. He also makes condolence canes, horn rattles, water drums, and traditional headdresses. He speaks the Cayuga language and is knowledgable about the history of wampum and his people.

August 30-September 1: Iroquois sculptor Vincent Bomberry carves images of Iroquois life in stone.

Artisans will be in the museum galleries and at Otsego: AMeeting Place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During the Artisan Series, visitors can explore the extraordinary Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, a collection of over 800 objects representative of a broad geographic range of North American Indian cultures. Tours of Otsego: A Meeting Place and its Seneca Log House and Mohawk Bark House are also available.

Admission: adults and juniors (13-64) is $12.00; seniors (65+): $10.50; and free for children (12 and under). Admission is always free for NYSHA members, active military, and retired career military personnel. Members enjoy free admission all year.

For more information, visit FenimoreArtMuseum.org.

Major Exhibit of American Impressionsist Masters

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A rare grouping of paintings and sketches from American Impressionist masters will highlight the summer season at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. American Impressionism: Paintings of Light and Life, on view May 26 – September 16, will showcase groundbreaking artists including Childe Hassam,William Merritt Chase, Mary Cassatt, Theodore Robinson, John Henry Twachtman, and others. These adaptors of the French Impressionist style revolutionized the American art scene in the late 19th century and ultimately paved the way to a uniquely American style of painting.

American Impressionism: Paintings of Light and Life features 26 paintings, dating from 1881 to 1942, representing nearly every noted American Impressionist from the period. “The paint, the color, and the light in these works separated them from anything that had been done in this country before,” said Museum President and CEO, Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio. “They can truly be called some of the first, modern American paintings.”

Impressionism was a painting style imported to America after the 1880s. The major catalyst was Paris-based art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel’s 1886 exhibition of French Impressionist paintings in New York. Comprising nearly 300 paintings by Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and others, the exhibition marked the beginning of serious interest in Impressionist art on behalf not only of American collectors, but also American painters.

The artists represented in American Impressionism: Paintings of Light and Life were among the first generation of American painters to utilize the techniques of their French counterparts, such as a brighter palette and the use of broken brushwork. While using innovative techniques, they were traditional in their selection of subject matter, seeking out and painting colorful landscapes, beach scenes, urban views, and perspectives of small town life. The artists had a particular interest in the way light could be captured on canvas.

“The Impressionists believed there was a lot more going on with the play of light on various surfaces than people realized, and that’s what they wanted to express in their painting,” D’Ambrosio added.

These works are on loan from several sources, including The Arkell Museum (Canajoharie, NY), The Florence Griswold Museum (Old Lyme, CT), The Parrish Museum (Southampton, NY), and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY). The exhibition will also feature Bridge at Dolceacqua (1884) by Claude Monet (Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA), an excellent example of French Impressionism that inspired and influenced these American artists.

Illustration: Provincetown, 1900, by Childe Hassam (1859-1935), oil on canvas. Owned by the Arkell Museum Collection, Gift of Bartlett Arkell.

Fenimore Museum Offers Lunch and Lecture Series

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Food for Thought, the popular lunch-and-lecture series at the Fenimore Art Museum, unveils its programs through July, offering an in-depth understanding of the museum’s new exhibitions, including American Impressionism, photography, and Native American art. The2012 series kicks off on April 11 with Between the States: Photographs from the American Civil War, taking a close look at photography’s relationship to the war.

All Food for Thought programs are held on Wednesday from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at the Fenimore Art Museum. The museum offers two price discounts: NYSHA members receive $5.00 off; register for three or more Food for Thought programs at once and receive $2.00 off. Find more information at FenimoreArtMuseum.org. The Food For Thought schedule (through July):

April 11: Between the States: Photographs from the American Civil War

Join Michelle Murdock, Director of Exhibitions, for a discussion and tour of Between the States: Photographs from the American Civil War, a traveling exhibition from the George Eastman House. This exhibition of historical photographs commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and includes photographs by George Barnard, Matthew Brady, and Alexander Gardner. Come for an inspiring walk through our nation’s tumultuous struggle.

April 18: A Lineage of Iroquois Artistry

Explore how Haudenosaunee people have used various materials, techniques, and concepts to communicatetheir identity and express what holds importance in their Native culture. Eva Fognell, Thaw Collection Curator, guides you through A Lineage of Iroquois Artistry for a glimpse into the amazing artistry of the Haudenosaunee people both past and present.

May 2: Reclaiming Gettysburg: Kevin Gray’s Modern Tintypes

Meet artist Kevin Gray as he discusses and guides you through the exhibition of his tintypes, Reclaiming Gettysburg. This exhibition and talk address the human connection to the American landscape and explores the themes of history, nostalgia, and memory through art mediums from digital to tintypes.

May 9: To Great Acclaim: The Homecoming of the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art

The Fenimore Art Museum welcomes back To Great Acclaim: The Homecoming of the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art after its national tour. Thaw Collection Curator Eva Fognell highlights the exhibit’s stellar artifacts, which have won accolades across the nation.

June 6 and July 18: American Impressionism: Paintings of Light and Life

Paul D’Ambrosio, President and CEO, shares his expertise of American Impressionism: Paintings of Light and Life. This discussion and tour emphasizes the influence of Claude Monet on American artists including Childe Hassam, William Merritt Chase, John Twachtman, and Mary Cassatt.

June 13: Highlights from the Metropolitan Opera

Chris Rossi, Associate Curator of Exhibitions, will present Heavenly Aida: Highlightsfrom the Metropolitan Opera and Spellbound: The Metropolitan Opera’s Armide. Exhibition artifacts from the Metropolitan Opera’s archives compliment the mock-ups from the dynamic Glimmerglass Festival 2012 summer productions.

Pricing Information

Lunch and lecture fee: $20 members/$25 non-members. Register for three or more Food for Thought programs at once and receive a discounted price of $18 members/$23 non-members per program. Please call (607) 547-1461 if you have questions regarding pricing.

Food for Thought Cancellation Policy

Registrants who cancel before noon on the Friday before the program will receive a full refund. Registrants who cancel after noon on the Friday before the program will not receive a refund unless the participant’s spot can be filled. If the Fenimore Art Museum cancels a program because of weather, insufficient registration, or any other reason, registrants receive a full refund.

Week-long Summer Youth Programs in Cooperstown

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The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown offer children week-long programs this summer with a unique, hands-on way to experience the museums. Specially designed activities allow participants to see, touch, and do something out of the ordinary.

The museums are now taking reservations for three programs in June and July, which run Monday through Friday. Program sizes are limited, so reservations are required. Please call (607) 547-1461 to reserve your child’s spot. For more information, call or visit FarmersMuseum.org.

Down on the Farm: A Weeklong Experience
(The Farmers’ Museum)

For ages 5-6: June 25-29, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
For ages 7-8: July 23-27, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Spend a fun-filled week experiencing life on a historic farm! Participants take care of animals each morning, and have different adventures in the museum’s historic village each day. Maximum: 16 children. Fee: $175 ($150 NYSHA members)

Week at the Crossroads: A Weeklong Experience
(The Farmers’ Museum)

For ages 9-12: July 16-20, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Kids love this unique hands-on experience of farm and village life circa 1845. Delve into the routine of the 19th-century pharmacist, blacksmith, and farmer. Additional highlights include open-hearth cooking, daily craft activities and a nature walk. Maximum: 20 children. Fee: $250 ($200 NYSHA members)

Galleries Galore: A Weeklong Experience
(Fenimore Art Museum)

For ages 8-11: July 30-August 3, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Spend a week discovering all types of art, including our summer exhibitions featuring American Impressionism and photography. Participants are introduced to the fundamentals of art such as line, shape, color and perspective while experimenting with different artist mediums and styles. Participants create a still-life emphasizing use of light and color, and explore photography with Kevin Gray and his exhibition of tintypes, Reclaiming Gettysburg. This week-long experience culminates with a special exhibition of the students’ artworks and a reception for their parents, family, and friends. Maximum: 10 children. Fee: $250 ($200 NYSHA members)

First Quilt Exhibit at Fenimore in 15 Years

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The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York will open a new exhibition on September 24 titled Unfolding Stories: Culture and Tradition in American Quilts, organized by renowned quilt scholar Jacqueline M. Atkins. The exhibition will be on view through December 31. This marks the first time in over 15 years that the Fenimore will display selections from its substantial collection of historical quilts some dating from the early 19th century.

The exhibition explores the many connections that are made throughout and across cultures through the art ofquilting, as well as how these connections have changed over time and place. Almost every culture offers some form of quilting within its textile tradition, yet only in the United States do we see a confluence of traditions, cultures, ethnicities, and innovations that produces the richly diverse quilting culture that exists today.

On view will be approximately 24 quilts distinguished by their design, pattern, and workmanship. The quilts are organized to examine six themes ranging from the history and inventiveness of this time-honored practice to the role that quilts play in revealing values, culture, traditions, and beliefs. Unfolding Stories pieces together this intricate patchwork of diverse connections into a fascinating narrative that grows out of stories embedded in the quilts themselves. Quilts on display include pictorial narratives, one-patch designs, crazy quilts, cut-outs, star quilts, and signature quilts.

“Unfolding Stories looks at how various cultures interpret different designs within the quilting tradition,” remarked Director of Exhibitions at the Fenimore Art Museum, Michelle Murdock. “It demonstrates how cultural and cross-cultural connections are made through design processes as well. Quilts continue to provide visually powerful yet ever-changing texts for us to read, interpret, learn from, andenjoy,” Murdock added.

Also included are the three award-winning quilts from The Farmers’ Museum’s 2010 New York State of Mind Quilt Show. The exhibition is sponsored in part by Fenimore Asset Management.

The exhibition will compliment the many folk art related activities taking place this fall at the Museum including the exhibition Inspired Traditions: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection ofAmericana opening October 1. Join us across the street at The Farmers’ Museum for this year’s A New York State of Mind Quilt Show – October 8 and 9.

The Fenimore Art Museum’s 2011 Americana Symposium will be held on September 30 and October 1. This new annual event will bring together leading scholars and experts on American history, art, and culture.

Photo: “Trade and Commerce” Quilt Top by Hannah Stockton Stiles (b. 1800), ca. 1835. Possibly Delaware River Valley. Cotton, cotton chintz. 105 x 89 in. Gift of Hannah Lee Stokes. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York.

Americana Symposium at Fenimore Art Museum

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On September 30 and October 1, the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York will host an Americana Symposium, “Inspired Traditions.” This new event, which is expected to be an annual occurrence, will feature distinguished scholars who will present their research on a variety of topics represented by the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana – a privately held folk art collection – as well as the folk art collection of the Fenimore Art Museum.

Presenters include Robin Jaffee Frank, David A. Schorsch, Robert Shaw, and other folk art and Americana specialists including Jane Katcher, Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio (President and CEO of the New York State Historical Association / Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum), Eva Fognell (Curator of The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art), Richard Miller, and Robert Wilkins.

The symposium will coincide with the opening of the Fenimore Art Museum’s fall exhibitions – Inspired Traditions: Selections from Jane Katcher Collection of Americana and Unfolding Stories: Culture and Tradition in American Quilts. Both exhibitions run through December 31, 2011.

A new book, “Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, Vol. II” will also be released at that time.

The symposium schedule includes a welcome reception and attendee dinner on Friday, September 30. On Saturday, October 1, there will be morning and afternoon speaker sessions with a buffet lunch at noon. Attendees will also have time to explore the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum. Fee: $75 ($65 New York State Historical Association members). For a complete schedule or to registeronline, visit FeninmoreArtMuseum.org/symposium or call (607) 547-1453.

Photo: Flying Fame weathervane, Possibly New York, circa 1880–1890. Copper, zinc, traces of original gold leaf, verdigris, 30 × 31 × 12 inches.

8th Contemporary Iroquois Art Biennial Opening

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The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York will host the 8th Contemporary Iroquois Art Biennial: 4 Artists Under 30 – opening Saturday, August 27. The exhibition will feature the work of four young women from the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, Confederacy: Lauren Jimerson (Seneca); Awenheeyoh Powless (Onondaga); Leah Shenandoah (Oneida); and Natasha Smoke Santiago (Mohawk). The exhibition was organized by guest curator G. Peter Jemison and will be on view through December 31, 2011.

These four young women are influenced by their heritage as Haudenosaunee but have also sought unique ways to express their individual vision – incorporating music, three dimensional objects, castings, as well as traditional methods to bring their work to life.

Awenheeyoh Powless, a recent graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, has incorporated Iroquois music and traditional dance steps to create paintings with her feet on un-stretched canvas – using foot movements to apply the acrylic colors.

Leah Shenandoah, another recent graduate of RIT, has focused on three dimensional objects that are across between sculpture and painting. The objects are made of stretched fabric on a wire frame to which paint has been applied as a stain. They are exhibited hung from the gallery’s ceiling in a grouping.

Lauren Jimerson, currently in her final year at RIT, uses pastel on paper to create portraiture.

Natasha Smoke Santiago, a self-taught artist who has been actively exhibiting her art since she was a teenager, casts the bellies of pregnant women and then forms the casts into sculptural objects incorporating traditional Haudenosaunee craft techniques. The bellies are turned into pottery or elaborate baskets with materials resembling splints.

Image: Pastel on paper by Haudenosaunee artist Lauren Jimerson.

New Native American Area Opens at Fenimore

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The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, has officially unveiled “Otsego: A Meeting Place” – its latest addition to the Native American Interpretive Area and Trail.

Located on north side of the Fenimore’s expansive back lawn, the new area consists of the recently relocated Seneca Log House, a “Three Sisters Garden,” a pond, and other features pertaining to a settlement of this type in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The Seneca Log House is a single-family log house typical for most reservation Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) families during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Adjacent to the house is a “Three Sisters Garden” with corn, beans, and squash. Medicinal plants are grown in their natural environment in the surrounding woodlands.

Museum admission, which includes entry to “Otsego: A Meeting Place,” is $12 for adults and $10.50 for seniors. Children (age 12 and under), members of the New York State Historical Association, as well as active and retired career military personnel always receive free admission. Visit FenimoreArtMuseum.org for more information and full schedule.

Photo: Otsego: A Meeting Place.

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.

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.