Tag Archives: New York State Museum

State Museum Acquires Woodstock Art Colony Artwork


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St. Lawrence River Sunset The New York State Museum has announced the acquisition of a significant collection of artwork of the historic Woodstock Art Colony. The collection includes 1,500 paintings, works on paper, sculptures, and archival material and represents more than 170 artists from the early 20th century art colony in Woodstock.

Long before the famous music event in 1969, Woodstock was home to what is considered America’s first intentional year-round arts colony: the historic Woodstock Art Colony, founded in 1902. Its artists have been the focus of collector and donor Arthur Anderson for three decades, resulting in the largest comprehensive art collection of its type. The artists in the collection reflect the diversity of the artists who came to Woodstock, including Birge Harrison, Robert Henri, George Bellows, Eugene Speicher, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Anderson recently donated the collection to the New York State Museum, where the collection will be transferred and permanently housed. Continue reading

World War I Exhibition Opens At NYS Museum


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The State Museum opened A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War on April 15. On display through June 3, 2018, the exhibition explores New York’s role in World War I and features artifacts, images, posters, and documents from the collections of the State Museum, State Archives, State Library, and cultural institutions from across the state.

The exhibition is organized into six distinct areas covering New York’s participation in the war both at home and on the warfront, and features a life-size recreation of a trench on the Western Front. In addition, the Museum will offer an online exhibition featuring an interactive World War I timeline and a teacher’s guide (to be launched later this spring) and an exhibition catalogue (to be published by SUNY Press in December 2017).  Continue reading

State Museum Creates New York State History Advisory Group


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The New York State Museum has announced the creation of the New York State History Advisory Group. The group is expected to meet, according to an announcement sent to the press, “periodically to advise the New York State Historian on issues related to the history field in New York State, including suggestions pertaining to local and municipal historians, academic history, historic preservation, and heritage tourism.” The Advisory Group’s suggestions and recommendations are “purely advisory in nature and are nonbinding” the announcement said. Continue reading

Bruce Dearstyne: The New York Statehood Trail


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1777 New York State ConstitutionAs discussed in a previous post on this New York History Blog, the state’s historical community might want to consider organizing an effort to commemorate New York State’s Birthday.

We could use April 20, the date the first State Constitution was completed in Kingston in 1777, or April 22, the date it was first read and officially proclaimed, bringing the new state into existence. This would give us an opportunity each year not only to review New York State’s historical origins, but also to call public attention to various aspects of the state’s 240+ years of history.

We might want to consider designating a historical driving trail, a good fit for the I Love New York’s heritage tourism “Path Through History” program, perhaps calling it the New York Statehood Trail. “Path Through History” has its own list of Revolutionary War sites. Continue reading

Empire State Plaza Art Collection Exhibition at NYS Museum


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the-the-1-by-grace-hartiganThe New York State Museum has opened a new exhibition featuring artwork from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection. The People’s Art: Selections from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection is organized in collaboration with the New York State Office of General Services, which curates the Plaza Art Collection. The exhibition features 20 works, including both paintings and sculpture, by 17 artists such as Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, David Smith, and Alexander Calder. The exhibition remains on view through September 3, 2017. Continue reading

History In New York: Where Are We Headed?


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Cultural Education Center State Museum ArchivesIs New York’s “historical enterprise” really entering a new phase, as Bruce Dearstyne contends in his recent post? There certainly seems to have been some change going on in the New York State Office of Cultural Education. Perhaps most notably, New York is now employing a full-time State Historian for the first time since 1976 (not 1994, as Bruce suggests).

While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it would be naïve to allege that today’s State Historian position holds the same power and responsibility that it once did. Continue reading

New York State Historian: The Weible Years


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New York State Cultural Education CenterNew York State now has a new historian. In some ways that should seem like a routine announcement since the State is required to fill that position. However as people in the history community well know, the State, like many counties, cities, towns, and villages does not always comply with regulatory requirements. There is no penalty to the State for the failure to comply either and only a trivial unenforced one at the municipal level.

Even when the State and the municipalities do comply with the letter of the law, they don’t necessarily comply with the spirit. The position is often disrespected and/or disregarded excluding some ceremonial occasions and is not taken seriously when the real decisions of government are involved. The diminishment of the State position sets a poor but accurate example to the county executives, mayors, and town supervisors that local and state history really aren’t important regardless of any lip service at the press release level. How often is the voice of the history community actually heard in the REDC funding process (which is now beginning again for the 2016 cycle). How much funding is there for collaboration in the Path through History project regardless of how often the jargon is spoken? Message received. Continue reading