Tag Archives: Otsego County

Hanford Mills Museum Events Feature History at Work


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Hanford Mills in summerHanford Mills Museum will offer two themed-weekends as part of the statewide Path Through History initiative, which seeks to connect people with New York’s rich cultural heritage. Hanford Mills operates a historic sawmill, gristmill and woodworking factory that grew in many stages between 1846 and 1902.

On June 1-2, Hanford Mills Museum will hold a History at Work Weekend, giving visitors a firsthand view of the work it took to run a mill. A century ago, mills were a mainstay of rural communities. They provided lumber for homes and farms, animal feed, and other needed supplies. On June 8-9, in addition to the 1926 Fitz Overshot Waterwheel and a water turbine, the Museum will be running its steam boiler and steam engine as well as its gas-powered dynamo, which provided the village of East Meredith with its first electricity. Continue reading

The Leadership Role of Municipal Historians


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19120822As the new year gets underway, it is appropriate to pause and reflect on open issues from years gone by. I am referring now to the role in 2013 of the county historian as a custodian for New York State history as we forge ahead with our Path through History Project.

The starting point for this investigation is an article which appeared on September 12, 2012 just after the summer launch in August entitled “New York State’s Curious, Century-Old Law Requiring Every City and Town to Have a Historian” by Amanda Erickson in The Atlantic Cities. Continue reading

First Exhibit Devoted Solely to William Matthew Prior


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Artist and Visionary: William Matthew Prior Revealed, the first exhibition devoted solely to this American folk artist, has opened at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The exhibition includes over 40 oil paintings spanning his lifelong career from 1824 to 1856 and will be on view through December 31.

“Of the many 19th century folk portrait painters, William Matthew Prior is one of the most accomplished and interesting,” said Fenimore Art Museum President and CEO, Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio. “The exhibition, expertly curated by Jacquelyn Oak, explores the blurry line between folk art and academic art in the early 19th century, and the intersection of folk art and the myriad reform and religious movements of the era.”
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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.

Cooperstown: Milo Stewart Photo Exhibit Opens


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The New York State Historical Association Research Library and The Cooperstown Graduate Program has announced the opening of a new exhibition celebrating the late Milo Stewart’s work, entitled Reflections of Home: Photography by Milo Stewart. The exhibition highlights Cooperstown landscapes and portraits taken by Mr. Stewart between 1965-1992. Split into three sections emphasizing Stewart’s eye for finding beauty in the ordinary, the exhibition includes quotations from his family and friends reflecting on his work as a teacher, friend, and artist. Reflections of Home opens May 16 and is free to the public.

Developed by second-year Cooperstown Graduate Program students Tramia Jackson, AshleyJahrling, Amanda Manahan, and Jenna Peterson, the exhibit is the culminating project of their Master of History Museum Studies coursework. Guided by Dr. Gretchen Sorin, the students produced the exhibition from concept to installation. “It has definitely been a learning experience,” says Jahrling. “But having the support of the program and the Stewart family has helped make this exhibit a wonderfully collaborative effort. We’re happy to share it with the greater Cooperstown community.”

Milo Stewart discovered his love for photography while growing up in Buffalo, New York. After graduating from Buffalo State University and marrying his high school sweetheart, Ruth, he taught high school English and Social Studies and helped his students incorporate photography in their reports. In 1961, he joined the staff at NYSHA and The Farmers’ Museum as an education associate. He went on to become the Director of Education and later the Vice President of NYSHA and The Farmers’ Museum. Over the course of twenty years he taught generations of teachers, local historians, and Cooperstown Graduate Program students. At the request of the Director of the New York Council on the Arts, he took on an important project documenting architecture and historic Main Streets throughout New York. He published several exhibition catalogues including Temples of Justice: Historic Churches of New York and At Home and On the Road, a collection of photographs from his travels through New York and abroad.

The exhibition opens May 16, 2012. The public is invited to see the exhibit at the library free of charge. The library’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Saturday hours are currently 1 to 4 p.m.

Photo: Augur’s CornerCooperstown, New York, 1988 by Milo Stewart. 

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)

The Farmers’ Museum Sugaring Off Sundays Slated


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The Farmers’ Museum will play host to a springtime tradition with Sugaring Off Sundays. Held every Sunday in March (March 4, 11, 18, and 25), the event features historic and contemporary sugaring demonstrations, children’s activities and more. A full pancake breakfast is offered from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with other activities scheduled 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In the Museum’s historic village, children find activities — not homework — at the Filer’s Corners Schoolhouse. Everyone learns about spring tonics and treatments in the More House, and the blacksmith is demonstrating his craft at the Peleg Field Blacksmith Shop. Visitors are invited to have a taste of jack wax, hot maple syrup poured over snow.

On March 18 only, Native American educator and storyteller Mike Tarbell tells stories from the Haudenosaunee tradition.

The Empire State Carousel, a favorite attraction at The Farmers’ Museum, will be open. Local maple products will also be for sale.

Admission to Sugaring Off Sundays is $8 for ages 13 and up; $4 for children age 7 to 12; and free for children 6 and under. Admission includes full breakfast. No reservations are required. Visit FarmersMuseum.org for more information. Sponsored in part by Bank of Cooperstown, Otsego County Maple Producers, Sysco, and Quandt’s Foodservice Distributors.

Photo: Blacksmith Steve Kellogg demonstrates age-old techniques to visitors during last year’s Sugaring Off Sundays event at The Farmers’ Museum. (Photo by Zach Winnie)

Rabbit Goody: A Rare American Ingrain Carpet


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Ingrain or Scotch carpeting was a main stay of early 19th century carpeting for households both common and wealthy. Woven as a two layer double cloth with geometric or curvilinear designs, ingrain carpeting became popular through the last half of the 18th century and blossomed in the 19th century.

One of only four known American produced ingrain carpets is in the collection of The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA). It also has the most supporting information about its manufacture at Jones Mill, located in Cold Spring Harbor, NY. Advertisements from Jones Mill appear in the newspapers during the 1830′s and document the production of figured ingrain carpeting among other fabrics.

Ingrain carpeting woven by American fancy weavers in the first half of the 19th century is distinct from the imported Scotch and Kidderminster carpets. The American versions use locally produced softer grades of wool and have a slightly different structure, more akin to the structure of woven coverlets of the same period.

It has been extremely difficult to document the American carpets because with the use of soft wools, the carpets were less durable and ended up being worn out, cut up and used for smaller rugs, and simply disappeared.

We’ve been working at Thistle Hill Weavers to reproduce the Jones Mill example both in its original color, and in a blue and white version which will be installed in SPLIA’s restored Sherwood Jayne House.

Master Weaver Rabbit Goody write about historic textiles. Her weaving studio, Thistle Hill Weavers, in Cherry Valley, NY, is a small mill modeled after the trade shops of the 19th century.

Hyde Hall: A New Director and Textile Treasures


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For those of you who are not familiar with Hyde Hall, I had the greatest treat a few weeks ago: the new Executive Director, Dr. Jonathan Maney, and I perused the textile and trim collections that have survived at this Regency mansion.

Hyde Hall, a National Landmark and a New York State Historic Site, located in Springfield, NY, was built by George Clarke between 1817 and 1834.

Its importance to material culture historians is based on the extraordinary survival of furniture, textiles, textile ornaments, and receipts for the period of its building. Everything is fully documented.

Rarely do we have the opportunity to put so many pieces together to understand both the style and color way for window treatments in a high style Regency mansion circa 1830.

More important to those of us who work in rural areas, Hyde Hall is not located in an urban environment. Rather, it is far afield from the population centers that we normally associate with high style culture. Hyde Hall is perched high on a bluff overlooking the northern tip of Otsego Lake, about 60 miles west of Albany, New York.

We know that the draper/upholsterer came from Albany as did much of the furniture, and we know the exact volume of fabrics, trim, and ornaments that were ordered. We have surviving fragments of the original red damask, tassels, trim, and ornaments for the grand dining room and the drawing room. These great rooms are elaborate, handsome, and very well preserved.

Hyde Hall offers us the opportunity to study, educate, and reproduce the window treatments with more documentation than nearly any other historic site could ever hope to find.

Rabbit Goody is a textile historian and owner/weaver at Thistle Hill Weavers. She is also the director of the Textile History Forum.

Candlelight Evening at The Farmers’ Museum


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A special Candlelight Evening program will be held this Saturday, December 10, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. During Candlelight Evening the landscape of the museum takes on a magical appearance, decorated in greenery and illuminated by hundreds of candles.

Visitors can ride through the museum’s grounds in wagons pulled by draft horses adorned with full sets of harness bells. Complimentary wassail, warmed in kettles over open fires, is served throughout the afternoon and evening. Caroling is scheduled throughout the event. Saint Nicholas will be at the Filer’s Corners Schoolhouse from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. and again from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. Members of the Congregation of the Christ Episcopal Church will present “A Living Nativity,” with performances at 5:00, 5:20, 5:40 and 6:00 p.m. at the Morey Barn. (Seating is limited.)

There will be a book signing from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Louis C. Jones Center featuring TV’s “Fabulous Beekman Boys.” Meet Josh and Brent and have them sign a copy of their new book: “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook.” Copies will be on sale during the event.

An array of seasonal musical programs will take place at the Cornwallville Church, highlighted by the group GladTidings – featuring holiday music from centuries ago and also some recent favorites. Sandra Peevers, Erik House, and Diane Ducey will entertain with a variety of instruments including fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, cittern, and concertina. Other performances include the Catskill Chamber Singers, the Catskill Choral Society Girls’ Choir, and the Northern Comforts Men’s Quartet. Ron Johnson will provide caroling in the More House.

Children can take part in holiday arts and crafts activities at the Filer’s Corners Schoolhouse from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. and The Empire State Carousel will be open for rides throughout the event.

Warm up with a serving of chicken and biscuits, pulled pork, or BBQ vegetarian riblets along with gingerbread and hot beverages in the Louis C. Jones Center – located inside the Museum’s Main Barn. The Crossroads Café next to Bump Tavern will also be open for the evening.

Admission is $12 for adults; $10.50 for seniors; and $6.00 for children ages 7-12. Members and children under 6 years of age receive free admission. Visit FarmersMuseum.org/candlelight for a complete schedule of the evening’s activities.

A visit to the Museum this holiday season is not complete without a stop at The Farmers’ Museum Store and Todd’s General Store – where a large selection of handcrafted items from the museum are available as well as other seasonal favorites.

Candlelight Evening visitors should dress warmly and wear boots. Please visit our website for updated parking and shuttle information. Visit FarmersMuseum.org/candlelight or call (607) 547-1450.

‘Shall We Have Christmas?’ Farmers’ Museum Event


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Experience a new, annual event that intertwines local writings of Christmas past with 19th century holiday activities. “Shall We Have Christmas?” takes place Saturday, December 3, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. This one-night-only event will leave visitors with a new perspective on how our upstate ancestors celebrated the holiday season and what they really thought of it.

The museum’s historic buildings will offer a a variety of festive activities including holiday gift-making in the More House; holiday foods in the Lippitt House; singing and socializing in Bump Tavern; greeting card printing in the printing office; remedies for winter ailments in the pharmacy; and decoration making in the church. In each building, visitors will hear or read a quote from a diarist or author, such as Susan Fenimore Cooper, that describes the details and happenings of an 1840s Christmas in central New York.

Here, Susan Fenimore Cooper expresses her thoughts in an entry from Rural Hours published in 1850:

“The festival is very generally remembered now in this country, though more of asocial than a religious holiday, by all those who are opposed to such observances on principle. In large towns it is almost universally kept. In the villages, however, but few shops are closed, and only one or two of the half dozen places of worship are opened for service. Still, everybody recollectsthat it is Christmas; presents are made in all families; the children go from house to house wishing Merry Christmas; and probably few who call themselves Christians allow the day to pass without giving a thought to the sacred event it commemorates, as they wish their friends a “Merry Christmas.”

There will also be horse-drawn wagon rides throughout the evening. Admission: $10 adults, $9 seniors (age 65 and over), $5.50 children age 7-12, free for children 6 andunder and for members of the New York State Historical Association. Visit FarmersMuseum.org for more information.

Upstate NY in the Civil War: Upton’s Regulars


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In 1861, New Yorkers responded to President Lincoln’s call to service by volunteering in droves to defend an imperiled Union. Drawn from the farms and towns of Otsego and Herkimer counties, the 121st New York State Volunteer Infantry Regiment served with the Sixth Corps in the Army of the Potomac throughout the Civil War. In the first comprehensive history of the regiment in nearly ninety years, Salvatore Cilella chronicles their epic story.

Led for much of the war by Emory Upton, the 121st deployed nearly 1,900 men into battle, from over 1,000 at call-up to the 330 who were finally mustered out of its war-depleted unit. Its soldiers participated in 25 major engagements, from Antietam to Sailor’s Creek, won six Medals of Honor, took several battle flags, led the charge at Spotsylvania, and captured Custis Lee at Sailor’s Creek. Cilella now tells their story, viewing the war through upstate New Yorkers’ eyes not only to depict three grueling years of fighting but also to reveal their distinctive attitudes regarding slavery, war goals, politics, and the families they left behind.

Cilella mines the letters, diaries, memoirs, and speeches of more than 120 soldiers and officers to weave a compelling narrative that traces the 121st from enlistment through the horrors of battle and back to civilian life. Their words recount the experience of combat, but also rail against Washington bureaucrats and commanding generals.

Cilella also features portraits of the regiment’s three commanders: original recruiter Richard Franchot; West Pointer Upton, by whose name the 121st came to be known; and Otsego County native Egbert Olcott. Readers will especially gain new insights into the charismatic Upton, who took command at the age of 23 and became one of the army’s most admired regimental leaders.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

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.

33rd Annual Harvest Fest at Farmers’ Museum


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The Farmers’ Museum’s 33rd annual Harvest Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with live music both days and new activities for children.

This popular fall event brings together a wide array of artisans, vendors, performers, and exhibitors to the Museum’s alluring 19th-century setting. Guests will enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides; craft activities for the entire family; artisan demonstrations; and an abundance of delicious foods from the season’s harvest including samples of McCadam/Cabot cheese, roasted corn, baked goods, ice cream, and more. You can even try out wood planes, hand drills, and other antique tools from their large collection.

This year, the Museum again welcomes members of the Southern Tier Alpaca Association. Owners and breeders will display their animals and participate in numerous activities throughout the weekend.

Children will enjoy agricultural activities that include building a haystack; corn shelling and grinding; apple cider pressing demonstrations; ropemaking; apple bobbing; and 19th-century games in the schoolhouse. Not to mention the alpaca and canine agility courses.

Witness or take part in the excitement of an old-time pie eating contest – both Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., sponsored by the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard.

Over 25 vendors and artisans will supply everything the season has to offer including beeswax candles, shaker oval boxes, early American tinware, baskets, Windsor chairs, and more – with demonstrations of soap making and woodworking.

Tap your toes the sounds of “Clemens Tradition,” an old time fiddle and classic country music group based in Osceola, New York, featuring the 2002 New York State Inductee to the North American Fiddler’s Hall of Fame and Museum – Jackie Hobbs and other special guests. They will perform in the Cornwallville Church, located in the center of the Museum’s historic village, each day at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. The shows are free with paid admission to the event.

See the winners from this year’s Junior Livestock Show as they make their way through the Museum’s historic village during the Parade of Champions – both days at 1:00 p.m.

To view a full listing of all the event’s activities, see our schedule online at FarmersMuseum.org/harvest.

Sponsored by KeyBank and McCadam/Cabot Cheese. Supported in part by the Southern Tier Alpaca Association and the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard. This event is made possible withpublic funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Admission to the event: $12 adults (13+), $10.50 seniors (65+), $6 children(7-12), children 6 and under and members of the New York State Historical Association are free. For more information on any of our programs, visit FarmersMuseum.org/harvest.

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.