Tag Archives: Cooperstown

New Native American Area Opens at Fenimore

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.

4th of July Weekend at The Farmers’ Museum

The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown will mark Independence Day with a special two-day celebration Sunday and Monday, July 3rd and 4th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Each day there will be free ice cream for the first 500 paid visitors (sponsored by Huffs Ice Cream) and $2.00 off admission for everyone. Kids 6 and under, NYSHA Members, as well as active and retired career military personnel are always free.

On Sunday July 3, there will be an afternoon of American favorites including ballpark hot dogs and jazz. There will be a hot dog competition starting at 11:00 a.m. Actual ballpark franks (with all the fixings) from baseball stadiums around the country will be on sale. Featured franks include Yankee Dog, Fenway Frank, Pirate’s Hot Italian, Brewer’s Brat and more.

At 3:00 p.m., the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival presents the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All-Stars. Visitors can swing to classic jazz sounds including the works of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman bands. Concert tickets: $15/student- $25 adult. Visit CooperstownMusicFest.org for more information.

On Monday, July 4th, visitors will experience a traditional Fourth of July with an old-fashioned family carnival, with 19th-century competitions like sack races, a rolling pin toss, and a skillet toss for adults. ($5 per person includes free skillet, contestants must pre-register). A pie eating contest will be sponsored by the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard at 2:00 p.m. (Limited to the first 30 entries – contestants must pre-register). Militia Musters will be heard from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the Declaration of Independence will be read at 1:00 pm.

Ongoing demonstrations include blacksmithing, printing, open hearth cooking, and more. As always, you can tour the museum on a horse-drawn wagon, ride The Empire State Carousel, and visit the baby animals at the Children’s Barnyard. Special highlight activities take place at select times. Visit FarmersMuseum.org for a full schedule and information or pick up a program when you arrive.

Admission to the Independence Celebration is $10 for adults, $8.50 for seniors, $4 for juniors (age 7-12). Children (age 6 and under), members of the New York State Historical Association, as well as active and retired careermilitary personnel always receive free admission.

American Modernism at Fenimore Museum

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!

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

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

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

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 Fenimores Art By The Lake Due

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.

Farmers Museum Spring Workshops Begin

Beginning April 9, The Farmers’ Museum will offer a series of spring workshops on topics ranging from making the freshest butter to blacksmithing. These fun, hands-on workshops will not only give you opportunities to learn new, novel skills, but will also feature current trendy hobbies—like heirloom gardening and raising chickens.

Discount pricing for NYSHA members. All workshops are held at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. Registration is required. For more information and reservations, please call Sara Evenson at (607) 547-1461. Find more information at FarmersMuseum.org.

2011 Spring Schedule

Gardening with Heirloom Vegetables

April 9, 10 am – 2 pm / Fee: $40 non-members- $35 NYSHA members

Learn about heirloom variety vegetables and how to grow them in your own gardens. You will help set up a hot frame in one of the museum’s gardens and plant it with heirloom seeds. You’ll also take a visit to the Lippitt Farmhouse to see and learn about differentmethods of vegetable storage. Other topics, including seed propagating and cloning, will also be covered during the workshop.

Happy Healthy Hen House

April 16, 9 am – 1 pm / Fee: $40 non-members- $35 NYSHA members

This half-day workshop will introduce participants to techniques and information about the care and housing of chickens. Learn both about historic and contemporary methods of breed selection, nutrition, housing, management and general care for raising your own backyard flock. Come prepared to work in The Farmers’ Museum’s barnyard.

Introduction to Blacksmithing

April 16-17, 9 am – 4 pm / Fee: $150 non-members- $140 NYSHA members

This class covers the core skills of blacksmithing. Try out blacksmithing for the first time, or expand your existing skills under the supervision of our master blacksmith. Practice managing a coal fire and forging skills such as drawing out, bending, twisting, and punching. Projects include making decorative hooks, fireplace tools, nails, and hanging brackets. No previous experience is necessary. (Fee includes materials and information packet.)

Intermediate Blacksmithing

May 5-6, 9 am – 4 pm / Fee: $150 non-members- $140 NYSHA members

This class requires students who already have core blacksmithingskills. Work with more complex forging projects. Skills practiced include hot punching, mortise and tennon joints, forge welding, and reproduction of historic ironwork. Students should have taken Blacksmithing 1 or have prior permission of the instructor. (Fee includes materials and information packet.)

Spring Beekeeping

May 7, 9 am – 1 pm / Fee: $40 non-members- $35 NYSHA members

Are you interested in learning about the ancient art and science of beekeeping? This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the fundamentals of keeping bees. We will discuss the different ways to get started as a beekeeper and prepare you for the tasks involved. You will also learnsome of the history and folklore of beekeeping.

In the Medicine Cabinet

May 14, 10 am – 1 pm / Fee: $40 non-members- $35 NYSHA members

This workshop will cover growing, harvesting, and wild crafting of about fifteen herbs. In addition, instruction will be given for producing medical preparations from the various herbs. Preparations will include oils (hot and cold infused), ointments, compresses, tinctures, infusions, and decoctions.

Intermediate Blacksmithing

May 21-22, 9 am – 4 pm / Fee: $150 non-members- $140 NYSHA members

This class requires students who already have core blacksmithingskills. Work with more complex forging projects. Skills practiced include hot punching, mortise and tennon joints, forge welding, and reproduction of historic ironwork. Students should have taken Blacksmithing 1 or have prior permission of the instructor. (Fee includes materials and information packet.)

Introduction to Blacksmithing

June 9-10, 9 am – 4 pm / Fee: $150 non-members- $140 NYSHA members

This class covers the core skills of blacksmithing. Try out blacksmithing for the first time, or expand your existing skills under the supervision of our master blacksmith. Practice managing a coal fire and forging skills such as drawing out, bending, twisting, and punching. Projects include making decorative hooks, fireplace tools, nails, and hanging brackets. No previous experience is necessary. (Fee includes materials and information packet.)

Udder to Butter

June 11, 8 am – 12 pm / Fee: $40 non-members- $35 NYSHA members

Join the farm staff in a unique opportunity to participate in the process of transforming milk into butter. We will start in the barn where you will try your hand at milking the cow and end in the kitchen enjoying our freshly made butter on toast. Participants will separate cream and churn butter using historic and contemporary methods.

This post is brought to you by Cheap Flights to New York.

New President of Farmers Museum, NYSHA

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.