Hanford 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 New York State Historical Association’s (NYSHA) quarterly journal New York History, published since 1919, is no longer available as a print publication and will henceforth be published as a digital pdf file. A statement published on the NYSHA webpage reported the change: Continue reading →
As 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 →
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.” Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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)