New Exhibit Focuses on Picturing Women in American Art

The Fenimore Art Museum has opened a new exhibition titled Picturing Women: American Art from the Permanent Collections. These images of women, assembled from the Museum’s extensive collection of American art, are distinct from the mainstream European portraiture of the upper class and aristocracy that we have become accustomed to. The rise of the United States’ middle class created a demand for all manner of paintings of the people who were settling the countryside and forming the social, commercial and religious communities that are still with us to this day.

Picturing Women: American Art from the Permanent Collections offers a selection of works that illustrates not only the appearances of these women, but also symbolizes the lives and contributions of these women to American culture. The exhibition is on view through December 31.

Other exhibitions currently on view at Fenimore Art Museum include John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Praise of Women (through December 31, 2010), Empire Waists, Bustles and Lace: A Century of New York Fashion (through December 31, 2010), Watermark: Michele Harvey & Glimmerglass (through December 31, 2010), Virtual Folk: A Blog Readers’ Choice (through December 31, 2010). Ongoing Exhibitions include Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, The Coopers of Cooperstown, Genre Paintings from the Permanent Collection, and American Memory: Recalling the Past in Folk Art.

Museum hours: through October 11 (10 am – 5 pm), October 12 – December 31 (10 am &#8211 4 pm) Adult admission (13-64) is $12.00 and senior admission (65 and up) is $10.50. Children 12 and under are free as well as NYSHA members, active military, and retired career military. Visit their website for more information at

Illustration: Mrs. George Hyde Clarke (Ann Low Cary, widow of Richard Fenimore Cooper), 1835, by Charles Cromwell Ingham (1796-1863). Oil on canvas.

Experience War of 1812 Sinking of Hamilton & Scourge

Thursday, July 16, 2009, at 6 pm, War of 1812 sailor Ned Myers will be telling his lively tale of the sinking of the Hamilton & the Scourge at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor, N.Y. To be completely accurate, an authentically costumed James H. Fischer will relate the story of the famous shipwrecks’ survivor in this presentation for the 2009 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Experience Series. Fischer’s presentation will also include a series of Jacques Cousteau slides of lake bottom vessels.

Seaman Myers lived to tell his story to noted American author James Fenimore Cooper. Fischer, a marine consultant who has studied the underwater history of Lake Ontario for 22 years, draws on Myers’ narrative as told to Cooper for A Life Before the Mast. Fischer shares fascinating details of the moments before a squall surprised captain and crew.

The wrecks of the two merchant ships &#8211 Hamilton, built as Diana in Oswego, NY, and the Scourge, originally Lord Nelson, were discovered in 1973 and are considered to have national historic significance to both the U.S. and Canada.

The $5 program fee benefits educational programming at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center, Ray and West Main Streets, Sackets Harbor, NY. For more information, visit or call 315-646-1000.

Photo: James H. Fischer in 19th century sailor’s dress is seen below the bust of U.S. merchant ship Diana purchased in Oswego and converted in Sacketts Harbour in 1812 as the US naval warship Hamilton.