Book Lecture Series to Begin at The Fenimore Art Museum July 1

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COOPERSTOWN, NY, JUNE 28, 2007—The Fenimore Art Museum is pleased to present a Book Lecture Series featuring local and regional authors every Sunday in July and August. The lectures are free and open to the general public and members of the New York State Historical Association. The lectures begin at 2:00 pm and will be held in the auditorium at the Fenimore Art Museum. There will not be a lecture on Sunday, July 29.

July 1: James Greiner, Subdued by the Sword: A Line Office in the 121st New York Volunteers
Subdued by the Sword presents the personal story of Captain John Swain Kidder, a wagon-maker from Laurens, NY, who epitomized the citizen-soldier of the Civil War era. Drawing on previously unpublished letters written by Kidder to his wife, Harriet, during the Civil War, James M. Greiner recounts the triumphs and tragedies endured by one New York family.

July 8: Sheila Kohler, Bluebird, or the Invention of Happiness
Sheila Kohler’s historical fictional novel, Bluebird, or the Invention of Happiness, is based on the life of Lucy Dillion, a charming and beautiful, but also practical and determined 18th-century French aristocrat. Lucy manages to save herself and her family from the terror that followed the French Revolution, and later settles in New York’s Hudson Valley, where she remakes herself into the hardworking proprietress of a successful dairy farm.

July 15: Russell Dunn, A Guide to the Waterfalls of the Mohawk Valley, Schoharie Valley, Helderbergs, and along Route 20
Russell Dunn is the author of five guidebooks to the natural wonders of New York State, including an ongoing series of waterfall guidebooks and a guidebook (co-written with Barbara Delaney) to hiking trails that lead to historic sites. One of the hallmarks that distinguish all of Mr. Dunn's books is his inclusion of any available historical information associated with the natural sites he explores. Dunn will talk on his most recent release, A Guide to the Waterfalls of the Mohawk Valley, Schoharie Valley, Helderbergs, and along Route 20, as well as Trails with Tales: History Hike’s through the Capital Region, Saratoga, Berkshires, Catskills & Hudson Valley.

July 22: Jim Heron, Denning’s Point, A Hudson River Story: From 4000BC to the 21st Century
Heron is project historian for The Beacon Institute for Rivers & Estuaries, and his book grew out of his research into the surprisingly rich history of the 64-acre peninsula off the shore of Beacon, New York, that is now home to the Beacon Institute. This small plot of land encapsulates the history of the Hudson River Valley--from prehistoric Native Americans, to colonial settlement, the Revolutionary War, the rise of the great estates, the coming of the railroads, the brick industry, land abuse and pollution, and finally, conservation and revitalization. Much of Heron's book is the fruit of original research, including his discoveries of definitive proof that prehistoric Native Americans lived on Denning's Point, and that Alexander Hamilton lived there briefly during the Revolution, and while there first set down on paper his thoughts on the political and financial structure of the new nation. Indeed, Heron makes a strong case for the "birth" of the U.S. Constitution as taking place on this little and little-known piece of real estate jutting into the Hudson River between Beacon and Newburgh.

August 5: Jim Atwell, From Fly Creek: Celebrating Life in Leatherstocking County
Fly Creek resident and author Jim Atwell will present a talk on his book, From Fly Creek: Celebrating Life in Leatherstocking County, which features a collection of his newspaper columns.

August 12: Mark Simonson, Reminiscing Across the Valleys and Oneonta: Then and Now
Oneonta city historian and Daily Star columnist Mark Simonson will present a in-depth look at local history through his publications, Reminiscing Across the Valleys and Oneonta: Then and Now. Reminiscing Across the Valleys presents a collection of brief articles about the people, places and events that helped shape the Southern tier of New York State. In Oneonta: Then and Now, Simonson assembled a pictorial history highlighting the old and new Oneonta.

August 19: Jane Dieffenbacher, Herkimer County: Valley Towns
Herkimer County resident, author and historian Jane Dieffenbacher will present a lecture on her book Herkimer County: Valley Towns. Dieffenbacher’s book covers the development of the Central Mohawk Valley and includes the villages of Herkimer, Little Falls, Dolgeville, Mohawk, Ilion, and Frankfort. Dieffenbacher’s talk will discuss the Native American residents, the Palatine settlers, and the New Englanders who came following the Revolutionary War.

August 26: Dennis Webster, Daisy Daring & the Quest for the Loomis Gang Gold
Mohawk Valley author Dennis Webster will talk on his exciting read, Daisy Daring & the Quest for the Loomis Gang Gold. This engaging mystery will spark the readers’ curiosity about Daisy Daring and the historical famed Loomis Gang, who were quite powerful during 19th-century America.

The lectures are free and open to the general public and members of the New York State Historical Association. The lectures will be held in the Fenimore Art Museum auditorium beginning at 2:00 pm. For more information, please call (607) 547-1400 or visit us online at

About Fenimore Art Museum
One of the nation’s premier art institutions, the Fenimore Art Museum is home to an exceptionally rich collection of American folk art and American Indian art as well as important holdings in American decorative arts, photography, and twentieth-century art. Founded in 1945 in Cooperstown, New York, the museum is part of the New York State Historical Association (NYSHA), founded in 1899. The museum’s renowned Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection, housed in the American Indian Wing, is a masterpiece collection of more than 800 art objects, representing a broad scope of North American cultures. The collections of folk and American art include seminal works by Grandma Moses, Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Cole, William Sidney Mount, Benjamin West, and John H. I. Browere. The museum offers a range of interactive educational programming for children, families, and adults, including lectures and workshops for museum visitors and distance learning instruction for classrooms nationwide. The museum further explores and examines our cultural history by organizing and hosting nationally touring art and history exhibitions, including Grandma Moses: Grandmother to the Nation; Treasures from Olana: The Landscapes of Frederic Edwin Church; A Deaf Artist in Early America: The Worlds of John Brewster, Jr.; Winslow Homer: Masterworks from the Adirondacks; and Ralph Fasanella’s America.

The Fenimore Art Museum is located on 5798 State Hwy. 80, Lake Road, in Cooperstown. The museum’s Fenimore Café, overlooking beautiful Otsego Lake, features wonderful views and a tranquil setting amid the terraced gardens. The Museum Shop offers fine jewelry, art reproductions, and a wide selection of publications on folk art, history, and Native American art. Museum admission is $11 for adults, $9.50 for visitors age 65 and over, and $5 for children age 7 to 12; children 6 and under and NYSHA members are admitted free. Reduced price combination admission tickets that include The Farmers’ Museum and The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are also available. The museum is open from April 1 through December 30. For museum hours or general information, please call 1-888-547-1450 or visit


For more information or images, please contact:
Christine Liggio/Public Relations Office
New York State Historical Association
Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers’ Museum
Phone: (607) 547-1472/E-mail:

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