Fenimore Art Museum Acquires Important Landscape Painting by 19th-Century American Painter Thomas Hicks

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Cooperstown, N.Y., December 13, 2006—The Fenimore Art Museum is very pleased to announce that it has recently acquired the painting, Otsego Lake, N.Y., by well-known 19th-century American painter Thomas Hicks (1823-1890) to further enhance its comprehensive American art collection. The painting was bought at auction at Hesse Galleries in Otego on Saturday, December 2 and will be on view in the fine art gallery located on the first floor of the museum as of December 15th. The 1862 oil on canvas, which is signed and dated by the artist, is a significant landscape painting that offers a unique historical perspective of James Fenimore Cooper’s Glimmerglass, Otsego Lake.

“This painting is a magnificent panorama of the northern end of Otsego Lake, with Springfield, Sleeping Lion, and Hyde Bay depicted much as they appeared in James Fenimore Cooper’s time. The artist also paid homage to the importance of the lake in mid-19th-century outdoor recreation, as he depicts a variety of watercraft in use in the foreground. This work is a local visual document of national quality and significance,” said Paul D’Ambrosio, Vice President and Chief Curator, Fenimore Art Museum.

The purchase of Otsego Lake, N.Y., was made possible through funds provided in part by Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of The Farmers’ Museum Board and Fenimore Art Museum patron.

“It is exciting to see Otsego Lake so beautifully captured by Thomas Hicks. This painting is a historically significant work, and will fit beautifully into the Museum’s exceptional collection of American art,” remarked Jane Forbes Clark.

Thomas Hicks (1823-1890) is a well-known American portrait and landscape painter who was born in Newtown, PA. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and abroad, where he lived for several years. He settled in New York City in 1849 and there became one of the outstanding portraitists of his day. He is also the cousin of famed folk art painter Edward Hicks, who is most recognized for his work, Peaceable Kingdom. Thomas Hicks’ paintings are held in museum collections across the country, including the National Portrait Gallery; Smithsonian Institution; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Baltimore Museum of Art; Yale University Art Gallery; North Carolina Museum of Art; The Newark Museum; Munson-Williams Proctor Arts Institute; Utica, NY; The Brooklyn Museum of Art; National Academy of Design; New-York Historical Society; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art; among others.

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, comprises more than 800 significant 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.

Located on the shores of legendary Otsego Lake, the Fenimore’s proximity to other institutions in historic Cooperstown, The Farmers’ Museum and The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, as well as its natural setting, provides a rare experiential and interactive environment in which visitors can explore America’s rich cultural history.

The Fenimore Art Museum is located on 5798 State Hwy. 80, Lake Road, in Cooperstown. Museum admission is $11 for adults, $9.50 for visitors age 65 and over, $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 31. For museum hours or general information, please call 1-888-547-1450 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org.

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For further information, please contact:
Christine Liggio, Public Relations Office
Fenimore Art Museum/New York State Historical Association
(607) 547-1472/Email: cliggio@nysha.org

Press Release Category: 
Recent Announcements
Publication Date: 
December 2006
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