Selections from Fenimore's Premier Folk Art Collection are Showcased in American Memory: Recalling the Past in Folk Art

Publication Date: 
March 2008
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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., April 1, 2008—Selections of folk art from the permanent collection of Fenimore Art Museum are featured in American Memory:  Recalling the Past in Folk Art, on view through December 31, 2008.

“This exhibition is organized in two sections that examine visual histories. National History explores the varied ways folk artists express national events. Personal History examines depictions of individuals, memories and experiences,” said Murdock, Curator of Exhibitions for the Fenimore Art Museum.  “Today, these artworks serve as documents of national society and the lives of the artists.”

Folk artists express through their art the events – ordinary and extraordinary – that have shaped their lives and communities. Through the process of creating, folk artists make a permanent record of their cultural ideals, experiences, and community heritage. This exhibition examines 19th- and 20th-century representations of memory in historical and personal folk art.

Memorial paintings, scenes of everyday life, quilts, woodcarvings, and other artifacts will be on exhibit in the Main Gallery at the museum. Among the most noted include “Columbia,” artist unidentified, ca. 1858, “Applique Quilt” by Anna Putney Farrington, ca. 1825-1911, and “Whig Political Banner,” ca. 1840 by Terence J. Kennedy.

About the 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 American folk and fine art include seminal works by Grandma Moses, Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Cole, William Sidney Mount, and Benjamin West. 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.; 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 31; closed January through March, except for special events and school groups. For museum hours or general information, please call 1-888-547-1450 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org.

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For more information and images, please contact:
Christine Liggio/Public Relations Office
Fenimore Art Museum/ New York State Historical Association
Phone: (607) 547-1472/E-mail: c.liggio@nysha.org

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