NYSHA's folk art collection is one of the nation's largest and finest. Begun with extensive gifts from Stephen C. Clark, the collection includes a variety of paintings, ship figureheads, quilts, weathervanes, trade signs, cigar-store figures, carvings, and decorated stoneware, all created by American folk artists. The oldest piece in the collection, a seven-foot-long panel on which Hudson River Valley painter John Heaton depicted the Martin Van Bergen farmstead in 1733, is considered to be among the first landscapes ever painted in this country.
This year, see a selection of early 19th century theorems from the collection of The Historical Society of Early American Decoration. The display will be on view in the Main Gallery as part of American Memory: Recalling the Past in Folk Art - featuring works from the Fenimore's permanent collection.