American Treasures at the Fenimore Art Museum
The Fenimore Art Museum contains renowned collections of fine, folk, decorative, and American Indian art that provide revealing insights into the character of life in 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century America. Much of the fine and folk art collections were given to the Museum by one of its greatest patrons, Stephen C. Clark.
The fine art collection contains some of the best examples of American landscape, history, and genre painting. The works of Hudson River School painters are well represented and include Thomas Cole's Last of the Mohicans and Asher B. Durand's Hudson River Looking Toward the Catskills. Historical portraits include Gilbert Stuart's Joseph Brant, Ralph Earl's Baron Von Steuben, and Benjamin West's Robert Fulton, which all depict figures from New York's colorful history.
The Museum's folk art collection is one of the nation's largest and finest. It 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 work of art in the collection, Hudson Valley painter John Heaton's detailed 1733 depiction of the Martin Van Bergen farmstead on a seven-foot-long panel is considered to be among the first landscapes ever painted in this country.