American Masters: Thomas Cole to Grandma Moses

(Detail) Robert Fulton (1806) by Benjamin West (1728-1820). Oil on canvas, 46 x 38 x 3¼ in., Gift of Stephen C. Clark, N-218.1961. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York.

American Masters: Thomas Cole to Grandma Moses
October 19–December 29, 2013

American Masters: Thomas Cole to Grandma Moses presents a wide range of works from the Fenimore Art Museum's permanent collections. The exhibition reflects on iconic artists as well as some prominent sitters. Pieces from the fine art, folk art, and photographic collections are represented. The exhibition presents the finest pieces from these diverse collections in refreshing, thought-provoking juxtapositions.

Fenimore Art Museum has superb holdings in American folk art, fine art and photography. The portrait, genre, and landscape painting collections encompass works that are considered among the very best examples of American art. The photography collection numbers nearly 125,000 images which range from mid-19th century daguerreotypes and tintypes to 21st century digital prints.

The folk art collection is regarded as one of the most comprehensive and significant in the United States. The core of the collection was formed by Stephen Carlton Clark, who purchased folk art from major private collections such as modernist sculptor Elie Nadelman and the pioneering collector Jean Lipman.

The fine art paintings that Clark collected comprise 18th- and 19th-century landscapes, genre paintings, and portraits that represent the history of New York State, and because of the artists’ stature, reflect early American culture in general.

The portraits, landscapes, genre scenes, cityscapes and abstract images in the museum’s photography collection harmonize with the paintings of the same subject matter. In addition to images from the late 19th century, an important part of the collection comprises contemporary artists since 1998.