Preserving – Engaging – Educating
Fenimore Art Museum is dedicated to welcoming and connecting people to our shared cultural heritage through exhibitions and programs that engage, delight and inspire.


Fenimore Art Museum originated as the New York State Historical Association, founded in 1899 by New Yorkers who were interested in promoting greater knowledge of the early history of the state. They hoped to encourage original research, to educate general audiences by means of lectures and publications, to mark places of historic interest with tablets or signs, and to start a library and museum to hold manuscripts, paintings and objects associated with the history of the state.

In 1939, Stephen Carlton Clark, offered the organization a new home int he village of Cooperstown. Clark, an avid collector, took an active interest in expanding the holdings of the Association and in 1944 donated Fenimore House, one of his family’s properties, to be used as a new headquarters and museum. The impressive neo-Georgian structure was built in 1930s on the site of James Fenimore Cooper’s early 19th century farmhouse on the shore of Otsego Lake, Coopers Glimmerglass.

Fenimore House was large enough to have both extensive exhibition galleries as well as an office and library space. The collections and programs continued to expand and a separate library building was constructed in 1968. In 1995 a new 18,000 square foot wing was added to the Fenimore House to accommodate the Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection which is one of the nations premier collections of American Indian Art. In 1999 in recognition of our world class collections, we renamed the Fenimore House to Fenimore Art Museum.

Fenimore Art Museum is closely  affiliated with its sister organization, The Farmers’ Museum.



Dear Friends,

As we begin a new season, our re-entry into what promises to be a year full of fun and engaging exhibitions and programming seems surreal. After what was a tough year for us all, we persevered and know that the future is bright after having come through it all together. The winter months in Cooperstown were spent carefully preparing and planning exhibitions and programming with the intention of drawing a diverse crowd from our region and beyond. From exhibitions featuring Ansel Adams, Pop artist Keith Haring, and children’s book authors and illustrators Jan Brett and Marc Brown, there is something special for each generation this season. I can promise one thing—visitors will find a wide range of artistic mediums and styles from some of the most iconic names in the art world!

The season’s lineup will present feature exhibitions alongside Fenimore’s already impressive permanent fine art, folk art, and Native American Art collections on view throughout the season. These collections include The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art. In 2020, Fenimore celebrated the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Thaw Gallery.

The summer is highlighted by two major exhibitions including Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams (April 1–July 25) and Keith Haring: Radiant Vision (May 29–September 6). Adams’ Manzanar photographs, created in 1943, are a departure from his signature style of landscape photography and serve as documentation of the American concentration camp in California, where thousands of Japanese-Americans were forced to move during World War II. Keith Haring: Radiant Vision will feature more than 100 energized works from his brief but storied career in the 1980s, including some of his most iconic images such as “Radiant Baby.”

The season also includes The World of Jan Brett (April 1–May 16), BELIEVE IN YOURSELF: What We Learned from Arthur (August 6–December 31), Toying with the World: Work by Laurie Krasny Brown (August 7–December 31), Elegant Line/Powerful Shape: Elements of Native American Art (April 1–December 31), among others. For more detail on upcoming exhibitions, please visit: Click here for more detail on upcoming exhibitions.

In addition to all of this, Fenimore Art Museum will also present many engaging, educating, and fun-filled virtual programs to accompany the exhibition lineup throughout the season. Much of our in-person programming will be assessed as we approach opening day such as the popular Food for Thought lecture series and our workshop offerings and classes. For more information on upcoming programming, please visit:  Click here for more information on upcoming programming.

We are finally here and I am thrilled to be sharing 2021 at Fenimore Art Museum with you. We certainly are looking forward to seeing you all again!

Sincerely yours,

Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Ph.D.

President & CEO




Alexander Charlton, Secretary
Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer
Stephen M. Duff, Assistant Treasurer
Anthony Fasano, Treasurer
Charles B. Kieler, Vice Chairman
Jeffrey H. Pressman, MD, Chairman
Joseph Siracusa, Vice President for Operations


Jane Forbes Clark
Stephen M. Duff
Douglas E. Evelyn
Kathleen Flanagan
Nellie Gipson
Shelley Graham
Robert S. Hanft
Josef E. Jelinek
Charles B. Kieler
Reginald Knight
Doris Fischer Malesardi
Thomas Morgan
Erna Morgan McReynolds
Anne G. Older
Jeffrey H. Pressman, MD
Joanne Shenandoah
Henry F. C. Weil



Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio, President and CEO
Joseph Siracusa, Vice President for Operations
Barbara Fischer, Senior Director for Human Resources and Accounting
Todd A. Kenyon, Director of Marketing and Communications
Chris Rossi, Director of Exhibitions
John Ferguson, Director of Education


Find our latest annual report here.


fenimore art staircase


For the safety of our collections and our visitors, we ask that you please check the following items in the coin-operated lockers in the Visitors’ Room:

• Video recorders
• Briefcases
• Backpacks
• Shopping Bags
• Oversized Purses
• Umbrellas
• Baseball Bats and similar athletic equipment (seriously, this is Cooperstown!)

Non-flash photography is permitted only in select galleries; please check with the admissions desk, security, or refer to your visitors guide.  Videotaping is not permitted.

Service animals are welcome but need to wear their service identification jacket or vest.

Pets and non-service animals are not permitted in the museum or on museum grounds.

Smoking, food, and beverages are not permitted in the galleries.

 To apply to an opening listed below, send a completed Employment Application to Human Resources, PO Box 800, Cooperstown, NY 13326. (Note: Some job postings specify a different application process.)


The Farmers’ Museum and Fenimore Art Museum seek the following positions:



Security/Safety Guard

Full-Time, Year-Round position with benefits

Your workday would include using computer-based monitoring systems, walking extensive museum grounds, completing incident reports, and trouble-shooting for potential hazards. Applicants must be able to walk considerable distances in all weather conditions; have a clean driving record; and must be able and willing to work weekends, holidays and any shift assigned. We provide training and certification.


Visitor Services Associate

Part-Time, Seasonal (April – December) position

Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum seek friendly individuals to fill part-time, seasonal positions during the museum season (April – December). You would assist visitors in the museum stores and at admissions kiosks. Successful applicants will work well with a team; deliver exemplary customer service; have previous sales experience; knowledge of daily retail shop operations; must be able to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends and holidays.


Museum Teacher

Minimal Hours, Seasonal (Academic School Year) position

The Farmers’ Museum and Fenimore Art Museum seek enthusiastic and engaging seasonal museum teachers to share their knowledge and expertise of the trades of the 19th century. If you enjoy speaking with students and visitors of all ages this is the job for you! Ample training provided. Qualified candidates will demonstrate strong communication skills and be comfortable speaking in a one-on-one or group setting. Must be willing to work weekends and holidays.


Food Service Worker

Part-Time, Seasonal (April – December) position

Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum are seeking Cafe Attendants for the Fenimore Cafe and Crossroads Cafe. Cafe Attendants prepare and serve all food and beverages to visitors of the museums. Cooking and/or food prep experience is preferred but we are willing to train enthusiastic individuals. Serv-Safe is a plus as is cashier or POS experience. Successful candidates will have a professional appearance and display strong customer service skills; always putting the customer first. Must be willing to work weekends, holidays and occasional evening events.


To apply, send a completed Employment Application, or contact Human Resources at 607-547-1462 or email [email protected]. EOE.

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