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 is a museum of American art.

It is named for the property on which it stands, land once owned by the novelist James Fenimore Cooper. The Museum occupies a 1933 mansion built by Edward Severin Clark, an heir to the Singer Manufacturing Company fortune. Following his death the building was given to the Museum by his brother, philanthropist and art collector Stephen Carlton Clark, who also gave much of the fine art and folk art collections. Stephen later turned his brother’s farm complex across the road into The Farmers’ Museum, which to this day shares much of its staff with Fenimore Art Museum.

For a museum of its size, Fenimore Art Museum tells a remarkable range of American stories.

  • Its fine art collection illustrates everyday life in early America and chronicles the development of the young nation.
  • Its folk art collection shows the work of self-taught Americans who were inspired to create and who probably never thought their work would be in an art museum: traveling portrait painters, quilters, ship carvers, sign painters, students in female academies, and people from many different backgrounds and all walks of life.
  • The photography collection illustrates the entire history of photography in the United States, from early daguerreotypes to contemporary photographers.
  • The Cooper family collection shows the unique qualities of Cooperstown and Otsego Lake as seen in the writings of America’s first novelist, James Fenimore Cooper.
  • The American Indian Art collection shows the masterful artistry of Native peoples from across North America from prehistory to the present.
  • Special exhibitions and programs held regularly at the museum introduce visitors to a wide range of artworks and stories from our own as well as other museums and collections.
  • Our members and visitors give us valuable ideas and feedback to guide us in future programming.

Fenimore Art Museum, and the stories it tells, aspires to provide an engaging experience leading to a renewed or enhanced appreciation of American art, history, and culture, and the many and varied people who comprise the American story.



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
Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman
Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer
Stephen M. Duff, Assistant Treasurer
Anthony Fasano, Treasurer
Charles B. Kieler, Vice 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
Charles B. Kieler
Reginald Q. Knight, MD
Doris Fischer Malesardi
Thomas Morgan
Erna Morgan McReynolds
Anne G. Older
Thomas O. Putnam
Joanne Shenandoah
Henry F. C. Weil, MD



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
Danielle Henrici, Director of Education


Find our 2020 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:

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Closed for winter. Reopen April 1.


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