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,

Fenimore Art Museum was set to reopen on April 1, that is until we were thrust into what we now call “the new normal.” Instead of unveiling new exhibitions, the museum’s staff is now working from their homes, continuing to plan for the summer and fall seasons with hopes that we will see visitors later this year.

On a positive note, Fenimore has rescheduled three of its major exhibitions which will now be presented during the 2021 season. These include Keith Haring: Radiant Vision, Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams, and The World of Jan Brett. These exhibitions represented the core of the museum’s 2020 season and are now expected to draw large numbers to the area next spring and summer. The exact dates of the exhibitions will be released later in the year.

Fenimore still plans to reopen this summer with a full roster of exhibitions shortly after New York State authorizes “Phase 4” businesses to resume operation and all appropriate safeguards are fully in place. Exhibitions on view upon reopening include Blue Gardens: Photographs by Gross and Daley; Hamilton’s Final Act: Enemies and Allies; Prismatic Beauty: American People and American Art; and Elegant Line/Powerful Shape: Elements of Native American Art. In the fall, the museum presents Albrecht Durer: Master Prints (September 19–December 31) and Pete Souza: Two Presidents, One Photographer (October 21–December 31). Alongside are Fenimore’s impressive collections of fine art, folk art, and Native American art on view throughout the year. These collections include The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art which celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this season.

Currently, all Fenimore Art Museum programs and events have been canceled through July 31 including two theatrical performances, The Tempest and A Moon for the Misbegotten, which have been postponed until next year. In place of these, a full schedule of virtual performing arts programs will be presented beginning in June.

We continue to monitor and assess developments and will provide future updates regarding the duration of the closure. Please visit our websites often and follow us on Facebook and Instagram as we are offering a wide range of online programming to help you stay engaged with our exhibitions, collections, and programs.

We appreciate and rely on your continued loyalty and kind support during this time. The museums continue to be an important part of all of our lives and we look forward, with hope, to reopening as soon as the nation’s health returns.

Stay well,

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.)


Full Time:  No openings at this time.

Part Time:  No openings at this time.

Seasonal:  No openings at this time.

Seasonal Part-Time: No openings at this time.


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