Art By The Lake

Held on August 6, 2016, the ninth annual Art by the Lake juried art invitational continued to delight artists and art-lovers.  Great music, food, and drink punctuated the day as we celebrated the talent abounding in Central New York with our highest attended event to date.  For the first time in the event’s history, photographers were invited to vend and exhibit alongside landscape painters, significantly broadening the pool of participating artists.  Several awards were presented including the prestigious Fenimore Award, which “recognizes the one work of art that can be considered museum quality.”

2016 Award Winners:

Fenimore Award – Tracy Helgeson
Sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. William Streck

Photographer’s Award – Linda Tracz
Sponsored by Richard Walker, Veronica Gil Seaver, Rose C. Wadsworth, and Dr. and Mrs. William Streck

Avant Garde Award – Richard Kathmann
Sponsored by Mrs. Rose C. Wadsworth

Patron’s Award – Mary Nolan
Sponsored by Mrs. Veronica Gil Seaver

Audience Favorite – Meg Anderson Argo
Sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Harvey Leventhal

Painter’s Award – Cheryl Wright
Sponsored by Golden Artist Colors

Judges’ Award – Deborah Angilletta
Sponsored by Golden Artist Colors

Carousel! The Gala

On July 15, 2016, supporters of The Farmers’ Museum and Fenimore Art Museum celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Empire State Carousel at Carousel! The Gala.  Our one-of-a-kind carousel spun late into the night while guests dined on food and drinks representing the eight regions of New York State as depicted on the carousel’s folklore panels.  The night featured special musical guest Scattered Flurries, a regional classic rock band, and a unique and exciting silent auction for gala guests.  Each year, the annual summer gala raises funds to support education programs at both museums.  This year, the event raised over $80,000!

In 2016, over 8,000 children of all ages participated in education programs, receiving hands-on experience with history and art at The Farmers’ Museum and Fenimore Art Museum.  Studies have shown that school-age children’s visits to museums increase their content retention, improve their critical thinking skills and inspire lifelong museum visits. We are thrilled to offer students these opportunities, thanks in part to the funds raised at Carousel! The Gala.

Thank you to the evening’s generous sponsors and guests who made contributions to support educational programming at The Farmers’ Museum and Fenimore Art Museum! Special thanks to the gala committee, Jane Forbes Clark, Shelley Graham, Cory Moffat, Carrie Thompson and Lucy Townsend. Their leadership helped make the whole night possible!

2016 Gala Donors:

Miss Jane Forbes Clark
Dr. and Mrs. Lewis L. Hamilton
Mr. and Mrs. Byron F. Thomas, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Thompson
The Table Rock Group at Morgan Stanley
Mr. Lou Allstadt and Ms. Melinda Hardin
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew M. Blum
Mr. and Mrs. Steven D. Glazer
Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Hage
Mr. Louis Busch Hager, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hanft
Mr. and Mrs. Gates Helms Hawn
Allison and W. Keyes Hill-Edgar
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Holbrook
Honorable and Mrs. M. Langhorne Keith
Ms. Elizabeth Ketterson and Mr. Robert Graepel
Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Older
Mr. and Mrs. James C. Plowden-Wardlaw
Dr. Jeffrey Pressman and Dr. Nancy Kollisch
Mr. and Mrs. H. William Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Stack
Mr. and Mrs. John B. Stetson
Dr. and Mrs. Henry F.C. Weil

$500 – $999
Bank of Cooperstown
Mr. David Beightol and Mrs. Ann Beightol
Mr. and Mrs. A. William Bertsch
Mrs. Joan R. Butler
Ms. Kathleen Flanagan and Mr. Tim O’Donoghue
Friends of Senator Seward
Dr. and Mrs. Mike Jastremski
Robert and Doris Fischer Malesardi
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Membrino
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Miosek
Mr. Robert Nelson
Ms. Ellen Poulette and Mr. David Poulette

$250 – $499
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Barry
Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Booth, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Marc Bresee
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Church
Dr. and Mrs. Douglas E. Evelyn
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen M. Gotwald
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Graig-Tiso
Mr. William C. Green and Ms. Susan Green
Mrs. Gemma S. Hall and Ms. Angelica Romano
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Harris
Mr. and Mrs. Tim Horvath
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Jakubowicz
Vera and Pepi Jelinek
Mr. and Mrs. Todd Kenyon
Dr. Bertine McKenna and Mr. Patrick McKenna
Mr. H. William Michaels and Mrs. Brenda P. Michaels
Mr. and Mrs. J. Michael Moffat
The Otesaga Resort Hotel
Mrs. Nancy Reynolds
Dr. Brent Ridge and Mr. Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Mr. John Ryland and Ms. Karen Craig Ryland
Mr. Roland Sanchez and Ms. Mary Gadomski
Mr. Edward Smith
Ms. Ellen R. Tillapaugh and Mr. Gary M. Kuch

Gifts to $250
Andrea Economos
Mr. and Mrs. Anthony S. Esposito
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Finch
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher A. Franck
Ms. Marjorie Turrell Julian
Mr. Charles B. Kieler
Marion S. King
Mrs. Suzanne Kingsley
Ms. Paula H. Newman
Ms. Lucy Townsend
Mr. and Mrs. Hugh K. Webster
Mrs. Denise Wicks

Education & Programming Highlights

The Crucible

Fenimore Art Museum’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in the stunning Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater was wildly successful. Approximately 880 theater lovers were in attendance across 9 performances in July and August. The feedback from our audience was extremely complimentary, including the following reviews on social media:

“It’s mesmerizing. By any means, go.”

“It was incredible. I was moved to tears. The acting was excellent. We are so fortunate to have this group offer very affordable, quality theater!”

 “The characters and story were so engaging and the actors were exceptional! It was a beautiful night to enjoy theater under the stars!”

 “This was wonderful – I liked it better than the one on Broadway!”

 “An absolute must-see when you are in Cooperstown!!”

Beyond the audience response, The Crucible provided a unique opportunity for local theater practitioners to learn and work together on a high-quality, main stage production. Through very careful casting, seasoned, professional actors anchored the production in lead roles, and supporting parts were filled with the most gifted, experienced amateurs in Otsego County.  In 2017, summer theater in the Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater will return with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

A special thank you to the sponsors of our production: The Clark Foundation, Bank of Cooperstown, G & T Farm, NYCM Insurance, Stewart’s Shops, Cooperstown Rotary Club and the Otsego County Board of Representatives.

Field Trips and Art Carts

Even as teachers nationwide wrestle with restrictive district budgets and limited support for field trips, 5,563 students visited Fenimore Art Museum in 2016.  The Education Department invested a significant amount of time developing relationships with teachers and local schools as we explored new pathways into the state curriculum. Our most popular program, Museum Quest, allowed school groups to move through a circuit of activity stations. Previously offered only in the spring, Museum Quest was expanded in 2016 to the spring and fall. The Six Nations Tour (Iroquois history and culture) and Thinking Through Art (visual thinking strategies-based learning) continued to be our strongest direct ties to the state curriculum. In particular, the Six Nations Tour was unique because Fenimore Art Museum’s renowned Thaw Collection and onsite Native American domiciles allow students to have an unparalleled immersive experience.

To complement these various school offerings, we maintained three “Art Carts” –movable chests filled with touchable teaching objects and activities.  In 2016, we created a new Photography Art Cart to pair with our exceptional Ansel Adams exhibition. Students and teachers, as well as the general public, thrilled at the opportunity to handle cameras from various ages and stages of technological development.

Library Highlights

In 2016, two significant grant applications allowed for increased access to the library’s collections. The Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation and the South Central Regional Library Council supported a large project to make collections related to Otsego Lake more accessible to users. The local history collection was relocated to the main reading room and the Smith-Telfer and Ward Collections of photography were also moved to the main level. Placing these most popular collections front and center makes them more accessible to library users. Access to resources was also improved in 2016 with the purchase of a new library catalog system. The product is designed specifically for special libraries and allows for streamlined searching and easier cataloging functions.

To better advertise the amazing collections, two colorful banners were installed on the front of the library. Summer interns assisted with the development of the Fenimore Art Museum’s Hamilton/Burr exhibition, Hamilton’s Final Act, which highlights the collection of letters exchanged between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and their seconds, in planning the fatal 1804 duel.

2016 Library Donations:

The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Gates Helms Hawn
The Tianaderrah Foundation

$1,000 – $9,000
Bentley Holden Fund
South Central Regional Library Council

$100 – $999
Mr. Joseph W. Halpern
Ms. Mary Ann Oliver

Gifts to $99
Anonymous (4)
Mr. and Mrs. Giles E. Russell

2016 Collections Highlights & Acquisitions

Eel Spearing at Setauket, 1845, by William Sidney Mount (1807-1868), a gift of Stephen C. Clark, Sr. is travelling through the end of 2017 to four United States venues as part of Wild Spaces Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art. The exhibition is organized by the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska and will also travel to Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, TN, Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT, and Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX. This is a significant loan as this treasure of our collection rarely leaves Cooperstown.

Conservation of our collection is always a priority at the museum. Conservation treatment of Lake Party at Three Mile Point, ca. 1859, by Remy Mignot, was made possible by Greater Hudson Heritage Network’s Conservation Treatment Program. Williamstown Art Conservation Center’s textile conservator, Gretchen Guidess, conducted a conservation survey of embroidered pictures and garments in the museum’s collection, including mourning needlework, metallic-embroidered garments, and select items from the Thaw collection.

2016 Collections Acquisitions

Photographs. Images by regional photographers unrepresented in the collection, late 19th c. (10 items). Gift of Mary Dawson.

Baskets. Two Cahuilla baskets with rattlesnake, rabbit, and bear motifs, ca. 1920. Gift of Jacqueline Badger Mars.

Drawing. Residence of Mr. and Mrs. I. Snell, Minden, NY, 1896 by Fritz Vogt. Graphite and colored pencil on paper. Gift of Frank Tosto, in memory of Michael L. Kitner.

Paintings. Boy in Blue Chair and Royal Figure in Green Frame by Eddy Mumma (1908-1986), oil on board. Gift of Josh Feldstein.

Tipi. Model tipi featuring Ghost Dance motifs, Arapaho, ca. 1890. Gift of the Eugene Victor Thaw Art Foundation.

Documents and bound volumes.  Material relating to the Otsego/Herkimer Electric Trolley Line, 1907-1947 (1 box). Gift of Steve Davis.

School Register. Includes student names and attendance figures for Frankfort, NY. 1864-50. Gift of Dianne Feury.

Architectural drawing. Proposed stable complex at Brookwood by Frederick Townsend, before 1920. Gift of Clyde R. Jones.

Letter. 1 page autograph letter signed, Octavia Maverick to Miss Mary A. Spafard (Spaford), 1838. Museum Purchase.

Miscellaneous documents. Various documents and printed publications relating to Bassett and Thanksgiving Hospitals, late 19th to early 20th centuries. Gift of Dr. John Davis.

Microfilm. 4 reels of microfilm: 19th and 20th century papers of Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown. Gift of Merrilynn O’Connell.

Sales kit. Wetwore, Janes & Suden Christmas card Sales kit. 1930s. Found in Collection.

Bound volume. Birthday book with handwritten notes, including Hyde and Zabriskie surnames. ca. 1890-1920. Found in Collection.

Organization Records. Cooperstown Children’s Center papers. 1 box. Mid-20th century.  Gift of Hugh MacDougall.