Maxfield Parrish: Art of Light and Illusion

May 23 – September 7, 2015

As one of the most popular American artists of the twentieth century, Maxfield Parrish created fantastic images of fairy-tale figures and idyllic landscapes in a style that was all his own. Through a prolific career that spanned from the 1890s through the 1960s, Parrish became one of America's first truly “public” artists. The mass reproduction of his paintings” originally intended as book and magazine illustrations, advertisements, calendars, and murals” ensured his reputation as one of the most widely-known figures in the history of art. It has been said that in 1925 a lithograph of his most well-known painting, Daybreak, could be found in one out of every four American homes. Parrish's magical artwork continues to capture the imagination and inspire today's artists, musicians, and filmmakers.

The exhibition featured approximately 45 pieces, including paintings, prints, and sketches. Photographs showed Parrish’s influence in contemporary films. It also included props, models, and tools that illustrated the intricate creative process Parrish used to produce these fantastical works of American art.

This exhibition was sponsored in part by the Morgan McReynolds Group at Morgan Stanley.


Image: Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966). Interlude, 1922. Oil on linen canvas. 84 in. x 60 in. Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester: Lent by the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester.

Marc Chagall’s Magic Flute: Highlights from the Metropolitan Opera

April 1 – December 31, 2015

In our continuing series of exhibitions that complement The Glimmerglass Festival's summer schedule, Fenimore Art Museum exhibited artifacts associated with the Metropolitan Opera's 1967 production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, which featured famed artist Marc Chagall overseeing all aspects of artistic design. Every item Chagall created for the production, from the costumes and backdrops to the visuals for publicity, boldly reflected his eye-catching style, which took an already colorful 18th-century masterpiece to even loftier creative heights.

The exhibition featured six outlandishly vibrant costumes and four fantastical masks, each designed and hand-painted by Chagall and his team of artists. Alongside were photographs and other related artifacts that assisted in telling the story of his influence on this particular production. The pieces were on loan from the Metropolitan Opera.

This exhibition was made possible in part by support from Nellie and Robert Gipson, and Lady Juliet Tadgell and Dr. Christopher Tadgell.


Image: Papagena Costume, 1967. Designed by Marc Chagall. Worn by Loretta Di Franco. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera Archives.

Lavern Kelley: The Art of the Farm

September 19 – December 31, 2015

Lavern Kelley (1928-1998) lived his entire life on his family farm just outside of Oneonta, twenty miles south of Cooperstown. This exhibition surveyed a full range of works by Kelley” approximately 25 carvings plus numerous drawings and photographs. It delved into the development and profusion of his creativity, from drawings done in his teens and early twenties of working farmers and loggers, to the carved and assembled painted wood sculptures of trucks and other farming equipment, human figures, and animals for which he is best known.

Each phase of Kelley's art powerfully reinforces the others and underscores Kelley's devotion to his rural community life and his family farm, where his family had lived since 1883, and where he and his brother, neither of whom married, remained their entire lives. The Kelley farm, along with his immediate community, area agricultural and lumbering practices, and above all, art making, were Kelley's testament of a vivid present locked into a traditional past.

The exhibition was guest curated by Patterson Sims, Chairman of the Board of the Independent Curators International and frequent national speaker on contemporary American art. This exhibition was sponsored in part by Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Buckingham, Jr.


Image: A Drink Before Going To Work, 1990. Painted wood, leather, metal, string, Courtesy of Harold C. Buckingham, Jr.

Additional 2015 Exhibitions

“A Perfect Likeness”: Folk Portraits and Early Photography
October 10, 2015 – December 31, 2015
Sponsored in part by Jane and Gerald Katcher, Lucy and Mike Danziger, Vera and Pepi Jelinek, Dr. Nancy Kollisch and Dr. Jeffrey Pressman, Mr. Raymond C. Egan, Susan and Henry Fradkin, Barbara and David Krashes, and Drs. Suzanne and Michael Payne.

Lavern Kelley: The Art of the Farm
September 19, 2015 – December 31, 2015

Raymond Han: Still Lifes and Figures
June 20, 2015 – December 31, 2015

Maxfield Parrish: Art of Light and Illusion
May 23, 2015 – September 7, 2015

Marc Chagall’s Magic Flute: Highlights from the Metropolitan Opera
April 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015

50 at 20: Masterpieces of American Indian Art from the Thaw Collection
April 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015

April 1, 2015 – June 21, 2015

Photographs by Brenda Mitten: The 10th Contemporary Iroquois Art Biennial
April 1, 2015 – June 7, 2015

Real and Imagined: The Paintings of Steven Skollar
April 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015

Autopsy for a Nation: The Death of Abraham Lincoln
April 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015

Listing of Community Gallery Exhibitions

Springbrook – Today, Tomorrow, Together
Show opened April 1
Curator: Stacey Grady

LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions- Life Enjoyed Addiction Free
Show opened May 7
Curator: Carol Mandigo

Conversation Pieces – Local Artist Group Show
Show opened July 3
Curator: Andie Alban

Bob Murdock – Local Artist Solo Show
Show opened August 7
Curator: Bob Murdock

Celebration of Youth
Show opened September 3
Curator: Liz Congdon

SUNY Oneonta – Community Heroes in Portraiture
Opened October 9
Curator: Janet Wentworth

Hartwick College – Food and Community
Opened November 12
Curator: Laura Gray Malloy

In 2015, the Education Room at Fenimore Art Museum was also home to four student shows from participants in Fenimore Art Museum painting classes, with works inspired by masterpieces in the Fenimore Art Museum collection and temporary current exhibitions.