20th Anniversary of the Thaw Collection


In 1995, Fenimore Art Museum embarked upon a new era with the addition of a spectacular new American Indian wing, designed and constructed to house an extraordinary gift from Eugene and Clare Thaw — their collection of American Indian art. Since the Thaw Collection arrived at Fenimore Art Museum twenty years ago, the museum has reached new audiences through innovative museum programming, touring exhibitions, symposiums, and the publishing of new research. In the two decades since, the Thaw Collection has continued to grow and now encompasses nearly 900 items.

Eugene and Clare Thaw have shown extraordinary generosity by sharing this amazing collection with the world. Their commitment to giving Native American art the respect it so richly deserves, and their civic-mindedness in sharing these treasures with the public, will be long remembered here in Cooperstown and across the country.

50 at 20: Masterpieces of American Indian Art from the Thaw Collection

Celebrating 20 years of the Thaw Collection at Fenimore Art Museum, this exhibition highlighted 50 outstanding works of American Indian Art spanning 2,000 years of art in North America. Through the voice of Native artists, scholars, as well as Native and non-Native curators, the exhibit sought to explore the tangible, as well as intangible qualities that make a masterpiece. This exhibition will be traveling to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City during the spring of 2017.

50 at 20: Masterpieces of American Indian Art from the Thaw Collection was sponsored in part by Fenimore Asset Management.

2015 Annual Summer Gala

Pieces from the Thaw Collection on display at the 2015 Annual Summer Gala.

Pieces from the Thaw Collection on display at the 2015 Annual Summer Gala.











In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, the Annual Summer Gala took place on Friday, July 17th. Hosted by Jane Forbes Clark, the magnificent event was held at the Glimmerglen property and honored Clare and Eugene Thaw while supporting the museums' educational programs. Inspired by the exhibition 50 at 20: Masterpieces of American Indian Art from the Thaw Collection, the event featured an on-site exhibition of pieces from the collection and a performance by Grammy award-winning recording artist Joanne Shenandoah and her daughter Leah.

Thank you to the evening's generous sponsors who made contributions to support educational programming in honor of Clare and Eugene Thaw:

Dr. and Mrs. Lewis L. Hamilton
Allison and W. Keyes Hill-Edgar
Mr. Tom Morgan and Ms. Erna Morgan McReynolds

Dr. and Mrs. Allan J. Ahearne
Mr. David Beightol and Mrs. Ann Beightol
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew M. Blum
Mr. Fritz Rosenorn-Lehn and Ms. Helene Bonnier
Mr. and Mrs. Marc Bresee
Ms. Bonnie Burnham
Dr. Paul S. and Anna T. D’Ambrosio
Mrs. Karen M. Elting
Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Evans
Dr. and Mrs. Douglas E. Evelyn
Mr. and Mrs. Steven D. Glazer
Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Hage
Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hanft
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Harris
Mr. and Mrs. Gates Helms Hawn
Mr. and Mrs. James Howarth
Dr. Marilynn Karp
Honorable and Mrs. M. Langhorne Keith
Paul Kellogg and Raymond Han
Mr. Charles B. Kieler
Mr. and Mrs. Jason McCoy
Mr. H. William Michaels and Mrs. Brenda P. Michaels
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Miosek
Dr. Jeffrey Pressman and Dr. Nancy Kollisch
Mr. and Mrs. John Sanford
Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Stack
Mr. and Mrs. John B. Stetson
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Thompson
Ms. Ellen R. Tillapaugh and Mr. Gary M. Kuch
Mrs. Rose C. Wadsworth
Mr. and Mrs. William Waller
Dr. and Mrs. Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.
Francesca Zambello and Faith Gay

Bank of Cooperstown
Dr. Carlos Bermejo and Dr. Jennifer Lucas
Dr. Timothy Campbell and Dr. Sally Graumlich
Mrs. Phyllis B. Dunning
Mr. and Mrs. Anthony S. Esposito
Mr. Keith J. Fulmer and Dr. Terry T. Fulmer
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen M. Gotwald
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Graig-Tiso
Mr. Hugh Hardy
Mr. and Mrs. Tim Horvath
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Jakubowicz
Mr. and Mrs. Brian J. Kegelman
Mr. and Mrs. Todd Kenyon
Mr. and Mrs. David Kerko
Mrs. Suzanne Kingsley
Mrs. Shelley Knight and Dr. Reginald Knight
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Malesardi
Dr. Bertine McKenna and Mr. Patrick McKenna
Mr. and Mrs. James L. Northrup
The Otesaga Resort Hotel
Mr. and Mrs. James C. Plowden-Wardlaw
Mrs. Nancy Reynolds
Mr. Matthew Sohns and Ms. Mary-Margaret Robbins
Mr. and Mrs. Hugh K. Webster
Dr. and Mrs. Michael Zahn

Gifts to $500
Dr. Jacqueline M. Atkins and Dr. Edward G. Atkins
Ms. Brenda Ayers
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Barry
Dr. Douglas H. Cannon and Mrs. Barbara Cannon
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Church
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Consigli
Ms. Paula DiPerna and Ms. Mary DiPerna
Dr. and Mrs. John G. Freehafer
Mr. Richard Friedberg and Ms. Elisabeth Searles
Ms. Nancy Friedman
Mrs. Erika Hall and Ms. Carla Hall-Friedman
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Harris
Dr. Day Hills
Ms. Susan J. Huxtable
Ms. Marjorie Turrell Julian
Mr. Arnold Jungkind
The Honorable and Mrs. Jeffrey Katz
Miss Suzanne Langworthy
Dr. and Mrs. August Leinhart
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mahon
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Maloney
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew R. Marietta
Dr. Douglas DeLong and Ms. Lynn E. Marsh
Dr. and Mrs. Kai Mebust
Ms. Paula H. Newman
Ms. Margaret Nocciolino
Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Perrone
Mr. and Mrs. James Richardson
Mr. John Ryland and Ms. Karen Craig Ryland
Ms. Ramona Sakiestewa
Mr. Roland Sanchez and Ms. Mary Gadomski
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander J. Shields
Mr. and Mrs. Ken Steigelman
Mr. and Mrs. Bruno Talevi
Mrs. Denise Wicks
Drs. Jay G. Williams and Hermine Williams


Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater

Dedicated on May 22, 2015, the Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater has been a stunning addition to the Fenimore Art Museum campus. Named in honor of longtime supporter and former museum trustee Lucy “Bunny” Hamilton, the space has already had a tremendous impact on our community, serving as the setting for the Iroquois Cultural Festival, a stunning backdrop for performances of Shakespeare's Macbeth, and an outdoor classroom for thousands of students. The spectacular venue was funded entirely through the support of local individuals, businesses and foundations. Thank you to everyone who helped to construct the Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater at Fenimore Art Museum.

Thomas and Christine Berk

$10,000 – $24,999
Nellie and Robert Gipson
Dr. and Mrs. Lewis L. Hamilton
Mr. and Mrs. Gates Helms Hawn
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Jacqueline Badger Mars
NYCM Insurance
Tom and Dusty Putnam

$5,000 – $9,999
Jane Forbes Clark*
Lou Allstadt and Melinda Hardin
Paul Kellogg and Raymond Han*
Nicklas Family Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. James L. Northrup
Mr. and Mrs. George Snell**
The John Ben Snow Memorial Trust
Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Stack

$2,500 – $4,999
Bank of Cooperstown
Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Battel*
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew M. Blum*
Joan R. Butler and Robert J. Butler in memory of Robert C. Butler
Thomas Edwards and Toni, Teri, Tami, Tina and Tara in memory of Patricia “Patti” Edwards
Mr. Louis Busch Hager, Jr.*
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Holbrook*
Hughson & Benson Associates
Kurz Family Foundation in memory of Herbert Kurz
Mr. and Mrs. J. Michael Moffat*
Elizabeth H. and Foye F. Staniford, Jr.*
Mr. and Mrs. John B. Stetson
Stewart’s Shops
Mr. and Mrs. Byron F. Thomas, Jr. *

$1,000 – $2,499
Dr.  Allan J. and Kathryn M. Ahearne in memory of John Connolly Ahearne
Mr. and Mrs. A. William Bertsch*
Dan and Peg Church
Robert and Raphaela Consigli
Mr. Henry S.F. Cooper, Jr. **
Cooperstown Natural Foods
Dr. Paul S. and Anna T. D’Ambrosio
Mrs. Phyllis B. Dunning
Tony and Lucille Esposito
Dr. and Mrs. Douglas E. Evelyn
The Fulmer Family
Mr. and Mrs. Steven D. Glazer
Mr. E. Robert and Barbara Goodkind*
Mr. Lucius A. Gotti, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen M. Gotwald
Tom and Shelly Graham*
Jacque and Dan Gregory
Mr. Anthony A. Grey and Dr. Anne Cochran Grey in memory of George David Cochran, Esq.
Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Harris
Steve, MJ, Ty, Gav and Lauren Harris*
Allison Hill-Edgar and W. Keyes Hill-Edgar
Cathy and Jim Howarth
Mr. Robert J.A. Irwin
Mr. Gunleif Jacobsen and Mr. Thomas Simpson
Arnold Jungkind in memory of DeAnne Jungkind
Anne and Langhorne Keith*
Susan Jones Kenyon and Todd A. Kenyon
Heidi Hamilton Kerko and Dr. Lewis L. Hamilton
Elizabeth Ketterson and Robert Graepel
Mr. Charles B. Kieler
Mrs. Suzanne Kingsley*
Lake and Valley Garden Club*
Joseph and Carol Mahon
Amanda Savage Mahoney & George P. Mahoney, Jr. in memory of Carol & Frederick Savage, Jr.
Robert and Doris Fischer Malesardi
John and Amanda May in memory of Mary Crabtree
Magda and Gus Mininberg
Mr. Tom Morgan and Ms. Erna Morgan McReynolds*
New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway
Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Older
Ms. Doreen H. Paynton in memory of Natalie and Stewart Brooks
Mr. and Mrs. James C. Plowden-Wardlaw*
Dr. Jeffrey Pressman and Dr. Nancy Kollisch
John and Ellen Sanford
Nettie Jean Scarzafava in memory of John Francis Scarfaza, Esq.
Mr. and Mrs. H. William Smith
Jack and Gayle Smith
Bradley Goodyear and T. Gunter Smith in memory of Adolphus Orthwein
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Thompson*
Lucy M. Townsend*
Dr. and Mrs. Gilbert T. Vincent*
Mrs. Rose C. Wadsworth
Drs. Jay G. Williams and Hermine W. Williams
Dr. and Mrs. Michael Zahn

$500 – $999
Marnie, John, Mary and Jane Auld
Diana Cesta and J. Michael Dennis
John and Kathleen Dobelman
Congressman and Mrs. Richard L. Hanna
Ms. Walker Irving and Mr. Sam Gilford
Mr. and Mrs. Jason McCoy*

$250 – $499
James and Dianne Bordley*
Linda and Walt Franck
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Holbrook*
Mr. and Mrs. William Lewis
Dr. and Mrs. Roger MacMillan
Ms. Gail Marentette
Veronica Gil Seaver
Ms. Su-Ellyn Stern and Mr. Andrew McMaster
Mr. Paul A. Terry and Mrs. Mary Beth Beidl-Terry

Sally M. Adams*
Melissa and Tom Barry*
Mr. and Mrs. David Battel
Ms. Julia A. Battel
Russ Bland
Ms. Margaret F. Boger
Marc and Elaine Bresee
Marita Carozza in memory of Kenneth Carozza
Patricia S. Carrier in memory of Charles L. Carrier
Dr. and Mrs. Rodman D. Carter
Claudia G. Clark in memory of Margaret H. Clark
Joan P. Clark
Ms. Elizabeth Congdon
Gary R. Darling
Mabel and Gerald E. Deal in memory of Sera and Harry Klisch
Dennis M. Dengel
Dr. and Mrs. Richard A. Detweiler
Paul and Patricia Donnelly in honor of their grandchildren Jeremy, Hattie, Elijah, Milo, Coralee, and Holly
Jane Goodwin Duel in memory of Daniel H. Goodwin
V. Annette and Franklyn Dunham
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Clark Eddy*
Sheila R. Eldred
Tom and Dolores Elliott
Rita Emanuel and John Anagnost
Abby Kreh Gibson
Mr. and Mrs. William Goertemoeller in honor of Wayne Wright
Nancy T. Goodnough in memory of Charles Peter Goodnough
Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas D. Graham*
Lawrence and Joyce Guzy
Susan and Dennis Harvey
Georgene Hawe
Judi and Pete Henrici
Charles and Julie Hill
John Hodgson and Sariya Sharp
Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Holloway
Cathy and Bob Holstead
Susan J. Huxtable
Courtney and Ted Irving*
Mr. and Mrs. Andre T. Jagendorf
Ronald and Marti Jex
Jean W. Johnson in memory of Joan W. White
Chandran and Lorraine Kaimal
Marion S. King in memory of Joan W. White
Robert and Nancy Lynk
Nuala Mac Cabe
Donna and Angus Mackie in memory of Dr. and Mrs. R.W. Mackie
Ann and Roger Marnell
Rich McCaffery
Ms. Cathy Melniczenko*
Carol and Beth Merritt
Frank and Susan Miosek
Thomas E. Morton and Joanne M. Chamberlin
Barbara H. Mulhern
Maureen Fitzgerald Murray
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas R. Nesbitt, Jr.
Dolores and Daniel Noonan
Paul Oakley
Carol H. and Stephen W. Phelps
Leonard and Virginia Pudelka
Frances Gailey Read
Karina Ricker
Dr. and Mrs. Victor A. Sacchi, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles R. Schanz
Mrs. Joan Schumaker
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Shields
Bob and Katy Smith
Charles and Denise Sommers
Joan Sondergaard
Isabella V. Stone
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph B. Terry
Mr. and Mrs. Faith and Joseph Tiemann
Betsy Tumbas
James W. Walker and Jane A. DeLisa
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen V. Walker
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph G. Waters
David and Linda Werner
Deni Wicks
Tim and Janet Williammee

* IHO Bunny Hamilton
** Deceased

Education & Programming Highlights



In August 2015, Fenimore Art Museum's resident theatre company, Glimmer Globe Theatre, christened the stunning new Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater with a wildly successful production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Skillfully directed by Austin McCaslin-Doyle, the play starred local professional actors Michael Henrici as Macbeth, Danielle Henrici as Lady Macbeth, and Chris Perotti as Macduff.

From the outset, Macbeth was showered with rave reviews like “masterful, passionate performances,” “the best live theater experience of my life,” and “Shakespeare at its absolute finest.” Theatergoers were similarly thrilled by the chilling use of the environment (the sun setting over Otsego Lake as backdrop) to heighten the drama and impact of key scenes. By the final weeks of performances, word had spread and the show was completely sold out; audience seating was extended across the lawn on either side of the theater.

Americana Symposium

In an effort to make arts education accessible to all, Fenimore Art Museum took a big step in 2015 by making its Annual Cooperstown Americana Symposium free and open to the public. The symposium promoted inquiry and energetic dialogue about our cultural heritage, deepened appreciation for folk art in particular, and offered scholars and enthusiasts alike an opportunity to delve deeply into the vibrant world of folk art.

As an educational companion to last fall's exhibition, “A Perfect Likeness”: Folk Portraits and Early Photography, the symposium explored how early photography contributed to the demise of folk portraiture in the 1840s. Established painters were deeply affected by the invention of the daguerreotype, and their reactions to this early photographic method varied.

The symposium commenced with a gallery tour led by exhibition curator Jacquelyn Oak of the Shelburne Museum.  Our own folk art expert, Dr. Paul D'Ambrosio, spoke and also moderated a panel discussion.  Other presenters included Sarah Kate Gillespie, Curator of American Art at the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Barbara Franco, retired Director of Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum and historian; John Miller, professional photographer and Professor at Johnson State College; and David A. Schorsch, gallery owner and collector.


Library Highlights

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In keeping with prior years' trends, the Research Library welcomed over 1,500 research visits in 2015 and answered hundreds of research requests with the assistance of our talented staff and dedicated volunteers. Numerous staff transitions marked 2015 at the Research Library. New Special Collections Librarian Joe Festa joined the team, relocating to Cooperstown from New York City in January and Lily Wadsworth started as Outreach Librarian in November. Wayne Wright, Head Librarian, retired in April after 38 years of service. Joining him in retirement were Susan Deer, Technical Services Librarian and Dawn Wilcox, Serials Librarian. Wayne continues to volunteer at the library weekly, organizing the book repair volunteers and helping out at the front desk.

Significant grants were awarded to assist in making library collections more accessible. A grant from the Delmas Foundation provided resources to identify, catalog, and make available resources related to Otsego Lake including journals, photographs, maps, and publications. The John Ben Snow Foundation provided support for cataloging of selected Cooper Family materials and development of a social studies framework to aid in making those resources useful to classroom teachers.

Thank you to the following donors who chose to support the resources and collections in our research library:

Mr. and Mrs. Gates Helms Hawn
The Tianaderrah Foundation

$1,000 – $9,000
The Baird Foundation*
Bentley Holden Fund
Otsego Land Trust

$100 – $999
Dr. Paul S. and Anna T. D’Ambrosio*
Mrs. Leigh Eckmair
Molly and Eric Glesmann
Dr. Katharine W. Lloyd and Mr. Evan Lloyd-Guiney
Dr. and Mrs. Donald A. Raddatz
Mr. and Mrs. James Richardson*

Mr. and Mrs. Kazuhira Chiba*
Mrs. Clara Courtenay-Clack*
Ms. Jillian Ferris*
Mr. Lucius Gotti*
Mr. Wayne Johns and Mrs. Marianne Johns*
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mahon*
Ms. Sherlee Rathbone and Mr. George Anzelone*
Mr. and Mrs. Giles E. Russell*
Ms. Rebecca Slaughter*
Mr. and Mrs. Harry C. Teich*
Dr. Jeanne Westcott*
Ms. Mary R. Wright*
Mrs. Patricia Young*

* In honor of Wayne Wright

2015 Collections Acquisitions


Cemetery Records. Lakewood Cemetery Collection, 1875-1955; 40 volumes. Gift of Merrilyn O'Connell.

Church Records. Plainfield, NY First Congregational Church Records, 1809-1832, 1 volume. Gift of Malcolm Reeves.

Documents. 19 121st Regiment Documents, 19th century. Gift of Sal Cillela.

Doll and Carriage. Doll and carriage, ca 1820 with provenance to James Fenimore Cooper family. Gift of the Cooper Family.

Letters. Minor Spicer Letters, 1830-1902, .5 linear feet. Museum Purchase.

Miscellaneous Items. 16 miscellaneous druggist labels, Cooperstown, NY, early 19th century. Gift of Jane Forbes Clark.

Miscellaneous Items. Hickory Grove Collection, 20th century; 1 linear foot. Gift of Sherry Barbino.

Needlework Picture. Silk mourning picture, 1812 by Elizabeth Benjamin. Gift of Shirley Westlake Verbanic-Cochrane and Family and Margery Westlake Clauson and Family

Painting. Andrew Jackson Pierce, 1837, by William Matthew Prior, oil on canvas. Museum Purchase.

Painting. Native American Baset Seller, ca 1845 by Cornelieus Krieghoff, oil on canvas. Museum Purchase.

Painting. Nicole, 2011 by Stephen Skollar, Oil on panel. Museum Purchase.

Painting. On the East River, Manhattan, ca 1655, 2015, by L. F. Tantillo, oil on canvas. Museum Purchase.

Painting. Unidentified woman, ca 1817 by Micah Williams, pastel on paper. Gift of Vera and Pepi Jelinek

Painting and Drawing. The Little Peddlar, 1847, by PF Corey, watercolor on paper;  Lutheran Church, Leesville, Schoharie County, 1892 by Fritz Vogt. Museum Purchase.

Paintings and Tray. Framed Theorem painting, 1803-1850; Framed painting on silk, ca 1815 by Ann M. Treadwell, Black serving tray, ca 1900 Iroquois Farm, Cooperstown. Gift of Jane Forbes Clark.

Papers. Cook Foundation/Brookwood Papers, 20th c.; 4 linear feet; 60 Architectural drawings. Gift of Otsego County Land Trust.

Photographs. Collection of 71 photographs documenting construction on the Seneca-Cayuga canal, 1915. Museum Purchase.

Photographs. Six photographs of Phoenix Mills, late 19th century. Gift of John Davis.

Pin. Knox School Riding Club pin, ca, 1930. Gift of Susan B. Strange.

Sampler and Handkerchief. Sampler, 1823, Utica, NY; Handkerchief, 1897 with embroidered signatures. Gift of Anonymous Donor.

Sign. J. Wilder tavern sign, 1816, Hillsboro, NH. Museum Purchase.

Suit of Clothes. James Fenimore Cooper's black wool three-piece suit, ca. 1805. Gift of the Cooper Family.