Fenimore Art Museum Launches New Online Collections Site

 In News

Fenimore Art Museum Launches New Online Collections Site. See the Museum’s Entire Collection Online For the First Time.

Fenimore Art Museum announced today the launch of an exciting new digital database showcasing the Museum’s nationally renowned collections of fine art, folk art, and The Thaw Collection of American Indian Art. The site dramatically improves online access and representation of the Museum’s holdings consisting of more than 2,000 objects and works of art. This new site is accessible through the Museum’s website, FenimoreArt.org.

“It has always been a high priority to get our collections online and made accessible to the public–especially our acclaimed folk art,” said Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Fenimore Art Museum President and CEO. “The folk art collection, highly regarded as one of the most comprehensive and significant in the United States, was assembled by Stephen C. Clark in the 1950s and has never been rightfully represented online for the world to see.”

By digitizing and providing open access to its most prestigious collections, Fenimore Art Museum will enrich the art experience of students, teachers, scholars, and museum visitors. The new online site delivers rich, on-demand content about works of art on view and in storage, allowing a broader reach for exploring the collection. Supplemental information will also accompany objects.  It is now possible for visitors to determine which works of art are on view in the Museum. Additional features include high-resolution object images and the ability to share images and information on social media platforms. Public access also includes the ability for viewers to save their favorite pieces.

The concept of a collections site was proposed to Robert and Patricia Hanft in 2018. Interested in funding a special project that would benefit the Museum for years to come, their initial donation set the project in motion, one that would ultimately enable the Museum to publish its entire collection online, including photographing the entire permanent collection. A total of $250,000 was raised to fund the project. Fenimore will add content representing the Museum’s photographic and textile collections in the future after additional funding is secured.

Production on the new site began in January of 2019. The content was organized and assembled by Fenimore staff led by Ann Cannon, Assistant Curator of American Art, and Julia Madore, Assistant Curator of American Art. Photographer Richard Walker provided professional images of the entire collection.

“Fenimore’s folk art and American Indian art collections represent the ‘gold standard’ among comparable collections in the United States,” said D’Ambrosio. “These collections are in the same class with assemblages in the very best museums in the country, such as the folk art collection at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the American Indian art collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. We hope everyone takes a close look.”


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