Fenimore Art Museum Announces 2019 Exhibitions

 In Press Releases

Fenimore Art Museum Announces 2019 Exhibition Season

Fenimore offers a wide-ranging selection of exhibitions in 2019 featuring rock and roll photography, Abstract Expressionism, and children’s book illustrations.

Summer exhibition to feature iconic photographs of well-known rock stars from the 1980s and 90s.


(COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.)—Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, has announced its 2019 exhibition schedule, on view April 2–December 31. A wide selection of offerings run the gamut of artistic tastes. Visitors will find iconic photographs of popular rock stars from the 1980s and 90s, Mo Willems’s original illustrations from all twenty-five Elephant and Piggie books, paintings by the women of the Abstract Expressionist movement, works of 19th-century artist William Sidney Mount, and much more.

Visitors to Fenimore will again have the opportunity to see an expanded exhibition featuring the original handwritten letters that fueled the ongoing war of words between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. These correspondences, popularized by the well-known Broadway musical Hamilton, led to the now infamous duel in 1804.

A total of twelve exhibitions will be presented during Fenimore’s 2019 season alongside its 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 was exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017.

The season opens April 2 with six exhibitions including Elephant & Piggie in WE ARE ART! (A Mo Willems Exhibition), (April 2–May 15, 2019). Mo Willems’s best-selling, award-winning early reader series features best friends Elephant Gerald and Piggie, who are ready to hit the road in a special touring exhibition organized by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.  The exhibition features a selection of original illustrations from all twenty-five Elephant and Piggie books.

The year is highlighted by the exhibition Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits (April 2–September 2, 2019). Known for his elegant and minimalist work, photographer Herb Ritts (1952–2002) had a gift for turning stars into icons. In Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits, the first collection of the photographic portraits of musicians, visitors will see how he captured the likes of David Bowie, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Billy Joel, and Madonna—the world’s biggest music stars—and in the process, helped define their iconic status for generations of fans. The exhibition, on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, presents many of his best-known portraits and some of the costumes and instruments used by the artists featured in the exhibition.

In May, explore the confluence of William Sidney Mount’s (1807–1868) music and art through nearly twenty-five oil paintings, pencil drawings, musical instruments, and related objects in the exhibition Perfect Harmony: The Musical Art & Life of William Sidney Mount (May 25–September 8, 2019), on loan from the Long Island Museum.

To close out our season, Fenimore presents Heroines of Abstract Expressionism (September 19–December 31, 2019) The Abstract Expressionist movement is best known by its male superstars, but women were also pioneers of the genre. This exhibition, drawn from the Friedman collection, showcases the work of artists such as Lee Krasner, Elaine DeKooning, Perle Fine, Joan Mitchell, and others—women whose artwork is finding long overdue acclaim and new appreciation with a contemporary audience.

Fenimore is always about the mix,” said Dr. Paul S. D’AmbrosioFenimore Art Museum President and CEO. “We showcase a lot of great art with an exciting variety under one roof. This is a season everyone will enjoy.”

For more information on Fenimore Art Museum’s 2019 exhibitions and programs visit FenimoreArt.org. The museum is open April 2–December 31, 2019. Spring hours (April 2–May 6): 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). Summer hours (May 7–October 14): open daily 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Fall hours (October 15–December 31): 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day).


Fenimore Art Museum / 2019 Exhibitions (Full Schedule):

Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits
April 2–September 2, 2019

Elephant & Piggie in WE ARE ART! (A Mo Willems Exhibition)
April 2–May 15, 2019

Hamilton’s Final Act: Enemies and Allies
April 2–December 31, 2019

Eugene and Clare Thaw: A Memorial Tribute
April 2–December 31, 2019

Beaded Treasures Of Haudenosaunee Art
April 2–June 16, 2019

The Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX): Photographs by Will Wilson
April 2–December 31, 2019

Perfect Harmony: The Musical Art & Life of William Sidney Mount
May 25–September 8, 2019

Early American Face Jugs
June 28–December 31, 2019

Floating Palaces of the Hudson
Shown in conjunction with Glimmerglass Festival’s production of Kern and Hammerstein’s Show Boat.
June 29–September 15, 2019

Duane Michals: The Portraitist
September 14–November 10, 2019

Heroines of Abstract Expressionism
September 19–December 31, 2019

Residuum: Watercolors by Michele Harvey
September 21–December 31, 2019


Ongoing Exhibitions:

Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art
Thaw Gallery and Great Hall

The Coopers of Cooperstown
Cooper Room

Fine Art from the Permanent Collection
American Painting Gallery

American Memory: Recalling the Past in Folk Art
Main Gallery


About Fenimore Art Museum

Fenimore Art Museum, located on the shores of Otsego Lake—James Fenimore Cooper’s “Glimmerglass”—in historic Cooperstown, New York, features a wide-ranging collection of American art including folk art; important American 18th- and 19th-century landscape, genre, and portrait paintings; more than 125,000 historic photographs representing the technical developments made in photography and providing extensive visual documentation of the region’s unique history; and the renowned Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art comprised of nearly 900 art objects representative of a broad geographic range of North American Indian cultures, from the Northwest Coast, Eastern Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Great Lakes, and Prairie regions.

David Bowie III, Los Angeles  1987
David Bowie III, Los Angeles 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation

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