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Fenimore Art Museum Spotlights Major Folk Art Exhibition For Fall Season

September 15, 2011

Fenimore Art Museum Spotlights Major Folk Art Exhibition For Fall Season

Inspired Traditions: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana to open October 1st in Cooperstown, New York.

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (09/15/2011) — The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York will present a stunning array of Americana with an exhibition from the private collection of one of the most prominent folk art collectors in America. Inspired Traditions: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana will open Saturday, October 1 and will be on view through December 31.

The exhibition is comprised of 45 objects featuring outstanding examples from a great variety of folk traditions. Included in this cross section will be numerous portraits, sculpture, weathervanes, furniture, and Shaker objects, as well as a remarkable sampling of quilts, schoolgirl watercolors, and painted boxes, all dating from the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century largely from New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. Highlights include an astonishing weathervane featuring the winged allegorical figure of fame, one of the finest Shaker desks ever made, and several masterpieces by the great portrait painter Ammi Phillips. The enamoring stories behind each object illuminate our understanding of our American culture and heritage.

“The exhibition provides an array of folk expression in 19th –century America with an emphasis on the artistic quality of each piece,” comments Fenimore Art Museum President and CEO, Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio. “These are examples from one of the best privately held folk art collections in the country – it includes a number of the greatest folk art pieces of their type.”

The exhibition will compliment the many folk art related activities taking place this fall at the Museum, including Unfolding Stories: Culture and Tradition in American Quilts – featuring selections from the Fenimore’s large collection of historic quilts. Unfolding Stories opens September 24.

The Fenimore Art Museum’s 2011 Americana Symposium will be held on September 30 and October 1 to coincide with the opening of the exhibition and the publication of a new book, “Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, Vol. II.” This new annual event will bring together leading scholars and experts on American history, art, and culture.

Listed in USA Today as one of the Top 10 places to see art in small cities, the Fenimore Art Museum offers spectacular art to match its spectacular setting on the shore of Otsego Lake in scenic Cooperstown, New York. For moreinformation about this and other exhibitions, please visit the Fenimore ArtMuseum’s website:


Image credit: (other images available upon request)

Flying Fame weathervane

Possibly New York, circa 1880–1890. Copper, zinc, traces of original gold leaf, verdigris, 30 × 31 × 12 inches.

Jane Katcher is a distinguished arts patron and has been a collector and student of American folk art and Americana for over thirty years. She is a retired pediatric radiologist, schooled and trained in Chicago and Philadelphia, who spent her career in academic medicine, first at Children’s Hospital, National Medical Center, Washington, D.C., and then at University of Miami School of Medicine.

About Fenimore Art Museum

The Fenimore Art Museum, located on the shores of Otsego Lake — James Fenimore Cooper’s “Glimmerglass Lake” — 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; an extensive collection of domestic artifacts; more than 125,000 historical 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 comprising more than 800 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. Founded in 1945, the Fenimore Art Museum is NYSHA’s showcase museum.

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