Open today, September 24, until 5:00 p.m.

Current Exhibitions

The Art of Figure Skating through the Ages: The Dick Button Collection

April 1 - December 31

Dick Button is widely considered one of the premier male figure skaters. He dominated the world of figure skating for a seven-year period, winning two Olympic gold medals (1948 and 1952), five consecutive World Championships, seven U.S. National titles and North American and European Championships. Button has since had a long and illustrious broadcasting career from 1960-2010, becoming the first winner of an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Sports Personality – Analyst” and too many Halls of Fame to count. In December, 2015 he was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame as the first honoree of the “Sports Analyst” category. His legacy of the sport extends beyond competition, performance, analysis and production into building a diverse and distinguished collection of paintings, prints, posters, sculptures, costumes, and folk art that honors the long history, evolving artistry, and cultural impact of skating.

This diverse collection of ice skating art ranges from 17th-century Dutch paintings to 20th-century sculpture and showcases the full range of media in which ice skating has appeared. The pieces shed light on the pervasiveness of the sport in everyday life across various cultures and time periods. In addition to fine art, visitors will see costumes, photographs, advertising art, antique skates, and much more. With its wide range of art forms, links to history, and connections to American culture, this family-friendly exhibit appeals to all—including skating enthusiasts who will find it quite gratifying.


Dwell with Beauty: Native Americans at Home

April 1 – December 31

Home is a place full of activity—growing children, sizzling food, and the crafting of objects that serve the family and celebrate beauty.

This exhibition highlights the artistry in everyday as well as special occasion objects from The Thaw Collection that surrounded Native American families at home.

American Folk Art: Seven Decades of Collecting

September 4 – December 31

The Fenimore’s remarkable collection of American folk art was originated by Stephen Carlton Clark over seventy years ago and is now regarded as one of the most comprehensive and significant assemblages in the United States. The exhibition includes select items from the collection such as weathervanes, portraits, pottery, and more.

Stephen C. Clark’s major purchases from private collections such as those of modernist sculptor Elie Nadelman and the pioneering collector and author Jean Lipman form the core of the Fenimore’s folk art collection. In recent years, the collection has expanded to include the works of important 20th- century folk artists such as Grandma Moses and Ralph Fasanella, both on view in the museum’s Main Gallery. The works on display in American Folk Art: Seven Decades of Collecting are a representative sampling of 18th and 19th-century pieces that reflect Cahill’s vision of American folk art as a visually powerful and historically important expression of the American people.


American Folk Art: Seven Decades of Collecting is supported by anonymous donors in honor of Jane Forbes Clark and in memory of Stephen C. Clark.

Hamilton's Final Act

April 1 – December 31

On July 11, 1804, one of the most infamous duels in history took place, which led to the death of one of America’s Founding Fathers—Alexander Hamilton. The Fenimore marks this tragic occurrence with Hamilton’s Final Act. The exhibit focuses on the letters between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr that led to the eventual confrontation in Weehawken, New Jersey. Fenimore Art Museum possesses thirty-four original documents relating to the events, including original correspondence, drafts of correspondence, and reports. Examples from this collection will be on display.

More details on the letters here

In addition, the exhibit presents items relating to Hamilton and Burr including a lock of Hamilton’s hair, clipped from his head by his wife on the day he died, paintings, and other personal artifacts. The exhibit also features painted circles on the museum floor, indicating the exact distance between the men during the final moments of the duel.
The Fenimore’s exhibition season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Edward S. Curtis Among the Kwakiutl

April 1 – December 31

In 1900, photographer Edward S. Curtis began a massive project to photograph the Native American people of the United States. Thirty years later, it resulted in a 20-volume, 20 portfolio set of handmade books entitled The North American Indian—one of the most ambitious publishing projects in American history. In this exhibit, see rare images from Volume 10 of the series, focusing on the Kwakiutl.

Still and Solemn Chambers: Recent Paintings by Frank Farmer

April 1 - December 31

Still and Solemn Chambers focuses on Farmer’s paintings based primarily on the interiors spaces of temples in India, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and some churches in France and England. Abstracted from photographs, the images in the paintings remain referential but without identifiable symbols. The subjects of these paintings can be vibrant places, full of people, ringing with activity or as often, still and solemn chambers.

Our Strength Is Our People: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine

September 16 - December 31

Lewis Wickes Hine (1874–1940) was considered the father of American documentary photography. This exhibition consists of rare vintage prints, and covers the three overarching themes of Hine’s three-decade career: the immigrant experience; child labor; and the American worker, culminating in his magnificent studies of the construction of the Empire State Building.

LAll works are from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg. This exhibition was organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions.

Between Observation and Imagination: Paintings by Tracy Helgeson

April 1 - December 31

Between Observation and Imagination is a collection of new work that epitomize how artist Tracy Helgeson sees and feels about the landscapes, structures and scenes that surround her daily life in Cooperstown. Simplicity in forms and layers of color juxtaposed with bits of painted detail and other textural elements create images that define a specific place, yet also seem otherworldly.

Upcoming Exhibitions