Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown

I have been meaning to come back to Cooperstown for a long time to visit the Fenimore Art Museum [5798 NY-80, Cooperstown, NY 13326] and finally got the chance recently!

fenimore_art_museum_cooperstown_4Hours change throughout the year, and note that the museum is actually closed January-March. This was my last stop on a busy day throughout the region, but we made it an hour before closing time. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to see everything, and to be sure an hour was barely enough time, but I did receive half price admission on account of the time restraint. Normally adults are $12, so I think I caught a great deal. Years back I had a wonderful time visiting the Farmers Museum and ever since there was a lingering curiosity about a totem pole across the street.

fenimore_art_museum_cooperstown_5The museum hosts the Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art – it is really unique and intriguing exhibit. There were many diverse objects from first nation peoples from across the continent. Exquisite jewelry and headdresses, along with objects I have never seen before such as war records.

fenimore_art_museum_1This painting tells a story about warrior’s achievements and can be worn as a robe – this particular record accounts battles between Sioux and Crow. Exhibits are constantly rotating, but on my visit I found something more than simply relics of the past, something I found very touching and important were pictures of modern day Native Americans and the stories they have to tell.

fenimore_art_museumThis museum is not solely dedicated to Native art, there is also an extensive exhibit on Folk Art (‘artworks made by ordinary people to satisfy a need for personal expression or serve a practical function’) – a personal favorite variety.

fenimore_art_museum_cooperstown_8I love the stories, vibrant colors, and the personal element affixed to these peerless pieces. For those caught up in the Hamilton crazy – currently the museum hosts 34 original letters between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

fenimore_art_museum_cooperstown_ny_3On permanent exhibit there is a room which sticks to its local roots. You’re in Cooperstown at the Fenimore Art Museum…so of course there should be something about the infamous author James Fenimore Cooper.

fenimore_art_museum_cooperstown_6After much time spent viewing the galleries, I was happy to explore the museum’s lovely backyard. Take the tree lined path to shore of Ostego Lake.

fenimore_art_museum_cooperstown_3You’ll find many treasures out this way – a castle across the lake, information and relics about the Iroquois way of life, and maybe some wildlife!

fenimore_art_museum_cooperstown_ny_9I was more impressed by the displays of this museum than I expected to be. There are many attractions in Cooperstown, but if you are a fan of the arts – make time to visit!

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