Tuesday, March 31, 2009

American Treasures: Installation

By: Paul D'Ambrosio, Vice President and Chief Curator
Life is good when business travel takes you to Palm Beach in February. That’s exactly what happened a few years ago when we sent an exhibition of the Fenimore’s permanent collection to the Society of the Four Arts. It was a big hit at the height of the winter cultural season; there were three nights of gala events with live music and dancing under a big tent on their lawn. The Society members were enthralled with our art collection – our Hudson River School landscapes and great folk art – and were equally entranced by the ocean breeze and 80 degree weather.

When we saw an opportunity in this year’s spring exhibition schedule, we thought it would be fun to bring many of these great artworks back together for a reunion. The result is the American Treasures exhibition, opening in the Fenimore’s Great Hall on April 1st. You’ll find some old friends along with some surprises, together in one gallery for the first time since the showing in Palm Beach.

Seeing these works together again – especially with the February snow blowing on the other side of the Great Hall window – brings back thoughts of a brief sojourn in a tropical paradise. And seeing how much the works were admired by a new audience recalls the continuing process of rediscovery that we hope to offer to all of you in the spring.

Right: Assistant Curator of Exhibitions Nisha Bansil installing Benjamin West’s portrait of Robert Fulton in American Treasures in the Fenimore Art Museum’s Great Hall.

Left: Laying out the title panel, featuring George Durrie’s Cider Making in the Country.

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