Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fritz Vogt sketches on view at the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie

By Christine Olsen, Registrar

The museum world is a small one. Especially in regard to the reciprocal loan of artwork between smaller institutions the size of the Fenimore Art Museum. It is an arrangement that works wonderfully for both institutions; the sharing of artwork helps expose the public to works that they may otherwise not see, and works that may not get much exhibition time at the lending institution have the opportunity to be on view. A nearby institutions, the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, has requested the loan of four Fritz Vogt graphite pencil on paper sketches from our collection for their upcoming exhibition, Drawn to the Same Place: Rufus Grider & Fritz Vogt, 1885-1900, which will run from April 2, 2011 through August 14, 2011.

We will be lending the following works to this exhibition:

Residence of M. Van Alstine, Sharon, Schoharie County, September 25, 1890”

William Drane, Montgomery Street, Cherry Valley, Otsego County, March 8, 1893

Untitled (Cherry Valley Female Academy Teachers Residence), Cherry Valley, Otsego County, June 27, 1896

Residence of John Adam and Peter Kilts, Sharon, Schoharie County, June 15, 1899

The Arkell Museum, established in 1924 by Bartlett Arkell the founder and president of the Beech Nut Packing Company, features a remarkable collection of late 19th and early 20th century American Art, as well as artifacts from Mohawk Valley history, in a recently redesigned building on the scenic Mohawk River. The landscapes and regional stories of upstate New York and the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers were of particular fascination to Arkell, and are reflected both in their permanent collections as well as their choice in borrowed exhibitions.

To paraphrase the Drawn to the Same Place exhibition vision statement:

A Fritz Vogt exhibition at the Fenimore Art Museum in 2002 introduced Vogt as a major folk artist, and the exhibition at the Arkell with go on to place him next to a resident of Canajoharie who was drawing the same upstate New York locations at the same time - Rufus Grider. Both men came from Pennsylvania to the Mohawk Valley. Grider became a Canajoharie schoolteacher in 1883 who studied early historical accounts of the area in an effort to reconstruct the past, and Vogt an itinerant handyman and artist who created portraits of farms and homes as a way to earn a living. Both men travelled throughout the region, quickly sketching and memorizing a scene before later completing details and adding color. While creating artwork for different reasons, their works viewed together provide a picture of rural and urban landscapes of the past.

This exhibition is sure to expose these contemporaneous artists in a new and fascinating light, comparing and contrasting their artistic vision and techniques as they have never been before. If you are in the area, I highly recommend that you stop by the Arkell to see this exhibition. And make note to see our loaned artworks, of course!

1 comment:

Van Alstyne Homestead Society said...

Thanks so much for discussing the exhibit in your blog, Christine -- the Fenimore pieces are an essential part of developing the show's narrative arc of town-to-town correspondence between the works of Fritz Vogt and Rufus Grider. By the way, we held our opening reception on Saturday, and the response was exciting -- new devotees of Vogt and Grider in the making, and given the lovely long run of 'Drawn to the Same Place' more will follow. Hope you get up to see for yourself. Best regards, Alice Smith Duncan (CGP'01 ABT), guest curator

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