On Friday, May 25, Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, opens a new exhibition for the summer season–Thomas Cole and the Garden of Eden (May 25–September 30, 2018). The exhibition is the museum's first foray into a new collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). The exhibit centers on Cole's masterwork, Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, lent by the MFA and explores his aspirations for landscape painting at the start of his career in the 1820s and early 1830s. Sixteen original works, including paintings from the Fenimore's permanent collection and loans from more than a dozen other institutions and private collectors, survey the themes of the Garden of Eden. The exhibition also includes examples from other artists who influenced Cole early in his career, such as Asher B. Durand and Thomas Doughty.
Thomas Cole is considered one of the major 19th-century American painters. He emigrated to America with his family in 1818 from northern England. Cole later founded America's first major art movement, the Hudson River School of landscape painting, after discovering the Hudson Valley and Catskills, where he was fascinated by the natural beauty and driven by the threat of expanding industrialization in the region.
This museum collaboration is made possible by Terra-Art Bridges, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art and Art Bridges, Inc. The inclusion of Cole's Expulsion from the Garden of Eden is made possible by Terra-Art Bridges and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
The exhibition is sponsored in part by The Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust; the Tianaderrah Foundation; The Clark Foundation; Fenimore Asset Management, Inc., through The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, and Lady Juliet and Dr. Christopher Tadgell.
In addition, another season of outstanding photography showcases the work of two influential American masters, Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham–both peers of Ansel Adams and members of the celebrated ensemble known as Group f/64. Visitors to Fenimore will also have the opportunity to see an expanded exhibition featuring the original handwritten letters that fueled the ongoing war of words between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. These correspondences, popularized by the well-known Broadway musical Hamilton, led to the now infamous duel in 1804. A total of seven exhibitions will be on view during the museum's summer season.
Exhibitions currently on view include Edward Weston: Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist (March 31–August 5, 2018); History: Photographs by David Levinthal (March 31–December 31, 2018); Native Celebrations of the Inland Northwest: Photographs by Jeff Ferguson (March 31–December 31, 2018); Hamilton's Final Act: Enemies and Allies (March 31–December 31, 2018); and The Barber Surreal: Eugene Berman's Reimagined Barber of Seville (March 31–December 31, 2018).
Exhibitions opening later in the season include Seen & Unseen: Photographs by Imogen Cunningham (August 11–October 15, 2018) and Puzzles of the Brain: An Artist's Journey through Amnesia (October 15–December 31, 2018).
For more information on Fenimore Art Museum's 2018 exhibitions and related programs visit FenimoreArt.org. The museum is open daily 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.