Fenimore Art Museum

The Fenimore Art Museum is situated on the pristine shores of legendary Otsego Lake, on property once owned by famous American novelist James Fenimore Cooper. Its beautiful surroundings are as much a draw as the art within. The museum houses one of the country's most comprehensive and exceptional collections of American folk, fine and the renowned Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, representing North America's diverse and rich cultural heritage. The museum is also home to a wide collection of twentieth-century art, nineteenth-century photography, and decorative arts. In addition, a collection of many objects that once belonged to author James Fenimore Cooper and his family is on view.

Fenimore offers a wide-ranging selection of exhibitions in 2019 featuring rock and roll photography, Abstract Expressionism, and children's book illustrations.

Summer exhibition to feature iconic photographs of well-known rock stars from the 1980s and 90s.  Visitors will find iconic photographs of popular rock stars from the 1980s and 90s, Mo Willems's original illustrations from all twenty-five Elephant and Piggie books, paintings by the women of the Abstract Expressionist movement, works of 19th-century artist William Sidney Mount, and much more.

Visitors to Fenimore will again 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 twelve exhibitions will be presented during Fenimore's 2019 season alongside its impressive collections of fine art, folk art, and Native American art on view throughout the year. These collections include The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, which was exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017.

The season opens April 2 with six exhibitions including Elephant and Piggie in We Are Art! (April 2–May 15, 2019). Mo Willems's best-selling, award-winning early reader series features best friends Elephant Gerald and Piggie, who are ready to hit the road in a special touring exhibition organized by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The exhibition features a selection of original illustrations from all twenty-five Elephant and Piggie books.

See Exhibitions here!

The year is highlighted by the exhibition Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits (April 2–September 2, 2019). Known for his elegant and minimalist work, photographer Herb Ritts (1952–2002) had a gift for turning stars into icons. In Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits, visitors will see how he captured the likes of David Bowie, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Billy Joel, and Madonna—the world's biggest music stars—and in the process, helped define their iconic status for generations of fans. The exhibition, on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, presents many of his best-known portraits and some of the costumes and instruments used by the artists featured in the exhibition.

In May, explore the confluence of William Sidney Mount's (1807–1868) music and art through nearly twenty-five oil paintings, pencil drawings, musical instruments, and related objects in the exhibition Perfect Harmony: The Musical Art & Life of William Sidney Mount (May 25–September 8, 2019), on loan from the Long Island Museum.

To close out our season, Fenimore presents Heroines of Abstract Expressionism (September 17–December 31, 2019). The Abstract Expressionist movement is best known by its male superstars, but women were also pioneers of the genre. This exhibition, drawn from the Friedman collection, showcases the work of artists such as Lee Krasner, Elaine DeKooning, Perle Fine, Joan Mitchell, and others—women whose artwork is finding long overdue acclaim and new appreciation with a contemporary audience.

"Fenimore is always about the mix," said Dr. Paul S. D'Ambrosio, Fenimore Art Museum President and CEO. "We showcase a lot of great art with an exciting variety under one roof. This is a season everyone will enjoy."

Fenimore Art Museum / 2019 Exhibitions (Full Schedule):

  • Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits:  April 2–September 2, 2019
  • Elephant and Piggie in We Are Art!:  April 2–May 15, 2019
  • Hamilton's Final Act: Enemies and Allies:  April 2–December 31, 2019
  • Eugene and Clare Thaw: A Memorial Tribute:  April 2–December 31, 2019
  • Early American Face Jugs:  April 2–December 31, 2019
  • Will Wilson Tintypes:  April 2–December 31, 2019
  • Perfect Harmony: The Musical Art & Life of William Sidney Mount:  May 25–September 8, 2019
  • Floating Palaces of the Hudson:  (Shown in conjunction with Glimmerglass Festival's production of Kern and Hammerstein's Show Boat.)  June 29–September 15, 2019
  • Duane Michals: The Portraitist:  September 14–November 10, 2019
  • Heroines of Abstract Expressionism:  September 18–December 31, 2019
  • Michele Harvey watercolors:  September 21–December 31, 2019

Ongoing Exhibitions:

  • Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art - Thaw Gallery and Great Hall
  • The Coopers of Cooperstown - Cooper Room
  • Fine Art from the Permanent Collection - American Painting Gallery
  • American Memory: Recalling the Past in Folk Art - Main Gallery


 For more information on the Fenimore Art Museum's 2019 exhibitions and programs visit FenimoreArt.org. The museum is open April 2–December 31, 2019. Spring hours (April 2–May 6): 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). Summer hours (May 7–October 14): open daily 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Fall hours (October 15–December 31): 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day).



While you’re at the museum, visit our Fenimore Cafe for a light lunch or tempting libation.

Savor a glass of wine or craft beer on the expansive garden terrace overlooking Otsego Lake.  

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    Season / Hours of Operation

    Seasonal: Apr-May, Oct-Dec, Tue-Sun 10am-4pm; Jun-Sep, daily 10am-5pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

    General Information

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    FREE Admission for Dads on Father's Day at Fenimore Art Musum & The Farmers' Museum

      FREE Admission for Dads on Father's Day at Fenimore Art Musum & The Farmers' Museum
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