Day of Free Kids’ Workshops Inspired by the Art of M.C. Escher at Fenimore Art Museum

Date: August 5, 2023
All-day event
Location: Fenimore Art Museum, 5798 State Highway 80 (P.O.BOX 800) Cooperstown, NY 13326
Organizer: Fenimore Art Museum
Phone: 607-547-1400
Fenimore Art Museum Exhibits | Otsego County Exhibits

Cooperstown, New York —On Saturday, August 5, Fenimore Art Museum will host children’s workshops based on the exhibition M.C. Escher: Infinite Variations.In the morning, children ages 6-8 and 9-12 can learn dance moves inspired by pieces in the exhibition in a creative movement workshop with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company. During the afternoon, children ages 8-12 can learn about and create their own optical illusions in two workshops. Registration is required for these free programs.

Creative Movement Workshops for Kids with Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company

Saturday, August 5 • 10:00 a.m. (ages 6-8) / 11:00 a.m. (ages 9-12)
Free • Registration is required

Step inside the magical artistry and mind of M.C. Escher and use creative movement to capture the fascinating wizardry of his art. Workshops are led by dancers from the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company as they show participants artworks in our current exhibition, M. C. Escher: Infinite Variations, and then lead them in a series of creative movement exercises inspired by the artworks. Participants should wear comfortable sneakers and activewear.

Optical Illusion Workshop for Kids (ages 8-12)

Saturday, August 5 • Two workshops: 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Free • Registration is required

Fenimore offers a workshop for kids ages 8-12 exploring how artist M.C. Escher used optical illusions to create shapes and images in his prints that are impossible in the real world. Children will explore the exhibition M.C. Escher: Infinite Variations and then use a variety of art materials to make optical illusions of their very own to take home, exploring geometry, perspective, and more.

The workshops are sponsored in part by Robert and Esther Black Family Foundation, The Clark Foundation, Nellie and Robert Gipson, Joseph and Carol Mahon, Mr. Tom Morgan and Ms. Erna J. Morgan McReynolds, NYCM Insurance, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas O. Putnam, and Richland County Foundation.

About M.C. Escher

MAURITS CORNELIS (M.C.) ESCHER was born in Leeuwarden in the Netherlands in 1898. Mauk, as his family called him, always enjoyed a close bond with his engineer father and was drawn to art. He went to school in Arnhem and after studying architecture focused on graphic design. Professor Samuel Jessum de Mesquita, who recognized Escher’s talent, was a strong influence on the young artist.

Escher visited Italy and Spain 1922.

These auspicious trips would influence both his artwork and his personal life. He returned to Italy and met Swiss-born Jetta Umiker. The couple married in 1924 and settled in Rome where they had three sons. The Italian landscapes and architecture figured prominently in Escher’s early work, but it was his visits to the Alhambra, a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain, that profoundly influenced his use of pattern and tessellations. He was captivated by the floor and wall patterns of the Moors. Noting the predominance of abstract geometric designs to the exclusion of human and animal forms, Escher strove to create the same endless, interlocking patterns, but with recognizable figures.

In objection to the rise of fascism under Mussolini, the family left Italy in 1935, eventually settling in the Netherlands in 1941.

Escher is most renowned for his work after 1937, when he walked through what he called “the open door of mathematics,” and began to explore his visual concepts of duality, mirror images, multiple dimensions, relativities, infinity, and impossible constructions. He read several treatises on crystallography and the works of mathematician George Polya. He left it to those who were trained in the exact sciences, however, to explain his work in mathematical terms. Even as scientists, crystallographers, and mathematicians showed a great interest in his work, Escher said, “Although I am absolutely without training or knowledge in the exact sciences, I often seem to have more in common with mathematicians than with my fellow artists.”

M.C. Escher worked, lectured, and published treatises on his artwork and its connection to science and mathematics into his 70s. His final work, Snakes, was created in 1969 and is on display in this exhibition. During his lifetime, Escher made 448 lithographs, woodcuts, and wood engravings, and more than 2,000 drawings and sketches.

In 1970 Escher moved to an artists’ retirement home, complete with its own studio. He died in 1972 at the age of 74. With the 1979 publication of Douglas Hoftsadter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Gödel, Escher, Bach, the artist’s reputation as a creative thinker was firmly established for future generations.

About Fenimore Art Museum

Fenimore Art Museum, located on the shores of Otsego Lake—James Fenimore Cooper’s “Glimmerglass”—in historic Cooperstown, New York, features a wide-ranging collection of American art including folk art; important American 18th- and 19th-century landscape, genre, and portrait paintings; more than 125,000 historic photographs representing the technical developments made in photography and providing extensive visual documentation of the region’s unique history; and the renowned Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art comprised of nearly 900 art objects representative of a broad geographic range of North American Indian cultures, from the Northwest Coast, Eastern Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Great Lakes, and Prairie regions. Visit

MUSEUM HOURS: Open April 1–December 31, 2023. Spring hours (April 1–May 26): 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). Summer hours begin May 27: open daily 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Museum admission is free for visitors 19 and under. Find more information at