Exhibition Featuring Abstract Sculpture by Utica-based Artist Jonathan Kirk Opens October 1 at the Fenimore Art Museum

Fenimore presents four new exhibitions for the fall season. Free admission for young people—ages 19 and under.

Puffing Billy, 2022, painted wood, 14” x 31” x 22

Puffing Billy, 2022, painted wood, 14” x 31” x 22 by Jonathan Kirk


Jonathan Kirk – Abstract Sculpture: Fables, Foibles, and other Machinations
October 1 – December 31, 2022
Free museum admission for ages 19 and under at the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY

Cooperstown, New York – Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, presents a new exhibition, Jonathan Kirk – Abstract Sculpture: Fables, Foibles, and other Machinations, on view October 1 – December 31, 2022.  Jonathan Kirk’s sculptures, while abstract, are evocative of a wide range of sources, from the natural and organic world, to forms of industrial and naval architecture. The work illuminates the ways in which the forms of the artist as well as the engineer still embody the mysterious intelligence of their natural models and points to the idea that making is, in a sense, the invention of what might be called ‘cultural machinery.’ The sculptures are rigorously committed to sculptural ‘object-hood,’ yet at the same time contain visual references that suggest a metaphorical context. The pieces relate partial narratives – stories without endings. The collective visual unconscious is plundered and sampled; we have all seen these shapes before but where exactly?

Jonathan Kirk was born in Saffron Walden, Great Britain in 1955. He earned his BFA from St. Martins School of Art, London in 1978 and his MFA from Syracuse University in 1980. Kirk has received grants and awards from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. He has shown widely in group and solo exhibitions and has work in permanent collections throughout the East Coast. From 1980 to 2000 Kirk was the Studio Manager at Sculpture Space Inc. He continues to live and work in Utica, New York. Find more information at www.jonathankirk.net.

Museum Admission: Adults (20-64) $15.00; Seniors (65+) $12.50. FREE for ages 19 and under, museum members, and active military and retired career military personnel. FREE museum admission is also available for those receiving SNAP benefits (up to 4 people) with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.  Discounted two-way tickets are available if you’d also like to visit The Farmers’ Museum across the street. For more information on our “Free Admission” offerings, visit FenimoreArtMuseum.org/free.

Also on view at Fenimore Art Museum this fall:

The Art of Observation: The Best of Photographer Elliott Erwitt (on view through December 31, 2022)

This exhibition offers an enticing window into Elliott Erwitt’s collection of work. It showcases the impressive results of a remarkable career that coincides with two of the most significant developments in photography in the second half of the twentieth century: the rise of mass-circulation picture magazines; and the occasionally contentious relationship between personal work and commercial photography. This exhibition shows both the miracle of Erwitt’s balance between commercial and personal photography, and the memorable flavor that he brings to his work.

Tales from the Rockabout Hills: Paintings by D. Michael Price (on view through December 31, 2022)

Michael Price is a fantasy artist whose work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Well-respected as a successful fine artist as well as a published children’s book author/illustrator, Price’s works of fantasy art are created in acrylic and oil mediums on canvas. His love of the magical beauty to be found in the hills, valleys, forests, and streams of his Upstate New York home in the “Rockabout Hills” provides him with constant inspiration. The exhibition includes artwork from four of his books, which transport the viewer through magical settings with humor and originality.

Mary Michael Shelley – Art of the Everyday (on view through December 31, 2022)

Mary Michael Shelley’s artwork has been described as primitive, traditional, untrained, Americana, whimsical, naïve, eccentric, outsider, visionary, or carved craft. The carved wooden reliefs featured in this exhibition by this Ithaca based artist are a sort of “picture diary” or “picture story” in which Shelley documents life events, emotions, and places important to her life.

North by Nuuk: Greenland After Rockwell Kent—Photographs by Denis Defibaugh (on view through December 31, 2022)

Photographer Denis Defibaugh presents his journey from Nuuk to the settlement of Illorsuit, 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle, following Rockwell Kent’s earlier footsteps and offers a fresh look at timeless Greenland. Defibaugh’s revealing documentary photographs, made during 2016–17, introduce a changing country and its cultural continuity in response to Kent’s 1930s historic writings and images made during his residence in Greenland. Gallery text and video include native language speakers as well as Kent’s lantern slides.

The exhibition is supplemented with etchings and prints from Rockwell Kent’s Greenland sojourn, on loan from the University of Plattsburgh, and artwork from the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.

Sponsored in part by Nellie and Robert Gipson.

Fenimore Art Museum presents its new fall exhibitions alongside its world-renowned collections of fine art, folk art, and Native American art, which includes The Thaw Collection of American Indian Art. Visit FenimoreArt.org for a complete list of current exhibitions.

Fenimore Art Museum, nestled on the shore of picturesque Otsego Lake, offers visitors to the village of Cooperstown an opportunity to experience a wide variety of world-class art in an idyllic, small-town setting.

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 FenimoreArt.org.