Fenimore Art Museum Announces 2023 Exhibition Season
An exhibition featuring the photography of Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson opens April 1.
The summer is highlighted by an exhibition of the renowned Dutch artist M.C. Escher—featuring more than 160 works. Fenimore reopens for the season on Saturday, April 1.
Cooperstown, New York — Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, presents twelve new exhibitions in 2023 alongside its world-renowned collections of fine art, folk art, and Native American art, which includes The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.
The museum reopens on Saturday, April 1 with five exhibitions including Randy Johnson: Storytelling with Photographs
The museum reopens on Saturday, April 1 with five exhibitions including Randy Johnson: Storytelling with Photographs (April 1 – September 17, 2023) which features photography from the Hall of Fame pitcher in his first-ever solo show. This exhibition features an array of vibrant images captured by Johnson during his many treks across Africa. The summer season is highlighted by M. C. Escher: Infinite Variations(May 27 – September 4, 2023), a major exhibition spanning the Dutch artist’s entire career with more than 160 works on display from a private collection. Visitors will find some of Escher’s most iconic pieces including Day and Night, Drawing Hands, Waterfall, Eye, and Relativity, plus numerous seldomly displayed prints.
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.
HOURS: Fenimore Art Museum is 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.
2023 EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS:
M. C. Escher: Infinite Variations • May 27 – September 4, 2023
Infinite Variations spans Dutch artist M.C. Escher’s entire career with more than 160 works from a private collection. This comprehensive exhibition traces the imagery that made Escher one of the world’s most recognized artists.
M.C. Escher’s fascination with mathematical theory motivated him to produce imagery that constantly challenged notions of reality and its underlying structures. This exhibition chronicles his journey by presenting the full range of media in which he worked. Visitors will see many pieces which were originally part of the Escher Estate including woodcuts, lithographs, etchings and even a lithography stone. The exhibition displays some of his most iconic works including Day and Night, influenced by Moorish designs in Spain. Examples like Day and Night feature interlocking forms and transformation on a surreal canvas. Visitors will also see the fourteen-foot-long Metamorphosis and the well-recognized Ascending and Descending, a 1960 print of an impossible building with a staircase that mirrors a möbius strip.
Aside from additional iconic images that made this artist famous, such as Drawing Hands, Waterfall, Eye, and Relativity, the collection features numerous seldomly displayed prints including the Griffin of Borghese, Still Life and Street and the entire set of his mezzotints (eight in total), among numerous other works. It also includes one of the earliest and extremely rare large format drawings done by the artist.
This exhibition was organized by Pan Art Connections.
Randy Johnson: Storytelling with Photographs • April 1 – September 17, 2023
Hall of Fame pitcher, Randy Johnson, shares his forty-year passion for photography in his first-ever solo exhibition. Randy Johnson: Storytelling with Photographs features an array of images captured by Johnson during his treks across Africa. The work includes intimate shots of the people he engaged with and the abundance of wildlife he encountered. The vibrant imagery weaves together a visually appealing tour of the continent.
Randy Johnson: Storytelling with Photographs is the culmination of four visits to separate regions of the continent, with the goal of creating a visual document. The exhibition features sections on Ethiopia and its people; Rwanda and its silverback gorilla population; the great herd migrations of Eastern Africa; and portraits of various animals photographed in the wild. A total of 30 large prints will be on view.
Johnson’s career as a Major League pitcher is well documented, but his passion for photography is not as widely known. It began when he studied photojournalism at the University of Southern California from 1983-1985. Following his retirement from baseball in 2010, the five-time Cy Young Award winner was able to revive earlier aspirations and devote his full attention to the craft.
Swarm: Works by Ashley Norwood Cooper • April 1 – May 14, 2023
Ashley Norwood Cooper is drawn to the idea that swarming shapes can hold paintings together even as they create chaos and disorder. This exhibition of her colorfully engaging paintings examines how humans interact with swarming bees, butterflies, and even ghost rabbits.
Cooper’s intensely colored, painterly, figurative work explores the creative lives of women, the awkwardness of family relationships, and the unpredictability of the natural world. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in the U.S. and Europe including First Street Gallery (NYC), ZINC Contemporary (Seattle) and Galerie Thomas Fuchs (Stuttgart, Germany). Her work has been featured in New American Paintings and on the I Like Your Work podcast. Her debut at VOLTA NYC 2020 garnered write ups in The New York Times and Arcade Projects Zine(Columbia University). Ms. Cooper’s paintings are included in public and private collections in the United States and Europe including the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts (San Francisco) and Greenville County Museum of Art (South Carolina).
Psychedelic: Rock & Roll Poster Art • April 1 – June 11, 2023
The late 1960s saw the arrival of a new counterculture in San Francisco. The hippies brought with them their own sense of style and musical taste. Two musical venues, the Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore Auditorium, hosted “dances” that brought new psychedelic rock music onto the scene. The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and The Doors were some of the notable bands to play at these shows. To promote their concerts, the venues employed young artists and printing shops to produce advertising posters. The artists used their assignments as a chance to experiment with color and visual techniques that were intentionally designed to fool the eye and mind. Poster artists Victor Moscoso and Wes Wilson were notable among others who cleverly concealed typography within their designs. The catchiness and complexity of the flyers worked as a promotional tool for the concerts, but these posters also became desired artwork in their own right.
Many posters from the original concerts were eventually re-printed in later editions for sale, however, the posters in this show were collected directly from first run prints. Teenagers in Berkeley, California would wait for the weekly deliveries of the newest additions; posters would be stolen out of shop windows or from the nearby UC Berkeley campus as soon as they were put up. These young collectors of the 1960s Bay Area recognized the value of these prints for their immediate and long-term appeal. They are still traded and collected today as significant documents of musical history, as well as for being visual pioneers in the field of design.
Imprinted: The American Painter-Etcher Movement • April 1 – May 10, 2023
Featuring twenty etchings and two paintings from Fenimore Art Museum’s collection, Imprinted examines the American Painter-Etcher Movement. Also known as the Etching Revival, the movement sought to re-establish public appreciation for etching and counter the popular view that engraving was solely a way to make affordable reproductions of artwork. Painter-Etchers rejected the hard line, tight handling, and high finish of engraving in favor of a freer, sketchier style, and a more personally expressive and spontaneous mood. This goal emphasizes the original training of the movement’s “members” who were trained painters and watercolorists, such as Thomas Waterman Wood and Samuel Colman. These artists aspired to embed their etchings with the same aesthetic originality as their paintings.
Day to Night: Photographs by Stephen Wilkes • May 20 – September 10, 2023
Day to Night, photographer Stephen Wilkes’ most defining project, began in 2009. Working from a fixed camera angle, Wilkes captures the fleeting moments of humanity and light as time passes. After 24 hours of photographing and over 1500 images taken, he selects the best moments of the day and night. Using time as a guide, all of these moments are seamlessly blended into a single photograph in post-production, visualizing places that are part of our collective memory.
For this project, Wilkes and his team have traveled to some of the world’s most well-known locations, including the Grand Canyon, Paris, Venice and several celebrated places in New York City, such as the Flatiron Building and Coney Island. In each image, the landscape is beautifully captured with vibrant color and incredible detail.
For more than two decades, Stephen Wilkes (b. 1957) has been widely recognized for his fine art and commercial photography. His photographs have appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Time, among many others. Day to Night has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning as well as dozens of other prominent media outlets.
Crafting Freedom: The Life and Legacy of Free Black Potter Thomas W. Commeraw • June 24 – September 24, 2023
The New-York Historical Society presents the first exhibition to bring overdue attention to Thomas W. Commeraw, a successful Black craftsman who was long assumed to be white. Formerly enslaved, Commeraw rose to prominence as a free Black entrepreneur, owning and operating a successful pottery in New York City. Over a period of two decades, he amassed property, engaged in debates over state and national politics, and participated in New York City’s free Black community.
For two centuries, the story of craftsman Thomas W. Commeraw was lost to history. Surviving vessels attest to his skill at the potter’s wheel, while historical records document his activities as business owner, family man, and engaged citizen. His story is unique, yet his experience is also representative of the countless Black Americans who obtained their freedom but still struggled to assert their equality in a nation that denied them full rights as citizens.
ADDITIONAL EXHIBITIONS IN 2023:
- A Tale of Star-Crossed Lovers: Romeo and Juliet in Opera and Art • April 1 – September 10, 2023
- A Cabinet of Curious Matters: Work by Callahan and Whitten • September 16 – December 31, 2023
- Frog and Toad & Other Friends: The World of Arnold Lobel • September 23 – December 31, 2023
- Nature Composed: Paintings and Tapestries by Adrianne Lobel • September 23 – December 31, 2023
- Shaped by the Loom: Weaving Worlds in the American Southwest • October 7 – December 31, 2023
- Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art
- On the Shores of Lake Otsego (New for 2023)
- Travelogue: American Artists Abroad (New for 2023)
- American Memory: Recalling the Past in Folk Art
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 FenimoreArtMuseum.org.