Fenimore Art Museum

Cooperstown, NY




Our Backyard: History and Memory in American Folk Art


Selections of folk art from the permanent collection of the New York State Historical Association are the focus of a new exhibition opening October 21, 2000 and running through December 31, 2000 at Fenimore Art Museum. The exhibition, Our Backyard: History and Memory in American Folk Art, is curated by Michelle Murdock, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions. (left: Anonymous artist, Mother and Child - Fenton Family, c. 1840, watercolor on wove paper, N-18.58, ©New York State Historical Association, Copperstown. NY)

"This exhibition is organized in two sections that examine visual histories. National History explores the varied ways folk artists express national events. Personal History examines depictions of individuals, memories and experiences," said Murdock. "Today, these artworks serve as documents of national society and the lives of the artists."

Folk artists express through their art the events - ordinary and extraordinary - that have shaped their lives and communities. Through the process of creating, folk artists make a permanent record of their cultural ideals, experiences, and community heritage. This exhibition examines 19th- and 20th-century representations of memory in historical and personal folk art. (left: Hannah S. Stokes, Trade and Commerce, quilt, c. 1830, N-222.56, ©New York State Historical Association, Copperstown. NY)

Memorial paintings, scenes of everyday life, quilts, wood carvings, and other artifacts will be on exhibit in the Main Gallery at the museum. Among the most noted include Liberty and Washington, artist unidentified, ca. 1805, in the National History Section; and the Trade and Commerce Quilt Top by Hannah Stockton Stiles, ca. 1835, in the Personal Experience Section.

Read more about the Fenimore Art Museum in Resource Library Magazine

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/6/11

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