Category: Hudson River School

The Arts Converge at the Catskill Interpretive Center

© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David
© Simona David

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Catskill Interpretive Center

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Weekend in the Catskills – 8/26/2016

This weekend:

  • David Bromberg Quintet performs at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock;
  • Visual artists Lisbeth Firmin and Richard Kathmann lead a workshop called Double Vision: Plein Air Painting at the West Kortright Centre in East Meredith;
  • And author Lowell Thing discusses his book The Street That Built a City: McEntee’s Chestnut Street, Kingston and the Rise of New York at the Delaware & Hudson Canal Museum in High Falls.

Learn more at Upstater.com.

Weekend in the Catskills – 8/12/2016

This weekend:

  • The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performs at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center;
  • Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is hosting a Woodstock Anniversary Brunch, marking the festival’s 47th anniversary;
  • Thomas Cole National Historic Site is hosting Open House: Contemporary Art in Conversation with Cole featuring the works of multi-media artist Jason Middlebrooks;
  • And, photographer Helane Levine-Keating is showing Liminal Spaces at Longyear Gallery in Margaretville.

Learn more at Upstater.com.

Featured Destination: Fenimore Art Museum

Fenimore Art Museum is located in a monumental Neo-Georgian (also known as Neo-Colonial) mansion built in the 1930s on the shores of the Otsego Lake in Cooperstown. It was built on the site of James Fenimore Cooper’s 19th century farmhouse. The town itself was founded by Cooper’s father, Judge William Cooper. Cooper is best known for the Leatherstocking series, which includes novels such as The Pioneers (1823) and The Last of the Mohicans (1826).

Fenimore Art Museum, operated by the New York State Historical Association, hosts permanent American fine and folk art collections, and includes works by Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and other American artists. The building and some of its most important collections were donated by Stephen C. Clark, a collector and benefactor, who also founded the Baseball Hall of Fame.

On May 23 this year I spoke with curator Christine Rossi, and talked about two temporary exhibitions on view at Fenimore Art Museum this summer: The Perfection of Harmony: The Art of James Abbott McNeill Whistler (on view through October 2) and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Bohemian Paris (on view through September 5). Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Bohemian Paris is from the collection of Herakleidon Museum in Athens, Greece, and includes an array of sketches, drawings, books, albums, and original posters made by Toulouse-Lautrec in the late 1800s. The exhibition also includes costumes from The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, used in various productions of La Bohème, a story representative of La Belle Époque

Click link below to listen to my conversation with Christine Rossi:

https://app.box.com/embed/preview/tdi26750jrs7cfedrsr02873xqpg3vh8?theme=dark

For more information about Fenimore Art Museum, and current hours of operation, visit http://www.fenimoreartmuseum.org.

© 2016 Simona David

 

Weekend in the Catskills – 5/20/2016

This weekend:

  • Art Society of Kingston is hosting its annual gala “A Night at the ASKars” at the Saugerties Performing Arts Factory;
  • “Portrait Gallery” Art Show opens at Wired Gallery in High Falls – featured artists include painter Claire Lambe and photographer Kellie Merchant;
  • And, Olana State Historic Site, home of 19th century landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church, opens its grounds for guided tours by open-air electric vehicles.

Learn more at Upstater.com.

The History of the Catskills: Book Talk with Author Stephen Silverman

Stephen M. Silverman, author of The Catskills: Its History and How It Changed America, published by Knopf in 2015, spoke at the Erpf Center in Arkville, Saturday, April 2 in front of an audience of about forty animated Catskills fans. Co-written with Raphael D. Silver, who passed away in 2013, the book covers all the turning points that shaped the region and made it into a popular attraction. The Catskills have been known as America’s First Wilderness, First Vacation Land, and also the place where American Art was born. The event, organized in partnership with the Woodchuck Lodge Foundation, also celebrated John Burroughs’ 179th birthday: the beloved naturalist was born on April 3, 1837 in Roxbury, Delaware County. Also Washington Irving, who helped popularized the Catskills, was born on April 3, 1783.

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Silverman spoke about the history of the region going back to Henry Hudson’s discovery in 1609. He talked about the Hardenbergh Patent, signed on April 20, 1708, and how that changed the region. And then he talked about the naissance of an authentic American art movement, which took place in the Catskills in the early 1800s, and manifested both in literature and visual arts.

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Washington Irving, who wrote from an urban perspective (he was born in Manhattan, but spent quite a bit of time in Tarrytown), and James Fenimore Cooper, who wrote from a rural perspective (growing up on the shores of the Otsego Lake in Cooperstown), both helped shape a narrative that was genuinely American, a narrative that dealt with American realities, American customs, and American social mores.

Likewise, Thomas Cole, who was born in England, but moved to America with his family when he was a teenager, started the first authentic American art movement after visiting the Catskills in the 1820s. Catskill Mountain House, the first major hotel, opened in 1824 when hotels were rare even in New York City. That was a game changer for the area: visitors would come by steamboats on the Hudson River, and then take a local stagecoach from the town of Catskill to the Catskill Mountain House. The expansion of the railroad system supported a growing tourism industry: the Catskills became the model for what was to become the typical American resort town.

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Grossinger’s Hotel opened in 1919, thus marking the beginning of a Golden Age for tourism in the Catskills. That ended in the 1970s for several reasons: the expansion of air conditioning, cheap flights, and suburban lifestyle – all these factors changed not just how people lived but also how they chose to vacation.

Silverman spoke about the region’s potential to keep re-inventing itself. He then talked about the Woodstock Music Festival which took place in 1969, and what the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has to offer today. He mentioned places like The Roxbury Motel, which have become international destinations in and of themselves, and new businesses, retreat centers, so forth and so on.

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I asked Silverman what surprised him most when he sat down to research and write this book. What surprised him most was the extent of gang criminal activity in the Catskills throughout the 1920s and the 1930s.

Find more at Amazon.com.

© 2016 artinthecatskills.com

Weekend in the Catskills – 4/8/2016

This weekend:

  • Woodstock Writers Festival celebrates its seventh anniversary;
  • Carlos Santana performs at the Bardavon Opera House;
  • And, Dr. Wanda M. Corn from Stanford University speaks at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, exploring Artists’ Homes and Studios as Archive and Romance Places.

Find more at Upstater.com.