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Ashley Hopkins-Benton

Senior Historian and Curator, Social History

M.A., History Museum Studies, Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York College at Oneonta, 2006
B.A., Art Studio and Art Education, State University of New York College at Potsdam, 2006

Professional Affiliations
Teaching the Hudson Valley, THVIP (advisory board member)

A large portion of my research has focused on American sculpture, especially the work of Henry DiSpirito, a 20th century Italian immigrant sculptor. My first book, Breathing Life Into Stone: The Sculpture of Henry DiSpirito (Fenimore Art Museum, 2013), told the story of DiSpirito’s direct carving in stone and wood, his immigration to Utica, NY, and his involvement  in the community of Utica and at Utica college. This work also led to the exploration of other stories within the immigrant community in Utica, including the work of folk artist Placido Tobasso.

Currently, my research is focused on the fight for women’s rights in New York State, from the American Revolution to the present, in preparation for an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in New York State (due to open November 2017). My collections areas in the museum include women’s history, immigration, sculpture, toys, glassware, and ceramics.