New York Historical Association Legally Changes Name To The Fenimore Art Museum

On March 13, 2017, the New York State Historical Association’s legally changed its name to the Fenimore Art Museum and the NYSHA name will no longer be used.  The amendments to the organization’s charter that allowed for this were sought by the museum to, per their press release, “reflect the full range of its activities and to build upon the success of its popular art exhibitions and programs.”

“There are many reasons for this change. First and foremost, we have operated primarily as an art museum for many years and have been known as Fenimore Art Museum since 1996," said Fenimore Art Museum President and CEO, Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio.  “Most people now know us as such, and this name accurately reflects our collections and the visitor experience we offer.”

According to the Fenimore’s press release, the Fenimore Art Museum has “been committed to advancing the study and appreciation of American art for nearly 70 years. The extraordinary folk art collection acquired for the museum by Stephen C. Clark in the 1940s and 1950s and the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art given by Eugene and Clare Thaw in the 1990s are pioneering collections of national scope that have significantly broadened the field of American art history.”

The Fenimore’s release goes on to note that “the legal entity name change will not affect any aspect of the museum’s season schedule or the functions of the Research Library. In addition, the change will not have any bearing on The Farmers’ Museum, which has a separate charter and governing board.”

Also, it can be noted that the Fenimore Art Museum will continue in its role as statewide coordinator and host of New York State’s History Day competition, which is taking place April 22nd, 2017 in Cooperstown, and that their support of the New York History journal and Researching New York conference will continue through the end of 2017.  The Office of State History and other stakeholders will be working closely with the Fenimore Art Museum in finding stable and viable long-term support for both the journal and the statewide conference.

“The only real change taking place here is the name,” said Dr. D’Ambrosio in an email to the State Historian. “The Fenimore will continue to thrive as it has for the past two decades as an art museum.  The Research Library will carry on as it always has - maintaining the historical records of Otsego and surrounding counties and providing services to local historians in our region.  The Farmers’ Museum will maintain its role as the model living history museum of Upstate New York. The New York History Day competition will live on at both museums. All moving forward—all working together toward sharing and preserving our common heritage.”

For more information on the Fenimore Art Museum, please contact:
Todd Kenyon, Director of Marketing
Fenimore Art Museum
P.O. Box 800 / 5798 Route 80, Cooperstown, New York 13326
(607) 547-1472