Fenimore Wins $2.5M To Fund Thaw Curator

Fenimore Wins

$2.5M To Fund

Thaw Curator

Another $1M To Buy Significant Art

The first acquisition of American art through the Thaw Foundation grant will be “Elk Swimming The Platte” by Alfred Jacob Miller.
Eva Fognell will be first Thaw curator.

COOPERSTOWN – The Fenimore Art Museum today announced a $2.5 million gift from the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust.  The gift will fund a “principal curator” for the Thaw Collection of Native American Art, and create a new fund for special projects related to the collection.

The new position has been named the Eugene and Clare Thaw curator of American Indian Art, and present curator Eva Fognell, who has managed the collection since 2002, assumes the title immediately. The curatorship is the first endowed position in the museum’s history.

An additional gift of $1 million will support the Fenimore’s art acquisition fund beginning in 2019. The gift also included several notable artworks, including the painting “Elk Swimming The Platte” by American artist Alfred Jacob Miller.

“I am truly honored to carry the new title that bears Eugene and Clare Thaw’s name,” said Eva Fognell, the Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator of American Indian Art. “I feel so fortunate to have been able to get to know Mr. Thaw over the years and work with a collection of such artistic significance.”

“We are profoundly grateful to the Thaw Charitable Trust and its President, Katie Flanagan, for providing such generous support, which allows us to endow this position,” said Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Fenimore Art Museum president/CEO. “This gift helps ensure that the Fenimore continues to be a leader in the collection, study, and presentation of the finest examples of North American Indian art.”

In 1991, the Thaws donated their collection to The Fenimore, and the collection made its debut in 1995, housed in a newly built wing designed by New York architect Hugh Hardy. This wing was funded by Jane Forbes Clark and the Clark Foundation in honor of her grandfather, Stephen Carlton Clark.

It is visited annually by 45,000 visitors, including over 8,000 students.  Between 1991 and 2017, additional donations from the Thaws grew the collection to nearly 900 works.

Many of the pieces have appeared around the world, and last fall the Metropolitan Museum of Art displayed 45 works, receiving outstanding reviews and and seen by nearly 100,000 people in a five-month run. This collection has also been exhibited in Paris, Berlin, Madrid, as well as major cities in the United States and Canada.

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