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News of Otsego County

Fenimore Art Museum

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Make Sense Of Seed Cataloges With Otsego County Master Gardeners 01-13-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13

Make Sense Of Seed Cataloges

With Otsego County Master Gardeners

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LUNCH & LEARN – Noon. Otsego County Master Gardeners present ‘Making Sense of Seed Catalogs – Ask the Experts’ featuring Master Gardeners Kim L’Heureux and Kathy Koch with Ashley Helmholdt, Extension Associate from the Cornell Garden-Based Learning Program who will discuss the Cornell Vegetable Variety Garden Trials. Presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension. 607-547-2536 ext. 228 or visit cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2021/01/13/lunch-learn-making-sense-of-seed-catalogs-ask-the-experts

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Last Day To Enter Fenimore Winter Performing Arts Series 01-10-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JANUARY 10

Last Day To Enter Fenimore

Winter Performing Arts Series

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DEADLINE – 10 a.m. Last day for writers to submit new plays, poetry, & prose for Fenimore Winter Performing Arts Series. Send in your works for chance to have it staged and critiqued before an audience. Presented by Fenimore Art Museum. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/write for info.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Tour Christmas Themed Exhibit 12-28-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, DECEMBER 28

Tour Christmas Themed Exhibit

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VIRTUAL TOUR – 2 p.m. Zoom meeting featuring walk through of exhibit ‘Decking The Halls’ with discussion of the artifacts followed by live Q&A with Manager of Arts Education, Kevin Gray. Free, registration required. Suggested donation $5. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST OF CANCELLED EVENTS
CLICK TO LOOK AHEAD AT WHAT’S HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: ‘Decking The Halls’ Virtual Tour 12-21-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, DECEMBER 21

‘Decking The Halls’ Virtual Tour

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VIRTUAL TOUR – 2 p.m. Zoom meeting featuring walk through of exhibit ‘Decking The Halls’ with discussion of the artifacts followed by live Q&A with Manager of Arts Education, Kevin Gray. Free, registration required. Suggested donation $5. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Covid-19 Vaccine Webinar 12-17-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17

Covid-19 Vaccine Webinar

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COVID19 VACCINE – Noon – 1 p.m. Find out what you need to know about the Covid19 vaccine before it arrives. Sign in on Zoom or call on your phone to listen. Presented by Bassett Healthcare Network. Dial 1-646-876-9923, Meeting ID 472-571-706, Password 141314 or visit bassett.zoom.us/j/95037582789?pwd=WGxPUE81eEFnZzB3dHgrRC9adktwdz09 with passcode 729538 to watch.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: ‘Two Presidents’ Exhibit Online Tour 12-13-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13

‘Two Presidents’ Exhibit Online Tour

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VIRTUAL TOUR – 2 p.m. Zoom meeting featuring walk through of exhibit ‘Pete Souza: Two Presidents, One Photographer’ with photographer Kevin Gray featuring in-depth discussion and Q&A session. Free, registration required. Suggested donation $5. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

Monkey Business, Much More, Made Christmas Fun

Monkey Business, Much More,

Made Christmas Fun

Fenimore Museum Dips Into Its Collection
For Cards, Toys, Other ‘Holiday Goodies’
Fenimore Curator Chris Rossi shows off a circus monkey pull-toy in the “Decking the Halls” exhibit, on now through Dec. 31.(Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

When people around here think of Christmas, they think of…monkeys?

At least they used to.

“In the 19th century, they were still developing Christmas imagery,” said James Matson, Fenimore Art Museum assistant curator. “Images of animals had a more exotic appeal, and animals like monkeys were associated with the circus, with fun.”

Two such playful monkeys adorn one of the many Christmas cards at The Fenimore’s “Decking the Halls” exhibit, open through Dec. 31.

“It’s something delightful for the holidays,” said Chief Curator Chris Rossi. “It’s been fun to go through the archives to find these unseen holiday goodies.”

The exhibit features ornaments, paintings, toys and illustrations celebrating Christmas not just across the country, but right here in Cooperstown.

Susan Fenimore Cooper wrote about local Christmases in her “Rural Hours,” said Chief Curator Chris Rossi. “She writes about the greenery and gifts, and we thought it would be fun to include her voice in the exhibition.”

She wrote, “Christmas must always be a happy, cheerful day. The fresh and fragrant greens, the friendly gifts and words of goodwill, the ‘Merry Christmas’ smiles on most faces one meets, give a warm glow to the day.”

“Things haven’t changed much,” said Rossi.

Among the Christmas cards in the exhibit is a 1931 example sent out by Edward Severin Clark, Jane Clark’s great uncle, as well as a “Christmas in Cooperstown” contributed by the Afton Historical Society.

“They found it in their collections and were kind enough to bring it our way,” said Rossi. “The timing was right.”

You’ll also see an image of Thomas Nast’s original Santa Claus, in the Christmas 1862 issue of Harper’s Weekly. “Nast is credited with the definitive ideal of how Santa looks,” said Rossi.

Early depictions, Nast’s and others, show him alone making the toys, she said, adding, “We know Santa has elves, but we don’t see them in any of the works in this exhibit.”

Elves, like the famous red velvet suit, came more into prominence in the 20th century.

The card case isn’t the only place a playful monkey is featured. A hearth filled with toys includes one on a pull-string. “The monkey is the hidden theme,” Rossi jokes. “Making the tableaux was the most fun, getting to pick out a mantelpiece and all these toys.”

There’s a teddy bear, of course, and building blocks, as well as an elaborate dollhouse. “Dollhouses were fun to play with, because a little girl could learn about housekeeping and furnishing a home.”

Christmas trees didn’t come into fashion in America until Queen Victoria put one up.

Dried berries made for a festive garland and cotton stood in for snow, with paper cones that could be filled with sweets for the children.

But without electricity, the glow of the tree had to be lit with thin white candles. “You would only light them for a few minutes,” said Rossi. “Otherwise, your whole tree would go up in flames.”

In addition to homemade ornaments, a number of glass ornaments from the late 19th century were brought out of The Fenimore’s collection, as well as silver tinsel trim. “With the candles, it must have looked very bright,” said Rossi.

This year, with no Candlelight Evening – The Farmers’ museums’ usual seasonal centerpiece – “Decking The Halls” is one of the alternatives developed for the Christmas of COVID.

At The Farmers’, Holiday Lantern Tours are being offered, this coming weekend and Dec. 18-19.

“I don’t want to be too modest, but The Fenimore and Farmers’ Museum makes a considerable contribution to how Christmas is celebrated in Cooperstown,” said Matson.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Cherry Valley Christmas Carols 12-05-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5

Cherry Valley Christmas Carols

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CHRISTMAS CAROLS – 1 p.m. Enjoy great music by great musicians to put you in the holiday spirit. At the Gazebo on Main St., Cherry Valley. 607-264-3080 or visit www.facebook.com/cherryvalleyartworks/

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Museum Christmas Tour 12-04-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4

Museum Christmas Tour

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LANTERN TOUR – 3 p.m. Tour historic village in its winter finery while learning about history of Christmas, how it was celebrated in our area in the past, origin of Christmas trees, much more. Each tour limited to 8 people, leaves at 20 minute intervals to 8 p.m., face masks required. Dress warmly for 1 hour tour. Reservations required. Cost, $20/non-member. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1534 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Virtual Frostbite 5K 12-03-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3

Virtual Frostbite 5K

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FROSTBITE 5K – Ongoing. Run, walk, or bike anytime during the month of December. Post your results, then a picture of yourself in an ugly sweater with your race bib for the chance to win prizes. Benefit for the Oneonta YMCA. 607-432-0010 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaFamilyYMCA/

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Cooperstown Christmas Decorating 11-22-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22

Cooperstown Christmas Decorating

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CHRISTMAS DECORATING – 2 p.m. Join the Cooperstown Christmas Committee to decorate Santa’s Cottage and the village lamp posts for the holiday. Decorations are provided. Bring your own gloves, ladders, mask. Main Street, Cooperstown. Reserve a pole by e-mailing cooptownchristmas@gmail.com

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: ‘Small Works’ Annual Art Exhibit 11-21-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21

‘Small Works’ Annual Art Exhibit

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OPENING RECEPTION – 3 or 4:15 p.m. Find beautiful works by local artists throughout ‘Small Works’ annual celebratory exhibit. Find works for sale to take home the same day for wonderful Christmas presents. Register for one of the free showings, only 50 guests allowed at a time. Roxbury Arts Group, 5025 Vega Mountain Rd., Roxbury. 607-326-7908 or visit roxburyartsgroup.org

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Tour Presidential Exhibit Virtually 11-19-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19

Tour Presidential Exhibit Virtually

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VIRTUAL TOUR – 2 p.m. Zoom meeting featuring walk through of exhibit ‘Pete Souza: Two Presidents, One Photographer’ with photographer Kevin Gray featuring in-depth discussion and Q&A session. Free, registration required. Suggested donation $5. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Learn History Of Baseball Uniforms 11-18-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18

Learn History Of Baseball Uniforms

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VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP – 1 p.m. Students grades 6-12 are invited to learn history of baseball uniforms and how changes in the uniform often reflect events in American history in the 20th & 21st Centuries. Free, registration required for Zoom meeting. Presented by The Baseball Hall of Fame. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-field-trip-american-history-through-baseball-uniforms-2?date=0

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

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