COOPERSTOWN – “Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits” was a game-changer for The Fenimore Art Museum.
“Our admissions at The Fenimore were up 13 percent from last year,” said Paul D’Ambrosio, president. “This tells us that we need to keep appealing to a broader, younger audience.”
The portraits – Monday, Sept. 2, is the exhibit’s last day – include Madonna, David Bowie, Prince and other music icons. It was loaned by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Herb Ritts Foundation. Also on view are costumes and instruments on loan from the Rock & Roll Hall.
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By LIBBY CUDMORE • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta
COOPERSTOWN – At the Fenimore Art Museum, there’s a whole room dedicated to Madonna.
Not “Giotto” or “Pieta” – The Material Girl.
“Herb Ritts photographed her 36 different times,” said Todd Kenyon, director of communications. “The first time he shot her, she swore she’d never work with him again – and then she saw the pictures.”
“Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits” opened this past Tuesday, April 2. A collaboration between the Fenimore, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Herb Ritts Foundation, the exhibit includes 100 of Ritts’ iconic rock photography, as well as related artifacts from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
“It’s a little different than we’ve done in the past,” said Paul D’Ambrosio, Fenimore president. “We’ve always had photo exhibits, but this is a whole different feel, a whole different experience.”
The show was curated in collaboration with the Herb Ritts Foundation, which advised on layout. “They were the ones who suggested Madonna have a separate space,” said D’Ambrosio. “When we put it all up on the wall, we realized they knew what they were talking about.”
Museum’s Biggest Show To Feature Photos Of Madonna, Cher, All Of Rock’s Greatest
By LIBBY CUDMORE
Madonna is coming to Cooperstown. So is David Bowie. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Tina Turner will be here too, part of “Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits,” due to open April 2 at The Fenimore Art Museum. “There are more than 100 pieces to this collection,” said curator Chris Rossi. “It’s the largest show we’ve ever put on.”
Ritts’ “Rock Portraits” debuted at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2015. “There’s a whole different element to his rock portraiture. It’s not just the visual connection, there’s a sonic connection as well,” said Greg Harris, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president (and a CGP graduate.)