While museum attendance across the country has been on the decline over the past decade, the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers Museum both increased their attendance this summer.
Any major league owner will attest that signing popular players increases attendance and ticket sales.
With that in mind, the Fenimore put together a winning line-up this summer, featuring artists like Andrew Wyeth and his family, Susan Fenimore Cooper Weil, the Hudson River Series, and the Native American exhibit, “Splendidly Dressed.”
The Fenimore boasted a 25 percent increase in visitors compared to past seasons, while The Farmers Museum also experienced a heavier attendance than past years.
The world outside of Cooperstown is taking notice. The New York Times recently wrote that the Fenimore houses “a collection any museum in the world should envy.”
Although the museum’s permanent exhibits are well worth a visit, Todd Kenyon, the director of marketing and communications for The Fenimore attributes the swell this summer to visiting collections.
He said the opportunity to see all the Wyeth family’s work together in one location,was a factor in the increase. He also credited the Hudson River School exhibit with bringing in visitors from outside the area.
“People like seeing the Hudson River School paintings here,” he said. “Viewing the environment focused paintings in the same environment in which they were created adds to the whole experience.”
Kenyon said the long term goal of the museum is best expressed on their website, www.fenimoreartmuseum.org.
“We are dedicated to integrating art history and including under-appreciated genres, primarily American Folk Art and American Indian Art, in a broad and progressive American canon.”
Or as Kenyon, put it, “We aim to honor the extraordinary ability of ordinary people to shape American Culture.”
A recent addition to the museum may have helped late summer attendance: The work of late local artist Susan Cooper Weil.