Eames House - 20 Comeau Drive, PO Box 841 
Woodstock, NY 12498
845 679-2256
The Historical Society of Woodstock was founded in 1929 by a group of artists, writers, academics, and local citizens. In addition to the exhibition space, which is located at the historic Eames House on Comeau Drive in the center of Woodstock, the Historical Society has an extensive archive consisting of paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, textiles, photographs, books, manuscripts, correspondence, documents, film/sound recordings, and antique tools. The archive serves as a resource for a wide range of exhibitions, public programming, and research.
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What was once an un-finished, un-insulated, un-heated storage room is now an accessible office/research room!
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Standing on Their Shoulders: 
100 Years of Voting and Still Marching for Women's Rights
POSTPONED UNTIL Fall 2021
more information below
Historical Society Receives Humanities Grant

The Historical Society of Woodstock is pleased to announce that it has recently been awarded an Action Grant from Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the production of 

Standing on Their Shoulders: 100 Years of Voting.

more information click here:

Humanities Grant for Women's Rights Centennial Program


Seasons: Catching Nature's Cycle
POSTPONED UNTIL JUNE 2021
selected works from the collection of
The Historical Society

"Sally Michel Sketching Sheep at Big Indian", Robert Selkowitz, 1977
more information below

Historical Society Receives Pomeroy Foundation Grant

 

The Historical Society of Woodstock is pleased to announce that it has recently been awarded a grant from The Pomeroy Foundation in conjunction with the Museum Association of New York.

For more information click here



Standing on Their Shoulders: 
100 Years of Voting and Still Marching for Women's Rights

                            THIS EXHIBITION HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FALL 2021

 
“Standing on Their Shoulders: 100 Years of Voting and Still Marching for Women's Rights” is an exhibition and presentation highlighting the Woodstock, NY angle on the US early women's rights movement. It features activists Edna Kearns (1882-1934) and Elisabeth Freeman (1876- 1942) with presentations by their descendants—Kearns’ granddaughter and Freeman’s grandniece.         (postcard: "Edna Kearns & Elisabeth Freeman)

This special event commemorating the 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution runs from September 19 to November 7, 2020 at the Historical Society of Woodstock’s Eames House. The exhibit is scheduled for the HWS’s exhibit room located at the Eames House, 20 Comeau Drive in Woodstock, NY. The exhibit can be viewed weekends from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

The cutting of a 100th birthday cake will be celebrated at the exhibit’s opening at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 19, 2020. Musicians Pat Lamanna, Sharleen Leahey, and Richard Mattocks will present “Herstorians,” a collection of classic, contemporary and original activist songs accompanied by guitar and banjo. The HSW will display vintage photographs of New York State women’s rights organizing by Elisabeth Freeman and Edna Kearns at the turn of the 20th century.

A special multi-media presentation by suffrage descendants Marguerite (Culp) Kearns and Peg Johnston (both with Woodstock connections) will be held the following day on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at the Woodstock Community Center, 56 Rock City Road, from 2-4 p.m. Marguerite (Culp) Kearns, granddaughter of Edna Kearns, is a former reporter and editor of Woodstock Times. Peg Johnston, Elisabeth Freeman’s great-niece, is the cousin of a former member of the Woodstock town board, the late Jane Van De Bogart. They will discuss how prior family activism influenced their lives.

Jane Van De Bogart and Marguerite (Culp) Kearns started a collaboration in 1986 to bring their respective relatives to public attention. A 1986 exhibit entitled “Edna and Elisabeth: Foot Soldiers for Women’s Voting Rights” in Kingston, NY featured both activists and their descendants. On display was the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used in NYC and on Long Island. The campaign wagon is now in the permanent collection of the New York State Museum in Albany, NY. Edna Kearns used this horse-drawn wagon in NYS. The wagon is on display as part of the state museum’s suffrage centennial celebration for 2020 in Albany, NY that runs to the end of the summer season.

Suffrage activist Elisabeth Freeman was a paid activist. She organized for women’s voting rights as well as conducted a speaking tour against lynching in the South. She supported labor issues, as well as many other social causes.

Edna Kearns, a suffrage activist, was a writer, editor, and grassroots campaigner in New York City and on Long Island. She traveled with her horse-drawn wagon as part of a strategy to reach the men voters of the state in rural and urban areas.

Both activists Elisabeth Freeman and Edna Kearns worked extensively in New York State. They knew each other and were both considered “wagon women.” A votes for women state referendum failed in 1915. New York State women won the next suffrage referendum in 1917. Horse-drawn wagons were used as speakers’ platforms.

“The NYS suffrage victory in 1917 became a tipping point for the nation. It took until 1920 for the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution,” said Olivia Twine, secretary of the HSW and the project coordinator for the fall exhibition. “The 19th Amendment wrote into law that all American women could vote. Implementation of the amendment, however, took decades until all women could finally vote in the US. The town board of Woodstock in 2016 passed a resolution supporting suffrage centennials. There’s a strong constituency for our exhibit in the Hudson Valley.”

Votes for women centennial celebrations like this one in Woodstock are being held across the US during this centennial year of 2020. Interviews with the two suffrage descendants, Johnston and Kearns, as well as organizing campaign photographs, are available for media coverage about the HSW event, according to Olivia Twine, exhibition director.

The exhibition in Woodstock highlights how US women have been marching for their rights for well over 100 years. ++


SEASONS: Catching Nature's Cycle

Selected Works from the collection of the Historical Society
                This exhibition has been postponed until June 2021
The exhibition SEASONS: Catching Nature’s Cycle gathers forty works by Woodstock artists, selected by Guest Curator Susana Torruella Leval from the collection of the Historical Society of Woodstock. The works in the exhibition encompass a century. The earliest images, from 1914, a summer view of Overlook by Zulma Steele, and a winter landscape by Edmund Rolfe, lead a visual tour of the seasons in Woodstock’s landscape. 

As early as 1903, the village’s lush meadows, gentle streams, wooded glens, and healthful climate attracted visionary artists, who chose the site for the Utopian arts and crafts colony of Byrdcliffe, and, later, the Maverick Colony, giving birth to Woodstock as an arts colony. Three years later, the Arts Students League of New York set up a summer school in the village, soon known as the “Woodstock School of Landscape Painting”, highlighting the tradition of painting out of doors. Over time, it lured ever larger numbers of artists from New York City. By 1920, the New York Times referred to Woodstock as “a place of pilgrimage in the art world.” Since the 19th century, landscape painters Thomas Cole and Frederic Church had pioneered the plein air tradition in the Hudson Valley. Their artistic descendants, Birge Harrison and John Carlson, subsequent directors of the Woodstock School of Landscape, must have smiled their approval at the successful continuation of their legacy into the “modern” era. 
        ("Overlook Mountain", Zulma Steele, 1914, collection of the Historical Society of Woodstock)


The works in the exhibition display a rich variety of styles: from traditionally precise, yet expansive, romantic views; to proto Cubist and modernist abstractions; to lucid depictions inspired by Realist, Impressionist, and post Impressionist models. The works also offer diverse media: paintings in oil and acrylic, on canvas, paper and board; drawings on paper with pen with brush, oil and charcoal; watercolors; prints: lithographs and etchings; and vintage and contemporary photographs. 
A tour of SEASONS: Catching Nature’s Cycle invites you to explore Woodstock’s country lanes and roads, identifying farms, barns and homes; watch children play and trees dance; and allow the sun to blind you as it reflects on the snow. You can slosh through meadows of mud, snow, and ice, watch melting ice crystals drift downstream, or amble along sunlit grassy or ochre banks. You can choose bird’s eye views of village or valley, or close-ups of bugs, and flowers, shelter in the shadow of a huge, gentle tree, or admire the majestic shagbarks. You will experience Overlook Mountain’s different moods: in a chilly Autumn fog or a sunny Summer haze; listen for the deep twang of the bullfrogs, or the silence of the snow; and smell the oversweet wisteria, the pungency of cow dung, and the musky scent of fallen leaves. You can observe the slow approach of a praying mantis stalking a bumblebee. Mostly, you can be joyous that you have Woodstock.


Works in Wire by Alison Eriksen

This exhibition has been postponed until May 2021


A retrospective tribute to the sculptress Alison Eriksen (1964-2019), whose roots and influences run deep in Woodstock. 

"To me as an artist and musician, the elements of line, rhythm and movement are primary interests whether in visual or auditory form. Wire, wood, metal—the materials of musical instruments—are my materials in sculpture. Metal and wood conduct sound and respond to touch. Wire conveys movement and rhythm by its very essence." 
                                                                                                                                                --Alison Eriksen, 2018 

A native of Plainfield, New Jersey, Alison Eriksen spent childhood vacations in Woodstock with her grandmother, Ethel Cashdollar White, and as an adult frequently visited the Woodstock home of her mother, longtime Historical Society member Jean White. She lived in Portland, Oregon, where she maintained a studio and exhibited her work in leading local galleries. Even then, her love of Woodstock kept pulling her back and led her, with her husband, Robert Eriksen, to build a house in the shadow of Overlook Mountain, where she spent her final months.


An artist who could be both serious and fanciful, Eriksen worked early on in clay but found her greatest expression using metal wire, which she combined with wooden boxes and other artifacts to create sculptures at once intricate and accessible. Her artistic lineage includes two well-known Woodstock artists, her great-grandmother Sarah Cashdollar and her great-uncle Clarence Bolton, and her mother, who has degrees in art education from Pratt Institute and SUNY New Paltz and was a public-school art teacher for 30 years. She was further encouraged as an artist by her father, Ted Boyer, whose extensive collection of Woodstock art has been the subject of museum exhibits.

Trained in music and psychology as well as art, Eriksen earned a master’s degree from the City University of London and a PhD from Northwestern University. She was a professor of psychology for three years at the University of Montana. She was a gifted classical pianist and inveterate hiker and climber. 




                        


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