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.

Support us by becoming a member

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
You are cordially invited to the Historical Society of Woodstock Annual Membership Meeting 
Sunday, October 25, 3 pm
via Zoom
To obtain the Zoom link for the meeting
please e-mail the request to
jmower@hvc.rr.com

Standing on Their Shoulders: 
100 Years of Voting and Still Marching for Women's Rights
Virtual video screenings, October 3, 2020
Suffrage activists
(more information below)
"Women's March on Woodstock", 2019  still from film by Tobe Carey

Panel Discussion, October 10, 2020, 2-3 pm
Direct descendants of early 1900's activists featured.
To register: e-mail name and e-mail to 
historicalsocietyofwoodstockny@gmail.com
(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.

Humanities Grant for Women's Rights Centennial Program


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
A series of programs highlighting Woodstock's role in the women's rights movement are made possible by a grant from Humanities New York with support from National Endowment for the Humanities and the Historical Society of Woodstock.

Virtual Panel Discussion, Saturday October 10, 2020, 2-3 pm
Direct descendants of early 1900's activists featured.

YouTube Video

Panel Discussion: Standing on Their Shoulders: Where do we go from here?

This program was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 
@humanitiesny and #NY4suffrage

A panel discussion celebrating the 2020 Centennial of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, 100 Years of Women Voting – Where Do We Go From Here? will happen via Zoom on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, 2-3 p.m. Woodstock Women's March organizers Anula Courtis and Maria-Elena Conte, and Marguerite Culp-Kearns and Peg Johnston, direct descendants of early 1900's activists are featured panelists. Culp-Kearns, a former Woodstock resident, is granddaughter of suffragist Edna Kearns. Johnston is great niece of Elisabeth Freeman and cousin to the late Jane Van De Bogart, a former Woodstock town board member. To register, send your name and email address to historicalsocietyofwoodstockny@gmail.com and receive the Zoom link and login details before the event. Please respond by email a day before Oct. 10, 2020.

Virtual video screenings, October 3, 2020 - Woman's Rights Activists

"Women's March on Woodstock", 2019  still from film by Tobe Carey

Two Important Videos start October 3
Tune in to HistoricalSocietyofWoodstock.org starting Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 and view two short videos that are part of the virtual votes-for-women centennial celebration by the Historical Society. First is a musical presentation, Standing on the Shoulders, a four-minute song by Joyce Rouse that honors the spirit of Edna Kearns and Elisabeth Freeman, NYS suffrage activists with Woodstock connections who helped lay the base for successive waves of women's activism during the 20th century and into the 21st.

"Standing on The Shoulders" by Joyce Rouse

Standing on the Shoulders by Joyce J. Rouse  @1996 @2015 Rouse House Music (ASCAP) Used by permission. 
All rights reserved: www.earthmama.org
(Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 1933-2020)

The second video, Women's March on Woodstock 2019 by filmmaker Tobe Carey, features the estimated 800 diverse participants marching in the small town of Woodstock, located 90 miles north of New York City in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain region. The community, founded in the 1700s, inspired the famous Woodstock music festival of 1969, but it didn't host the pivotal cultural event that was held over 50 miles away in Bethel, NY. This colorful film, edited by Bart Friedman, will also be available at HistoricalSocietyofWoodstock.org starting October 3, 2020. HSW thanks Tobe Carey for granting permission to show his video and still photographs of the Women's March. 

Tobe Carey, an award-winning producer, director and cinematographer, has been documenting historical events in the Hudson Valley for many years. He operates Willow Mixed Media.

Barton (Bart) Friedman helped found the pioneering video production companies Media Bus, Videofreex, and Reelizations. He has a BA in psychology from Adelphi University and has been working in the field of videography for 50 years.

Film by Tobe Carey, edited by Bart Friedman

"Women's March on Woodstock", 2019, film by Tobe Carey, edited by Bart Friedman

To be announced: Standing on Their Shoulders: 100 years of Voting and Still Marching for Women's Rights will include an exhibition of vintage photographs and a multi-media presentation in 2021 featuring the work of activists Edna Kearns and Elisabeth Freeman presented by their Woodstock-related descendants Marguerite (Culp) Kearns and Peg Johnston. (Culp) Kearns is a former reporter and editor of Woodstock Times and the granddaughter of Edna Kearns. Johnston is the great-niece of Elisabeth Freeman and the cousin of a former member of the Woodstock town board, the late Jane Van De Bogart.

The exhibit will appear at the HSW's Eames House Museum and on-line. The mult-media presentation will take place at the Woodstock Community Center. Dates and times will be announced.

To be announced: The cutting of a 100th birthday cake will be celebrated at the Standing on Their Shoulders exhibit opening with a musical performance by folk singers and musicians Pat Lamanna, Sharleen Leahey and Richard Mattocks. They will present contemporary and original activists songs accompanied by guitar and banjo.

“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")

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.
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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.

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


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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