fenimore-art-museum.JPGCooperstown, N.Y. - The Victorian Society in America has selected the Fenimore Art Museum's exhibition catalog, John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Praise of Women, as the 2011 winner of the national W.E. Fischelis Book Award.   This award is given annually by the Society for an outstanding book dealing with 19th-century art and artists.  Named for the Fenimore Art Museum's critically acclaimed and popularly successful 2010 exhibition, John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Praise of Women, the catalog includes essays by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz and Patricia Hills that offer new insights into one of America's greatest painters. "We are honored to have the catalog so highly praised," says Museum Vice President and Chief Curator Paul D'Ambrosio, "and are pleased with this important national recognition for the Fenimore."   "The Fenimore Art Museum presents substantive and innovative exhibitions, and the catalog reflects this," says D. Stephen Elliott, Museum President and CEO. "With exhibitions that provoke, delight, and inspire, we are committed to offering art and exhibitions that equal our spectacular setting on the shores of Otsego Lake in historic Cooperstown, New York."  The groundbreaking catalog and exhibition showcase Sargent's ability as a portrait painter who captured the spirit of his era. They demonstrate his keen interest in women who were seen as "exotic" by European and American audiences of the era, and his visual assertion of the importance of mystery in the definition of femininity.  Author Patricia Hills discusses "Sargent's Women in His Life and Art," and Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz writes about "The Women of Sargent's World."     Copies of the 64-page catalog with 42 full color images are available to purchase through the Fenimore Art Museum's online store. The award will be presented at the closing banquet of The Victorian Society in America's 45th Annual Meeting on May 29th in Portland, Oregon.  The Victorian Society in America is the only national non-profit organization committed to historic preservation, protection, understanding, education, and enjoyment of our 19th-century heritage. Listed in USA Today as one of the Top 10 places to see art in small cities, the Fenimore Art Museum's 2011 exhibition schedule promises to be another landmark season. The Museum will feature several notable 20th-century American artists such as Edward Hopper, Nickolas Muray, William de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko, along with two major showcases of classic Americana.  For more information about the Fenimore Art Museum's upcoming exhibitions, please visit http://www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/

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About Fenimore Art Museum The Fenimore Art Museum, located on the shores of Otsego Lake -- James Fenimore Cooper's "Glimmerglass" -- in historic Cooperstown, New York, features a wide-ranging collection of American art including: folk art; important American 18th- and 19th-century landscape, genre, and portrait paintings; an extensive collection of domestic artifacts; more than 125,000 historical photographs representing the technical developments made in photography and providing extensive visual documentation of the region's unique history; and the renowned Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art comprising more than 800 art objects representative of a broad geographic range of North American Indian cultures, from the Northwest Coast, Eastern Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Great Lakes, and Prairie regions. Founded in 1945, the Fenimore Art Museum is NYSHA's showcase museum. FenimoreArtMuseum.org For more information or images, please contact: Todd Kenyon, Public Relations New York State Historical Association Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers' Museum Phone: (607) 547-1472 / E-mail: t.kenyon@nysha.org