Fodor's Expert Review Fenimore Art Museum
Native, folk, fine, and decorative American art is displayed in a brick neoclassical mansion that dates from the 1930s. Paintings of landscapes and everyday scenes enlighten you on what this country was like in the 19th century. Sculptor John H. I. Browere's (1792–1834) bronze busts were made from life masks, so they truly depict such luminaries as Thomas Jefferson and Dolley and James Madison. Furniture, portraits, other artifacts shed light on James Fenimore Cooper and his family. Traveling exhibits are eclectic: one that explored the history of high-heeled shoes was held concurrently with another that had paintings of America's Western frontier. Photography and modern works by contemporary artists have been showcased, and so have Norman Rockwell illustrations. There's also an ever-changing roster of lectures, specialty tours, and book signings. The café, open during museum hours, serves tasty salads, soups, and other light fare.