Current Exhibitions
Circus Circus

Exhibition sponsored by the Beech-Nut Nutrition Company
June 12 - October 16, 2016

Featuring colorful paintings of the American circus by artists from the 1920s and 1930s alongside circus-themed marketing materials used by the Beech-Nut Packaging Company.

The Circus coming to town was a highly anticipated event in small towns across America during the early decades of the 20th century. Leading American artists painted the spectacle of the parade as the circus arrived and the excitement under the big top. Images of circus cars, animals and acrobats were also used to market food products during the 1930s. The Beech-Nut Packaging Company was one of the companies to use the excitement and nostalgia of the circus to sell its products. This culminated in the creation of Beech-Nut miniature circuses that traveled across the country by bus, and a circus themed pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

Artists in the exhibition include Norman Rockwell, Jon Corbino, Everett Shinn, Ogden Pleissner and more.

Jon Corbino
Edward Buyck: Picturing the American Revolution

March 1, 2016 - September 11, 2016
Edward Buyck (1888-1960) was commissioned to paint two historic views of Canajoharie as part of the Sesquicentennial celebration and pageant of Clinton’s Brigade that brought boats overland from the Mohawk River at Canajoharie to Otsego Lake. Canajoharie’s 150th anniversary celebration of Revolutionary War events opened with a two mile long parade that included floats carrying log cabins, stage couches, a wagon and other regional historic treasures from the American Revolution. Militia hauling boats in a reenactment of Clinton’s Brigade at Canajoharie also marched along with the parade that attracted a crowd of 15,800 people on June 15, 1929.

The exhibition features both of the the paintings created by Buyck for the Sesquicentennial celebration along with 18th century paintings of Americans by Gilbert Stuart and Benjamin West.

Exhibitions are supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Edward Buyck (1888-1960) Canajoharie About 1780, 1929
Arkell’s Inspiration: The Marketing of Beech-Nut and Art for the People

This exhibition features late 19th and early 20th century American paintings purchased by Bartlett Arkell, the founder and first president of the Beech-Nut Packaging Company. Works by Winslow Homer, George Inness, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam and other leading American Impressionists, and members of The Eight including Robert Henri are displayed in the original Canajoharie Gallery that opened to the public in 1929.

Bartlett Arkell encouraged his marketing staff to use both his collection, and the works he purchased for Canajoharie, in their print ads. The result of this borrowing of images from oil paintings created by artists such as Edward Gay and J.G. Brown, was a series of ad campaigns that brought “art to the masses” and linked the virtues found in the paintings with Beech-Nut gum and food products.

Exhibitions are supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The mission of the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie and the Canajoharie Library is to promote and celebrate the understanding and enjoyment of the arts and humanities in Canajoharie, the Mohawk Valley, and beyond. The Arkell Museum collects, preserves, researches and presents American Art and Mohawk Valley History, and promotes active participation in art and history related activities, to enhance knowledge, appreciation and personal exploration by all.

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