The American painting collection was established by Bartlett Arkell, the founder and first president of the Beech-Nut Packing Company. The paintings he collected are recognized today as some of the best works created by leading late 19th- and early 20th-century American artists. Arkell built the art gallery attached to the Canajoharie Library in 1927, and worked with MacBeth Galleries in New York to acquire a remarkable collection of American paintings. The collection includes 21 works by Winslow Homer, and important paintings by George Inness, William M. Chase, Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andrew Wyeth, Maurice Prendergast, Robert Henri, and other members of The Eight.
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.