Five-venue “Woodstock Collects” exhibition opens Saturday

Birge Harrison, Untitled (View of a Stream), c. 1904. Pastel and graphite over woodblock print, 10 3/4 x 15 1/2 in. Collection of Douglas C. James, part of Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s “Legacy of the Arts: Friends, Families, Lovers” exhibition.

A townwide reception on Saturday, September 14 will launch “Woodstock Collects,” a first-time collaboration among five not-for-profit arts organizations: the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum, the Historical Society of Woodstock, the Woodstock School of Art and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Sourced entirely from local private collections, the works in this joint exhibition have rarely been seen in public spaces.

Each of the five participating organizations uses a different curatorial approach, telling a story that illuminates that organization’s history. On view through October 20, Center for Photography at Woodstock’s exhibition, curated by Hannah Frieser, features the experimental photographs of Konrad Cramer, Manuel Komroff and Nathan Resnick, focusing on their changes from Pictorialism to abstraction. Deborah Heppner, curator of the show at the Historical Society of Woodstock, on view through October 27, invited board members to submit works of personal or historical significance, along with written narratives of how the artworks came into their possession. The Woodstock Artists Association & Museum’s contribution, titled “An Artistic Legacy: 1+1+1,” curated by Janice La Motta and running through December 29, presents three-tiered groupings, each consisting of a work by a historic Woodstock artist from WAAM’s permanent collection, the work of one of the artist’s descendants and the work of a contemporary artist selected by the descendant.


The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s “Legacy of the Arts: Friends, Families, Lovers,” runs through October 13. Curated by Tina Bromberg, Abigail Sturges and Sylvia Leonard Wolf, it celebrates artists from every stage of the Guild’s history, from Ralph and Jane Whitehead’s Arts and Crafts utopia to the formation of the Woodstock Guild of Craftsmen in 1939 to the merger between the Guild and the Byrdcliffe Art Colony in 1976 and the addition of the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts in 1996. Jenne M. Currie curated the exhibition “The Art Students League in Woodstock 1947-79,” on view through October 12, for Woodstock School of Art. It examines the vital role that instructors at the Art Students League (housed until 1979 at what is today WSA’s campus) and their peers in the artistic community have played in the town’s rich cultural history.

While each venue’s exhibition has its own personality, the sum of the five shows reveals the mutual sustainability of the arts in Woodstock, held together by a community of artists, collectors, cultural leaders and donors. Public receptions will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on September 14 at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Historical Society of Woodstock, the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum and the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. The day ends with a celebration at the Woodstock School of Art from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Woodstock Collects opening reception, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2-5 p.m./5-7 p.m., Free, Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild (34 Tinker St.), Woodstock Artists Association & Museum (28 Tinker St.), Historical Society of Woodstock (20 Comeau Dr.), Center for Photography at Woodstock (59 Tinker St.), Woodstock School of Art (2470 Rt. 212)