DCHA
Past Exhibitions



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The Delaware County Historical Association features two exhibit galleries.

The Main Gallery

The larger Main Gallery (2000 square feet) hosts more permanent exhibits.

Past temporary exhibits in the Main Gallery have included:

Quilts Along the Delaware
September 24 & 25, 2011
This bi-annual quilt show highlighted the Delaware County Town and Country Quilters quilts and wall hangings. Special Features of the show included a hands-on quilting area for children, Antique Item Appraisals by Kevin Herrick, Owner of Lettis Auction, and guest quilter Ryan Walsh, an independent quilt designer who has worked with Moda and Kaufman fabrics. Also on display were historical quilts from DCHA's collections.



Quilts Along the Delaware
September 26 & 27, 2009
The Delaware County Town and Country Quilters showcase members quilts and wall hangings. Also on display were historical quilts from DCHA's collections.







The Elijah Thomas Gallery

The smaller Elijah Thomas Gallery (400 square feet) hosts a variety of temporary exhibits throughout the year including: themed exhibits highlighting areas of the collections, the work of local artists and new acquisitions. We also are happy to host exhibits curated by other local groups and organizations.


Past Elijah Thomas Gallery exhibits have included:


Weapons & War Bonds: Delaware County in World War I
May 19, 2017 - July 23, 2017
In recognition of the centennial of America's involvement in World War I, this exhibit was designed to show how local people's lives were affected - both at home and abroad. Items from DCHA's archives on display included: Uniforms; numerous Red Cross pieces; trench art (from bullets and shells) made by soldiers at the battle of Belleau Wood; service flags; personal diaries and letters; and numerous posters, photos and ephemera.



The Farmers of Delaware County Photography by Tess Mayer
November 30, 2016 - February 24, 2017
In 2015, a young photographer Tess Mayer set out to document "how farming shapes people" in Delaware County, NY. These photographs illustrated a community trying to preserve its agricultural traditions and history while making room for new farmers who are trying to broaden the potential of farming as an industry in Delaware County.



The Wild Ones: Creatures of the Catskills ~ An Interdisciplinary Exhibit by Bertha Rogers
October 22 - November 18, 2016
Poet-Artist Bertha Rogers display included painted and drawn portraits of wild creatures as well as artist books, photographs and poems about the wild creatures who live in the Catskills. It also included an interactive video that incorporated images, sounds of wild animals and readings of her poetry by Rogers.



Gratefully Accepted: Recent Donations to DCHA Collections
June 13 - October 9, 2016
This exhibit showcased some of the items DCHA received within the last five years. Included in the exhibit were an 1850 Delhi Coverlet, a quilt made by Phillis Cameron, an 1895 wedding dress from Hobart and furniture from a family in Walton and Franklin area. Also on display was a Burt Townsend painting of the Gideon Frisbee house and a spinning wheel used by the Loughran family from Stamford.



"Poems in Paint" ~ George Ballantine Exhibition
Friday, April 8 - June 5, 2016
George Ballantine a native of Andes, studied art at the Art Students League in New York City. His works are "poems in paint" that strive to capture the spirit and beauty of his beloved hills and valleys through its different seasons and changing light. Whether in paint, clay, or earth, all of George's creations strive to reflect the beauty, serenity, and sacredness in nature.



Picturing the Catskills: The Photography of Bob Wyer
Monday, January 11 - March 31, 2016
In conjunction with DCHA's new book, Picturing the Catskills: The Photography of Bob Wyer 1938 - 1978, an exhibit of images from local photojournalist Bob Wyer. Wyer's photographs covered a wide range of activities and events in Delaware County, including: school & family groups, fairs, farming, street scenes, accidents, fires, floods and even, in a few instances, murders and trials.



Wildlife Portraits: Hand-Colored Photographs
by Naturalist Walt Meade
Sunday, November 1 - December 31, 2015
An exhibit in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Roxbury native, Walt Meade's birth.



Delaware County's Community Heroes in Portraiture: Capturing Contemporary Stories with a Timeless Discipline
by Janet Wentworth Erickson & Students.
Friday, August 7 - August 30, 2015
This exhibit was made possible in part by a grant from SUNY Oneonta.



Let's Hang Together: Uniforms from the Museum Collections
Friday, June 12 - July 25, 2015
This exhibit highlighted uniforms from DCHA's collections. The display included: WWI, WWII, Vietnam, girl scouts, O&W Railroad, sports uniforms and more.



Hats Off: Notable Women of Delaware County
Friday, March 6 - May 27, 2015
In recognition of Women's History Month, Hats Off highlighted a number of renowned women who have connections to Delaware County. Visitors learned about individuals such as Candace Thurber Wheeler, Jennie Curtis Cannon, Alice McLean, Elizabeth MacDonald, Friede DeMarlo, Lucy Lobdell and many others.
In addition to photos and pictures, items from DCHA's archives, clothing and uniforms, books, and other ephemera were on display in add to items to loaned by Mary Jane Henderson.



Quilts from DCHA's Collections
Friday, October 30 - January 31, 2015
This exhibit included the Delaware County Bicentennial quilt, Frisbee family signature quilt, along with crazy, album and penny square quilts.



Delaware County in the Civil War
Friday, June 13 - September 31, 2014
Delaware County and the Civil War featured select items relating to the Civil War from the collections of the Delaware County Historical Association, focusing on Delaware County during 1861-1865. Items on display included: a uniform jacket and sword worn by Colonel James Lewis of the 144th Regiment; reunion pictures; letters and diaries; and reunion ribbons. Numerous other items of interest filled the Elijah Thomas Gallery at the museum.



The Power of Archives: Historical Records From the Delaware County Historical Association
Friday, February 14, 2014 - May 27, 2014
Items from DCHA's archives on display included materials pertaining to the reservoirs; milk strikes; nineteenth-century land records; maps; genealogical information; school records; business and advertising materials; personal diaries; and posters, photos and ephemera.



Time Passages
Friday, October 25, 2013 - Friday, January 31, 2014
This exhibit featured historic photographs from numerous DCHA collections including Farrington and McMurdy and photographs from the present. Viewer could compare the same scenes in the area at various times over the course of the last 100 years.



Planting Wildness: Delaware County Returns to Roots by Bertha Rogers
Friday, September 13, 2013 - October 11, 2013
This interdisciplinary exhibit created by Bertha Rogers looks at the history of New York's reforestation program that began in 1902.
Planting Wildness began in 1990, when Rogers and her family and friends planted 1000 Norway Spruces purchased from the NYDEC on her property near Treadwell. The field where they planted the spruces had been an apple orchard and a meadow; 23 years later, the spruces have grown to 40-50 feet tall and are home to many wild animals, including a fisher. After planting the spruces, Rogers planted about 1500 more trees and shrubs, including fruit trees, green ashes, hybrid poplars, hybrid elms, shagbark hickories, black walnuts, catalypas, and other species. Many have thrived, a few have not, but the landscape has been changed forever.
Rogers researched New York's tree-planting as well and learned that, after the Catskills were denuded by settlers in the later 1700s and early 1800s, the animals had virtually disappeared, the hills and valleys like a desert. But in 1902 New York implemented a massive reforestation plan that continued throughout the years. Today, the Catskills and Delaware County are full of forests, many planted by individuals and by schoolchildren, 4-H members, and other groups.
Rogers' exhibit, in part a documentation, aimed to inform and encourage others to plant trees, those giants of nature. The exhibit included paintings and illuminations with gold leaf, and artists' books and boxes.


City Meets Country by Beth Brown
Friday, August 2, 2013 - September 5, 2013
This exhibit of photography by Sidney native Beth Brown explored the juxtaposition of NYC and Delaware County. Currently Ms. Brown is residing in Brooklyn and teaching middle school as well as pursuing her love of photography. She is a member of Professional Photographers of Greater New York and The Cooperstown Art Association. Beth received an Award of Merit for the 2013 CAA Regional Juried Art Exhibition.
"Photography is my passion & creative gift from God. I love adventure & my vision is to capture the vibrancy of life through the lens of my digital camera. I believe every day holds the promise of a new photo adventure & with each photograph a story is recorded & told!" - Beth Brown



A Good Time Was Had by All
Friday, March 15, 2013 - July 27, 2013
This exhibit highlighted amusements, games and sports. Items displayed from DCHA's collections included: a penny-farthing bike, swim suits from the 1920-30s, wood skis, guitar harp, mandolin and numerous photos.


Bob Wyer's Delaware County: Photographs From the Mid-20th Century
September 7, 2012 - February 28, 2013
This exhibition showed rarely- or never-before-seen images taken by local photojournalist Bob Wyer (1908-1982). In the late 1970s, Bob and his wife Billie Wyer generously donated their collection of over 150,000 negatives to DCHA. During his career, which ran from the late 1930s into the 1970s, Wyer photographed both the relatively mundane and the sensational. His photographs covered a wide range of life's activities, including school groups, graduating seniors, weddings, family groups and even funerals. He photographed drivers for their chauffeur licenses and travelers for their passport photos. For insurance purposes, he photographed stores, hotels, farms and businesses, providing us with a remarkably broad documentation of life here in the Catskills from the 1930s into the 1970s. As a staff photographer for the Oneonta Star, Wyer was often also on hand to document accidents, fires and even, in a few instances, murders. Images from his years as both a free-lancer and as a paid photojournalist made up the exhibit of close to 100 photographs.


Picture on left: Milk Strike, July 1941.
Picture on right: Firemen's Tournament, Sidney, September 1941.


Cool Tools: Gadgets and Gizmos from the Museum Collections
May 25th - August 26, 2012
This exhibit showed all types of tools: from carpentry and household wares to specialized gadgets relating to blacksmithing, sewing and farming. Items included: an 1881 "Mitreing Machine," patented by Nathan J. Kinch of Walton; some tools once used by noted covered-bridge builder Robert Murray; a silver spoon mold; a "caponizing" kit; and a number of veterinary tools once used by Dr. Albert All, DVM, of Andes in the mid-twentieth century. All tools on display are part of DCHA's museum collections.



WOW: The Weird, The Odd and The Wonderful: Historic Objects and Curios from the Museum
Friday, February 17, 2012 - May 10, 2012
This eclectic exhibit showed some of the hidden treasures and curiosities from the museum collections. It highlighted topics such as law enforcement, sports, household items, medicine, death, animals and the fire department. Items on display included: a 1950s Electro cardiogram, a stuffed albino woodchuck, a sheriff's billy club, a 1880s jeweler's lathe, a coffin, and a 1755 fire pump.



All the Good Dogs: Dogs' Lives in Delaware County by Bertha Rogers.
December 10, 2011 - January 27, 2012
Bertha Rogers created new mixed media artworks that integrated and illustrated the poems she had written about dogs; many of the artworks included 23K gold leaf in the design. Rogers grew up on a farm in Iowa and later lived in California's Bay Area and New York City before moving to Delhi in 1989. Throughout her life, she has lived with dogs, and she has been fascinated with the relationship among dogs and people, relationships that are easily observed in a county with so many canine workers and companions. This exhibit was made possible in part by funding from The New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program administered in Delaware County by The Roxbury Arts Group and with support from the Delaware County Historical Association.



Delaware County in the Civil War
June 16 - November 30, 2011
This exhibit focused on Delaware County during 1861-1865, the time of the US Civil War. This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the war.The exhibit featured select items relating to the Civil War from the collections of the Delaware County Historical Association including: a uniform jacket and sword worn by Colonel James Lewis of the 144th Regiment; reunion pictures; letter and diaries; and reunion ribbons.



Delaware County, Air & Space by Corneel Verlaan
April 1 - May 10, 2011
This exhibition of more then 40 aerial images of Delaware County towns and villages was created by Bovina artist Corneel Verlaan assisted by funding from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Grant Program, administered in Delaware County by the Roxbury Arts Group. Additional support came from the O'Connor Foundation.


Geniuses of Delaware County: Hometown Arts and Crafts from the Past
January 28 - March 25, 2011
"Geniuses" highlighted the truly wonderful and eclectic pieces of arts and crafts created in past decades and centuries by Delaware County residents which are now housed in the museum's archives. Among several items on display were: a stained glass window from Goulds Methodist Church, Hancock; a needlework sampler created by Alice Smith of Treadwell; and a beautiful tray stenciled by Charlotte Meloney More of Walton.



Bisbee's General Store: Heart of the Community by the Meredith Historical Society
September 3 - December 31, 2010
Bisbee's General Store in Meridale catered to the bodies and souls of the surrounding community from 1900 until it was destroyed by fire in 1976. In this exhibit, loaned from the Meredith Historical Society, the history of the store and its role in community life was portrayed through photographs, artifacts, and the recollections of some who remembered it. Visitors could see what an old-fashioned general store was like; where the store offered more than just merchandise.



Ups and Downs: Railroads in Delaware County
June 20 - August 22, 2010
This exhibit explored the history of railroads in Delaware County. Items on display included: numerous maps, a conductor's uniform from the O & W Railway, railroad crossing sign from Hawleys Station, and many pictures from DCHA's Archives.



Dressed for the Occasion
February 15 - June 11, 2010
Select items of furniture and clothing from DCHA's collections were highlighted in this exhibit. Items on display included: a late 18th century desk used by Benjamin Cannon of Cannonsville, a 1910 suit worn by Lieutenant Governor M. Linn Bruce of Andes, and a trunk with clothing used in the late 1800s by Cora Dann of Walton.



Delaware County Through the Eyes of Joseph Santora
August 7, 2009 - January 20, 2010
This exhibit featured the oil paintings of former Meridale resident Joseph Santora. Joseph Santora, a well-known farmer and barber of Meridale, painted scenes of the region from the mid-1930s until his death in 1956. The exhibit featured numerous examples of Mr. Santora's work, including several paintings depicting scenes from the town of Meredith. Alongside some of the paintings, local amateur photographer Barbara Onasch displayed some of her contemporary images depicting the same scenes captured on canvas by Joseph Santora over a half century ago.



Riddle Me This: The Anglo-Saxon Riddle-Poems Illuminated for our Time & Place
July 12 - July 31, 2009
Artist's books, Illuminations, and Translations by Bertha Rogers. This exhibit was made possible in part by funding from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program administered in Delaware County by The Roxbury Arts Group. Ms. Rogers's readings and workshop were made possible with funding from Poets & Writers, Inc.


Flights of Fancy, Carvings by Charles Albert
March 6 - July 5, 2009
This exhibit highlighted some of the carvings of Charles Albert (1922 - 2007) late of Delhi, featuring soft basswood carved owls, ducks and other birds.



Within Three Miles by Barbara Onasch
September 5, 2008 - February 27, 2009
Within Three Miles consisted of numerous wildlife and nature photographs taken by Barbara within three miles of her house in East Delhi. Barbara credits her father for the inspiration to pursue photography and to produce this exhibit: "We live in a national park…..its just that no one else knows it! I've said that for many years, but the day I watched a Bald Eagle from my living room window cemented the idea in my mind."


Makin' a Livin'
April 26 - August 31, 2008
This exhibit explored the livelihoods of Delaware County inhabitants during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. On display were numerous "tools of the trade" related to the more common industrial occupations. From the lumbering and rafting trade to tanning, acid factories and on to the industrial plants of the twentieth century, Makin' a Livin' offered a fascinating look at the working lives of local residents.



Signs of the Times
September 14 - December 31, 2007
This exhibit displayed many of the historic business signs in the Delaware County Historical Association's collections. Alongside the signs were images of where the businesses once stood, along with information on each business. Included in this exhibit were signs for A. Mendel & Bros. and Birdsall Wagons from Delhi, along with an Apex Post Office sign and E. Bryant's Hotel from Andes.


The Stones and Bones of Delaware County" by Bertha Rogers
August 11 - September 10, 2007
This interdisciplinary exhibit by Bertha Rogers, of Treadwell, included the artist's books, boxes and installation pieces that incorporated stones, parts of trees and other natural elements found in Delaware County, along with poetic dialogue. This exhibit was made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered in Delaware County by the Roxbury Arts Group.


Toys From the Past
May 26 - July 31, 2007
An eclectic array of items, on loan and from DCHA's collections showed what children once played with. Objects from all seasons of activities were represented, from winter sleds to an early 1900s swimsuit and waterwings. This exhibit was curated by volunteers Mary Jane Henderson and Laurie Scranton.



They Got Mail… Mail Order Items from Delaware County
January 22 - May 18, 2007
Items from DCHA's collections explored the history of mail order in Delaware County. On display were examples of goods that could be ordered from Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogs in the late 19th and early 20th century including musical instruments, medical cure-alls, and an "invalid chair."



Classic Catskill Coverlets
September 6 - December 31, 2006
This exhibit explored the history of coverlets in Delaware County with an emphasis on Delhi Coverlets. There were only three weavers who made Delhi Coverlets from the 1830s to the 1860s. The oldest known date on a Delhi Coverlet is 1833. All coverlets on display were from DCHA's collection. DCHA currently has over twenty coverlets, including ten Delhi coverlets.


Delaware County - Dig It!
May 27 - August 31, 2006
This exhibit featured interesting historic artifacts that had been dug up, or otherwise found in Delaware County. Residents from all over the county generously loaned their "historic treasures" to the museum for the duration of the exhibit. Items on display included: arrowheads, shoes, farm implements, glassware, fire extinguishers, hickory water pipes, paper documents and records, and much more.



Flights of Fancy by Charles Albert
March 4 - May 22, 2006
This exhibit featured the carvings of Charles Albert of Delhi. Mr Albert did not start carving until he retired in 1985. His close friend and fellow hunter, Ward Herrmann, encouraged him to begin. Mr. Albert received no formal art training - when he began carving he consulted just a few books for instruction and if he got stuck he would ask Mr. Herrmann for advice. All of Mr. Albert's works were carved in basswood and then burned. On rare occasions he did paint the carvings.



Virtual Visit
October 22, 2005 - January 2006
Photographer Carla Shapiro and producer Elly Wininger created 3-dimensional environments with images and sound that reflect unique aspects of life in Delaware County through the stories of two local individuals. Visitors were able to enjoy a "Virtual Visit" with Bruce Hoyt, a dairy farmer and square dance caller from Walton, and Mary Jane Heath of Stamford, who shared her experiences and knowledge of the town once known as "The Queen of the Catskills."


Nature Explored: Wildlife and Covered Bridges by Ward Herrmann
May - August 12, 2005
This exhibit, guest curated by Vivianna Hansen-McCarthy of Delhi's "Curiosity Shoppe," explored the artwork of Ward Herrmann. Ward Herrmann, author and artist, lived in the Catskill Mountains for seventy-four years where he also was an avid hunter, fisherman and photographer. He is perhaps best recognized as the author of the 1974 book, Spans of Time: Covered Bridges of Delaware County. Over forty of Mr. Herrmann's paintings and carvings were on display.



Private Message, Public View: Historic Postcards from Delaware County
January 24 - May 2005
This exhibit showcased the remarkable collection of historic postcards within DCHA's archives. Ranging from the picturesque and the everyday to the burlesque and the novelty, the exhibit evoked the scenes and sensibilities of Delaware County from the late nineteenth century through much of the twentieth century. Also on exhibit were several objects related to the history of the various towns of the county and several artifacts connected to the postal service in Delaware County.



From Bayonets to Bombs, Delaware County in Times of War
2004
This exhibit traced the history of the men and women of Delaware County who took part and/or found themselves directly affected by the numerous wars waged by the USA beginning with the Revolutionary War and continuing on until Vietnam. Items on display included uniforms, weaponry, letters home, and artifacts from the home front.



Delaware County Through the Eyes of Joseph Santora
2004
This exhibit featured the oil paintings of former Meridale resident Joseph Santora. Scenes depict Delaware County during the first half of the twentieth century.



Even the Hemlock: Reliquaries and Illuminations by Bertha Rogers
2003
This interdisciplinary exhibit incorporated the artist's boxes, books, poetry and paintings to address the importance of our natural world, particularly forests in our upstate region and the relationship to and alteration of that work by humans. This exhibit was made possible by a Ludwig Vogelstein grant and a NYSCA Arts and Culture Community grant.



Tops and Bottoms: Hats, Shoes and Sundry Attire from the DCHA Collections.
2003
This exhibit of clothing with a concentration on head and footwear showed off select items of DCHA's rich collections.



Homer Benedict's Folk Art
2002
The carvings of Homer Benedict, of South Kortright, were displayed in this exhibit. Most of Mr. Benedict's pieces depict farm life in the early 1900s. Homer Benedict was the oldest living folk artist in Delaware County, continuing to carve right up until his death in South Kortright in 2006.



Autograph Albums: Pages from the Past
2002
This exhibit explored autograph albums and other sentimental keepsakes commonly found in the Victorian Era. Featured items included an autograph album with hair as keepsakes and examples of Victorian dresses.



The Generosity of Delaware County Enthusiasts: Recent Acquisitions to DCHA's Collections
2001
This exhibit showcased many interesting pieces that had been recently donated to the museum within the last five years. This rotating exhibit changed every 4 weeks. On display for an extended period of time, for parts I and II, was a model train set made by Dr. Orin Flint of Delhi, NY and his friend Mr. Nolan of Oneonta, NY, donated by William Cash. The train included three beautifully crafted brass engines along with many different types of train cars varying from passenger to freight. (first picture)

Part II of the exhibit showcased a 1908 wedding gown made and worn by Catherine MacDonald of Delhi, and worn later by her granddaughter and great granddaughter. Along with the wedding gown was a prayer book used in two of the three ceremonies as well as the original pattern used to make the dress. The exhibit also featured a tied quilt made from pieces of 1930's patterned feed sacks as well as a 1930's feed sack in pristine condition. (second picture)

Donations such as these allow DCHA to preserve and present the many different aspects of Delaware County history.



Profitable Playthings: A Collection of Toys by Bernice Telian and Sonia deFrances.
1999
This exhibit detailed the way children's toys have changed over the last hundred years. Dolls, handmade sleds and wagons, children's books and card games from the nineteenth century made up the exhibit.





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