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 Pinto Guira making guiramaking lacepaper flower making
   Exhibitions: Gallery of New York Artists
   at the New York Folklore Society

inside the gallery129 Jay St.


MON-SAT 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. and SUN 10 a.m.–2 p.m.


Gallery of New York Artists at the New York Folklore Society


In Harm’s Way

October 28, 2017 – October 1, 2018
Mabee Farm Historic Site, Rotterdam Junction, NY

A partnership with the New York Folklore Society, this timely exhibition explores local responses to hurricanes, the devastating impact natural disasters have on communities, and the resiliency of our neighbors.

SEE PHOTOS from the opening of the New York Folklore Society’s exhibit, “In Harm's Way: Community Responses to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee,” mounted in collaboration with Long Island Traditions and the Schenectady County Historical Society. Thanks to all who attended!

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Stable Views: Life in the Backstretch of the Thoroughbred Racetrack

A photographic exhibit about the workers and working life of the thoroughbred horse racing industry in the United States, with an emphasis on the racetracks owned and operated by the New York Racing Association, which operates Belmont and Aqueduct Racetracks in New York City and the racetrack at Saratoga Springs, NY.

The Stable Views exhibit was on display at the New York Folklore Society’s Gallery of New York Artists (129 Jay Street, Schenectady) through the end of October 2017.

For additional information, please contact NYFS at info@nyfolklore.org
Based on oral history interviews conducted by folklorist Ellen McHale, the exhibit and companion book (published by the University of Mississippi Press), portray the occupational life of the “backstretch” of the thoroughbred racetrack—the stables and barns which house the thoroughbred horses during a racing season, the temporary housing for the individuals concerned with the care and training of the horses, and the small outbuildings which house the myriad of support services and businesses upon which the horsemen rely. Within the world of the backstretch, trainers, assistant trainers, exercise riders, jockeys, and others tend to the horses that are a focus for wealthy owners, racing spectators, and owners. This occupational community on the boundaries of the public sphere of the racetrack creates its own identity through naming practices, narrative conventions, and a specialized vocabulary. Occupiers of the backstretch frequently reference other family members and prior generations as their entrée into this world of the backstretch.

Ellen McHale is a 2012 recipient of the Archie Green Fellowship in Occupational Folklore from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The Archie Green Fellowships support new research in the culture and traditions of American Workers to generate significant digital archival collections to be preserved in the American Folklife Center archive and made available to researchers and the public.

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bruningflyerFarm and Field: The Rural Folk Arts of the Catskill Region
Photography by Benjamin Halpern

A photographic study in black and white, FARM AND FIELD: THE RURAL FOLK ARTS OF THE CATSKILL REGION,will be on display at the New York Folklore Society, 129 Jay Street, Schenectady beginning March 3, 2017.

The photographs of local farms and related subjects by photojournalist Benjamin Halpern is a collaborative initiative among the New York Folklore Society, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, and Catskill Folk Connection, to document and showcase the rural folk arts rooted in the agricultural heritage of New York State. New York’s dairy industry continues to play a prominent role, but it now shares the spotlight with growers of fine foods and produce to satisfying the palate of local and regional consumers alike. The photographs highlight a variety of interactions between people and their landscape that reflect the ongoing nature of agriculture in rural Upstate New York, and will be on display at the New York Folklore Society through Memorial Day weekend.

An informal “opening reception” and curator’s talk took place Sunday, March 5th, between noon and 2:00, at the New York Folklore Society, 129 Jay Street, Schenectady. Benjamin Halpern, photographer, and curator of the exhibit, discussed the objectives of his photo-documentation and answer any questions. The public is invited and light refreshments will be served.

All programs are free. New York Folklore Society is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Funding for this project made possible in part by a grant from the Schenectady County Legislature through its County Initiative Program.

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SEE "Railroad Phaintings! on
Schenectady Today with K.O. Wilson
K. O. Wilson
Delaware County, NY

Exhibition of Current Trains

Mr. Wilson’s photographs are taken at remote locations along hundreds of miles of railroad tracks. Unique beyond the generally unseen view of Mr. Wilson’s work is vibrancy that is post-mainstream photography. He employs shooting in low-light conditions, directly into the sun, and upon colorless landscapes.

Gallery of New York Artists at
the New York Folklore Society

129 Jay Street
Schenectady, NY 12305

A selection of model trains of various scales will also be on display during Mr. Wilson’s exhibit. The model trains are provided by the Mohawk Valley Model Railroad Company, 2037 Hamburg St., Schenectady.

See an interview with K.O. Wilson in the Gallery

Exhibit Dates:
September 27 through October 24, 2015

Meet the Artist:
Sunday October 4, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Free to the Public

The New York Folklore Society’s “Artist in the Gallery” series is supported by Schenectady County Initiative Program

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Traditional Arts in Upstate New York logo
      Traditional Arts in Upstate New York
      53 Main Street, Canton, NY 13617 (315) 386-4289

Stable Views: Life in the Backstretch of Thoroughbred Racetracks

lorna-chavez-backstretch Many North Country residents have enjoyed a day at the Saratoga racetrack, where the spectacle is the excitement of the race and the fancy dress of the spectators. Folklorist Ellen McHale has spent years behind the scenes at the Saratoga and Belmont racetracks, getting to know the workers who care for the horses, out of the public’s sight. What she found was a tight-knit community, whose love for the animals in their care is the basis for a rich occupational culture. That research is the subject of an exhibit now on display at The TAUNY Center. The exhibit consists of photos, quotes from the workers featured presented in English and Spanish, and artifacts from the backstretch.

The exhibit will remain on display July through early November. Curator and NYFS Director Ellen McHale will be at TAUNY on December 5 to sign books.

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Photo by Ben Halpern

READ more about Ben Halpern.
Farm and Field: The Rural Folk Arts of the Catskill Region
Photography by Benjamin Halpern

June 1–July 30, 2015
Livingston Manor Free Library
92 Main Street, Livingston Manor, NY

Reception and Curator’s Talk
with Benjamin Halpern and Ellen McHale, PhD
July 24, 6:30 p.m.

“Farm and Field: The Rural Folk Arts of the Catskill Region” is one of New York Folklore Society’s collaborative initiatives to document and showcase the rural folk arts of the Catskills region of New York State, especially those folk arts which relate to the community of farmers and agricultural workers in this region. Read more....

Photo by Benjamin Halpern. See Voices 38:1–2: “Sullivan County’s Diehl Homestead Farm

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“Three Generations on the Erie Barge Canal”
Subtitled “Photographs from the Graham Family Collection”
July 15 through September 9, 2011
The Gates Are Open, 1997, Bob Graham
Dad Radios the LockNear the End of the Day

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TEXTURED STORIES: An Exhibition featuring the work of Denise Allen,
folk artist and master craftswoman from Palatine Bridge, NY

Opening wine-and-cheese reception with the artist: Thursday, March 4, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
As a folk artist who predominately focuses on themes of African American colonial life and country living, Allen creates one-of-a-kind textured artwork employing various techniques, prints, dolls, and story cloths. Her work has been featured nationally and internationally, and in February 2010, she unveiled her latest piece, a 9-11 story cloth that will be housed at the forthcoming 9-11 memorial in New York City.

February 25, 2010 - March 26, 2010

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New York Folklore Society Gallery Features the Work of
Bernard Domingo

To recognize the month-long run of The Lion King at Proctors Theatre in downtown Schenectady, The New York Folklore Society featured the bead and wire animals of Bernard Domingo. Originally from Zimbabwe but now living in New York State, Bernard uses wire and glass beads to create whimsical animals as well as other items such as motorcycles and flowers. Bernard has specifically crafted a large lion and a water buffalo to tie in to the performance of the musical. These, and many more animals were on display through February and March 2011.
Bernard Domingo

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Mailer for exhibition

As a part of the Hudson Valley’s Quadricentennial celebrations, the New York Folklore Society commemorated the vibrant cultural traditions of New York’s Haudenosaunee tribes with “North by Northeast: Baskets and Beadwork from the Akwesasne Mohawk and Tuscarora.”

Read about this exhibition and see photos and video.

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NEW YORK FOLKLORE SOCIETY ♦ 129 Jay Street ♦ Schenectady, NY 12305 ♦ 518.346.7008 ♦ Fax 518.346.6617 ♦ nyfs@nyfolklore.org