Three cultural organizations whose antecedents established the Woodstock Art Colony in the early twentieth century—Maverick Concerts, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, and the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum (WAAM)—join in this historic exhibition. Marking the importance of music in Woodstock’s early history, the exhibition particularly celebrates Maverick Concerts, the oldest continuous summer chamber music festival in the United States.
In addition to WAAM’s opening on July 18, there was a joint reception on July 25, 2015. The exhibition runs in WAAM’s Towbin Wing through September 26 and at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild through August 30. The two venues are next door to each other at 28 and 36 Tinker St., Woodstock, N.Y. 12498.
Curated by Susana Torruella Leval, a part-time Woodstocker for 40 years, the exhibit marks the importance of music in Woodstock’s early history, and runs concurrently with Maverick’s centenary season, which continues all summer at its historic hall, built by hand in 1916. Music in the Woods includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, and memorabilia that capture the early history of Woodstock’s free, artistic spirit, and contextualize fascinating personalities of the Maverick Colony, including Hervey White, Maverick’s founder and animating genius, and sculptor John Flannagan, creator of its monumental icon, the Maverick horse. The exhibition captures the artistic passion of the musicians, composers, and music directors who made musical history in the Catskills woodland, and explores the rustic grandeur of the Maverick Concert Hall.
The exhibition features three seldom seen sculptures by John Flannagan, as well as a bronze maquette for a recently commissioned sculptural portrait of Hervey White by contemporary Chinese artist Wan Jida. Works also include a kaleidoscope of painted and photographic portraits of Hervey White by Bolton Brown, Harry Gottlieb, Konrad Cramer, Peggy Bacon and others; portraits of early musicians by Robert Chanler, Antonio Borone, and George Bellows; quick sketches of musicians in performance by artists John Fenton, Andrée Ruellan, Julia Santos Solomon and others; drawings and prints by Woodstock artists; and vintage photographic portraits of musicians, some as early as 1919, who played at Maverick Concerts from the early years to the present.
The exhibition also highlights images of the unique concert hall, whose eccentric architecture has attracted photographers since its earliest days, including Konrad Cramer, Alfred Cohn, Howard Greenberg, Leon Liss, Dion Ogust, and Noritaka Minami. Minami is a recipient of funding from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation through the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. Important additional support has come from Maverick Concerts, Furthermore Foundation, and a number of generous private donors.
The materials in the exhibition are drawn from the richness of the private collections in and around Woodstock, as well as from its public collections and archives: Maverick Concerts, WAAM, the Alf Evers Archive of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, the Woodstock Public Library, and the Historical Society of Woodstock.