GLENS FALLS, NY — Hyde Collection founder Charlotte Hyde (1867-1963) had the foresight to know that to stay relevant, the Museum would have to evolve. On Saturday, June 10, the Museum opens its doors to the future as it unveils its latest transformation, the newly constructed Feibes & Schmitt Gallery.
From noon to 7 pm, the Museum is hosting a Community Day to celebrate the gallery’s opening, with tours of the Museum, children’s activities, art projects, artists at work throughout the campus, a Spirograph activity, live music, and farm-to-table food. Bring the family and spend the day creating, or bring a blanket and have a picnic listening to the bluesy rock sound of The Escape.
“This event invites the entire community to share in the celebration of the new Feibes & Schmitt Gallery,” said Hyde Collection Director Erin Coe. “It also connects us to our founder’s mission to provide people throughout the region with opportunities to engage with visual art,” Coe stated.
The Feibes & Schmitt Gallery is the result of a donation made last year from Werner Feibes and his late partner, James Schmitt, who gave the Museum their Modern and Contemporary art collection valued at more than $10 million, and a $1 million leadership donation to build the 1,500-square-foot exhibition space. The collection establishes the Museum as a regional hub for Modern and Contemporary art, and greatly increases its educational and programming opportunities.
“I have visited The Hyde Collection many times and know how important it is to our community’s culture, as well as to our local economy,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. “This new gallery will make The Hyde an even stronger pillar of our Glens Falls community.”
The celebration June 10 also marks the opening of the Feibes & Schmitt Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, To Distribute and Multiply: The Feibes & Schmitt Gift, which includes more than forty works from the collection, representing some of the twentieth century’s most influential artists, such as Jean (Hans) Arp, Josef Albers, Ilya Bolotowsky, Keith Haring, Grace Hartigan, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Man Ray, Louise Nevelson, Pablo Picasso, George Rickey, Bridget Riley, and Andy Warhol, among others.
“The Feibes & Schmitt Collection establishes The Hyde as a regional must-see for Modern art,” Coe said. “Without traveling to New York or Boston, or even Montreal, there’s nowhere else in the region where you can see the works of the twentieth century’s most influential artists just down the hall from Botticelli, Rembrandt, Degas, Hassam, and Homer.”
“The Hyde Collection is a jewel which now shines even brighter with the addition of the Feibes & Schmitt Gallery,” said Senator Betty Little. “Past visitors to The Hyde will want to come back to see the new gallery and those who have never been here will no doubt be astounded when they walk through the doors and see the breadth and the beauty and the cultural impact of this remarkable collection of artwork. I am very proud that my hometown of Glens Falls has this to offer.”
Architects and Hyde benefactors Werner Feibes and the late James Schmitt didn’t see works of art as material possessions, but as ideas. They donated their $10 million collection of Modern and Contemporary art to The Hyde Collection in part because they knew the Museum would regularly exhibit the works and provide the public greater access to the art than a larger museum could. Centered on a quote from Josef Albers (1888-1976) — “To distribute material possessions is to divide them. To distribute spiritual possessions is to multiply them.” — the inaugural exhibition To Distribute and Multiply: The Feibes & Schmitt Gift in the new gallery that bears their names, demonstrates Messrs. Feibes and Schmitt as art lovers and collectors.
The more than forty works showcase the collectors’ affinity for postwar nonrepresentational art. Messrs. Feibes and Schmitt were friends with many of the artists whose works they collected, including Ellsworth Kelly, whose portraits of the couple are included in the exhibition.
“The selection of works in the inaugural exhibition speaks pointedly to Werner and Jim’s collective interests and tastes,” Coe said. “Specifically, it focuses on the artists that Werner and Jim befriended, which gives the collection its distinctive character and charm.”
“Jim (Schmitt) and I always considered art as ideas expressed through a visual medium,” Mr. Feibes has said. “For more than four decades, we collected these ideas, and it gives me great pleasure to share them with The Hyde and with the public.”
To Distribute and Multiply: The Feibes & Schmitt Gift is organized by The Hyde Collection and curated by Museum Director Erin Coe and Jonathan Canning, Director of Curatorial Affairs. The inaugural exhibit will remain on view through the end of the year.
Also at The Hyde
American Artists in Europe: Selections from the Permanent Collection is drawn from the Museum’s nearly 4,000-object collection, highlighting American artists inspired by their travels. The exhibition features works from Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, Frank Duveneck, Elihu Vedder, and Leonard Freed, among others. American Artists in Europe runs through June 11 in Whitney-Renz Gallery.
What is The Hyde?
The Hyde Collection is one of the Northeast’s exceptional small art museums with distinguished collections of European, American, Modern, and Contemporary art. Its permanent collection of nearly 4,000 works spans centuries and consists of paintings, drawings, graphics, sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts. The core collection, acquired by Museum founders Louis and Charlotte Hyde, includes works by such artists as Sandro Botticelli, El Greco, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Edgar Degas, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and American artists Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, and James McNeill Whistler. The Museum’s collection of Modern and Contemporary art features works by artists including Josef Albers, Dorothy Dehner, Sam Gilliam, Adolph Gottlieb, Grace Hartigan, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, George McNeil, Robert Motherwell, Ben Nicholson, Robert Rauschenberg, and Bridget Riley. The Hyde Collection presents changing exhibitions in its three galleries, as well as lectures, cultural events, family activities, and school programming in its modern museum complex and historic house at 161 Warren St., Glens Falls.