Landscapes from the Permanent Collection Exploring Woodstock’s Native American History
The Woodstock Artists Association & Museum is pleased to announce Restoring Indigenous Voices: Landscapes from the Permanent Collection, on view from January 20 through April 9, 2023 in the Phoebe & Belmont Towbin Wing. This exhibition explores the historical contexts of a selection of landscapes from the permanent collection acknowledging the Native American significance of well-known mountains, rivers, fields and sites in the region. Twenty works will be on view including paintings, photographs, and prints presented alongside extended labels that identify the Native American territories depicted, and the tribes – Mohican and Munsee - who inhabited the Hudson Valley for centuries before being forced out by European settlers. WAAM’s historic collection is best known for its colorful landscape paintings by 20th century American artists of the region. Works often focus on well-known locations such as the Ashokan Reservoir, Overlook Mountain, Cooper Lake, Indian Head Mountain, Hudson River, Esopus Creek, Rondout and the Catskills with no trace of the geography’s past. The exhibition re-envisions the land from a native’s perspective. For example, Lorna
Massie’s silkscreen print Mohonk Cloudbreak (1985), illustrates the Shawangunk Mountains that Native Americans hunted and crossed, using its long high ridges as barriers to European settlement until the late 1700s. Arnold Wiltz’s painting Ashokan Dam (1930), depicts a structure whose name, “Ashokan” may be traced back to a Munsee word for “forceful rapids,” and whose surrounding area includes a landmark mentioned in female Chief (Sunkskwa) Mama Nuchwe’s Esopus Munsee peace treaty of 1677. Additionally, the indigenous names of locations are identified including: Waughkonk (Sawkill), Kahak-sink (Rondout Creek), and Mohicanituck (Hudson River). This exhibition and accompanying public programs are curated by Nicole Goldberg, Executive Director, WAAM with Evan Pritchard, descendant of the Mi'kmaq people (part of the Algonquin nations), founder of the Center for Algonquin Culture, and former Professor of Native American history at at Marist College, Vassar College and Pace University.
A concurrent solo exhibition of works by Shinnecock Nation tribe member and artist Jeremy Dennis will be on view from January 20–February 26, 2023 in WAAM’s adjacent Solo Gallery.
Curator Talk Hudson Valley Land Acknowledgements: Re-Envisioning the Land 2022 Saturday, January 28 | 3-5pm
Utilizing a multi-media format, including maps, slides (including text, paintings, and photos) and live performance, Evan Pritchard will further acknowledge the original inhabitants of our region, sharing insights about the Native American pre-contact and colonial-era geography of the Woodstock and Shandaken area, based on his many books and new research, much of which has never been published in book form. This presentation will go in depth about the forgotten indigenous history of the sites depicted in each of the twenty paintings on display in the exhibit. These geo-historical revelations acknowledge the sophisticated Algonquin civilization that existed here in Woodstock and Shandaken long before Henry Hudson's arrival in 1609. This program will take place in the Towbin Wing where viewers can take in the landscapes in the background.
We thank The Rivertowns Enterprise editor for permission to reprint this story which originally appeared in the December 2, 2022 edition.
Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site provides visitors with a balanced approach to interpreting the lives of Indigenous, European, and African people at PMH to understand the complex relationships that took place at the Manor from the earliest days of the Dutch Colony of New Netherland to the American Revolution and beyond.
Friday April 22 is Earth Day. In the spirit of that event, Dobbs Ferry will be sponsoring a Village Clean Up on Saturday the 23rd. Watch for further information from the Village. There are several unsightly areas in the Village where trash needs to be removed as a citizen effort in the spirit of honoring the environment of our planet.
Friends of Wickers Creek Archaeological Site (FOWCAS) supports this important event. We are a volunteer organization dedicated to educating people to honor the memory of the Lenape people who originally lived throughout the Hudson Valley and who had a major chieftaincy in what is now Dobbs Ferry. Here they had the tribal name Weckquaesgeeks, which is said to be the origin of the name Wickers Creek, our tributary of the Hudson River. The creek starts deep in Dobbs Ferry. There is a north fork that begins as a spring in the Juhring estate and is piped under the Ardsley County Club golf course until it is daylighted west of Broadway down to the mouth of the Hudson. It is joined by a south fork that originates around Springhurst School and likewise passes under Broadway.
Hundreds of years ago, the Lenape harvested oysters and fish from the Hudson and farmed for other foods to sustain themselves. The oral history states that from across the river the glow of their fires burnt very bright in the night sky. A shell midden is what is left behind from their habitation around Wickers Creek. It is considered an important archaeological site. To learn more about the shell midden and the Lenape history in Dobbs Ferry please go to Village Hall . There you can visit an exhibit about an archaeological dig done at the shell midden. It will give you further information about the life of the Lenape here and why Wickers Creek is such a significant site.
To protect and keep the environment clean and healthy is basic to the Lenape culture. So Earth Day is the perfect time for FOWCAS to honor the plan to clean up the environment in Dobbs Ferry. Some of our members will be working to clean up the area around Wickers Creek. To find out more about FOWCAS and Wickers Creek please go to our website fowcas.org.
FOWCAS is pleased to provide a treasure trove of resource materials regarding the indigenous people of this area. We are grateful to Frederick Charles for sharing this.
The decision has come down from the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, dated October 13, 2021. The court affirmed the original Supreme Court decision. The Landing "is prohibited from locking the gate on the subject footbridge during daylight hours and otherwise unreasonably blocking public access across the footbridge. "
We believe this decision ends years of litigation, which commenced when The Landing locked the gate leading to a footbridge over the Metro North railroad tracks, preventing access to the beach. We contended that the access was a right protected by a walking easement
FOWCAS wishes to thank our pro bono attorney Todd D. Ommen of the Pace Environmental Legal Clinic, and all of his students, over the years, who worked on this case.
A special message from the descendants of the first inhabitants of Wysquaqua (Dobbs Ferry).
We thank The Rivertowns Enterprise and editor Tim Lamorte for their permission to reprint the first two articles. The third article first appeared in The Ferryman, the newsletter of the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society.