The Historic Woodstock Art Colony

The Arthur A. Anderson Collection

By Karen E. Quinn

Subjects: Art, New York/regional, General Interest, American Culture, American History
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438497983, 124 pages, June 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-06-01

Explores the remarkable range of artists who have worked in Woodstock, New York for over a century.


Long before the famous music festival in 1969, Woodstock, New York was home to what is considered America's first intentionally created, year-round arts colony—founded in 1902 and still thriving over 100 years later. Collecting the remarkable range of work produced there has been Arthur A. Anderson's focus for three decades, resulting in the largest comprehensive assemblage of its type. The artists represented in this collection reflect the diversity of those who came to Woodstock, including Birge Harrison, Konrad Cramer, George Bellows, Eugene Speicher, Peggy Bacon, Rolph Scarlett, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi, among many others. Anderson recently donated his entire collection—some 1,500 objects by almost 200 artists—to the New York State Museum. This book introduces to the public, for the first time, a sample of the highlights of this extraordinary collection, which represents a body of work that together shaped art and culture in New York and forms a history of national and international significance.

Karen E. Quinn is Senior Historian and Curator, Art and Culture at the New York State Museum. She is the author (with Brad L. Utter with Ashley Hopkins-Benton) of Enterprising Waters: The History and Art of New York's Erie Canal, also published by SUNY Press. She lives in Cooperstown, New York.


On the second page of The Historic Woodstock Art Colony is a 1926 map of Woodstock, diagramming the locations of dozens of artist’s studios. The small town at the edge of the Catskill Mountains boasted artistic giants like George Bellows, Peggy Bacon, Birge Harrison, Doris Lee, George Ault and many others. This book illuminates their lives and works in essays by curator Karen E. Quinn and a host of Woodstock scholars. Even those aware of Woodstock’s artistic riches will discover new insights as the breadth of art from this small town proves to be limitless." — Ron Netsky, Professor of Art, Nazareth University and Co-Curator, Leaving for the Country: George Bellows at Woodstock

"A book as thoughtful and thematically wide-ranging as the collection it honors. Arthur Anderson's appreciation that the Woodstock Art Colony defies a single art historical "ism" pushed him to invest in an astonishing assortment of subjects and styles, a breadth paralleled in the book’s essays—from family reminiscences and celebrations of friendship to incisive visual inquiry and biography. A beautifully illustrated tribute to Anderson’s landmark gift to the New York State Museum, sure to please both veteran Woodstockers and the newly curious." — Derin Tanyol, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Hyde Collection