ZADOCK PRATT MUSEUM
Prattsville Clews – A Case Study by Clover Archer
Chronicler of Inklings at
The Institute for Clew Studies
The Zadock Pratt Museum in collaboration with Prattsville Art Center presents Prattsville Clews – A Case Study by Clover Archer, an online exhibition exploring micro or granular histories – small ordinary moments in everyday lives that fill in the vast amount of time around lifetime milestones or what is more generally considered “important.”
As a creative endeavor that combines contemporary artistic practice with historical research, the Prattsville Clews Project online exhibition is a collaboration between Prattsville Art Center and the Zadock Pratt Museum. This project brings together the missions of Prattsville’s historical foundation and its creative community center to examine overlooked trajectories between the past, present, and future, and to celebrate this unique area of the Catskill region. In Part I of this two-part presentation, the Zadock Pratt Museum is hosting a digital exhibition of the graphite drawings, the text of the “clews” that inspired the drawings, and the family trees that became artworks as their branches were jointly filled in by current family members with names and stories. In Part II of this two-part presentation, the Prattsville Art Center will host on its website the Clew Registry wherein visitors are invited to contribute a biographical detail that may subtly shift how future researchers will understand them.
2019 MARKED THE ZADOCK PRATT MUSEUM’S
SIXTIETH YEAR OF COMMUNITY SERVICE
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN UPDATE
In 2019 the Museum successfully secured funds to paint the exterior of the building and restore the two historic porches as well as paint the Carriage House. We also secured funding to complete a Cultural Landscape Report of the herb garden. It is hoped that by studying the herb garden area as well as the museum’s archives we can lay the groundwork for restoring this important interpretive feature of the Zadock Pratt Museum site.
We’ve raised $133,960 to date thanks to generous support from the Nicholas J. Juried Family Foundation, A. Lindsay & Olive B. O’Connor Foundation and Preservation League of New York State.
Next, we will begin Phase II of our capital improvement plan. We hope to create a permanent exhibit focused on Zadock Pratt: The Man, The Town & The Nation on the Museum’s second floor. While we don’t yet have exact figures for this campaign, we expect it to be in the range of $250,000.
PRATT ROCK PARK
Pratt Rock, known locally as the “Mount Rushmore of the East,” was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. Built between 1842 – 1862, the Rock was originally designed to memorialize Pratt’s life. The carvings on the Rock depict Zadock Pratt, his son George, a horse, a hemlock tree, the tannery, the Pratt coat of arms, a wreath with the names of two of Pratt’s children, and an arm raising a hammer. The monument became a memorial dedicated to George, after George died in the Civil War in 1862. The Pratt Rock Park, an early 19th century pleasure park, also included an early use of Far Eastern terraced gardening influenced by Pratt’s visit to Korea in the late 1830s.
In May 2019 the Town of Prattsville approved $27,700 to restore the Pratt Rock Park and make it more accessible to the public. Internationally renowned landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh was invited to present a concept plan for the restoration of the park at the Town Board meeting in October 2019. The plan, which was enthusiastically received, re-envisions the park as a contemporary 21st century “pleasure park” with enough restoration elements of Pratt’s original park to preserve its historic significance.
The Museum is working closely with the Town of Prattsville and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates on this important restoration project. We need $70,000 to complete Phase I, cleaning and restoration of the historic rock sculptures. Get in touch to make a donation.
Amos Hamlin II: An American Portraitist
This exhibit, originally scheduled for 2020, will bring together the work of Amos Hamlin II, a 19th century itinerant portrait painter who lived and worked primarily in Greene and Schoharie counties. Each of his paintings has a story to tell, offering a glimpse into the early history of the northern Catskills and the fledging American republic. Paintings from both public and private collections showcase his significant contribution to early American portraiture.