Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame awarded art conservation funding

Goshen, NY — The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has announced that it has received $4,839 in grant funding from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network for the conservation treatment of two 19th century paintings.

Both paintings, Trotting Horse Driver with Mountains (1884) by William G. Van Zandt and trotting mare Aubine (1889) by Charles B. Fish, showcase the talent of New York-based artists and each is reflective of the cultural and historical importance of trotting horses to New York State history.

“These two paintings are significant works of art,” says Harness Racing Museum director Janet Terhune, “and we are grateful for the financial assistance to conserve and preserve them for future generations. We know just where they will be exhibited in the Museum once conservation work is completed. I thank the GHHN grant committee for their generous support.”

Trotting Horse and Driver with Mountains by W.G. Van Zandt.

William G. Van Zandt’s painting, Trotting Horse and Driver with Mountains (1884), provides a view of a tranquil New York landscape, juxtaposed to a horse in motion drawing the sporting carriage of a gentleman driver.

A native of Albany, N.Y., Van Zandt’s folk art style paintings, like this one, captured the vistas, occupants and activities of the Capital Region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

While Van Zandt’s work, likely created for the gentleman depicted, celebrates both horse and driver, the second painting to be conserved, Aubine (1889), by New York City-based artist Charles B. Fish, is focused solely on the conformation and beauty of the mare portrayed.

Aubine by C.B. Fish.

Bred in Waterville, Maine, Aubine was a star of the racetrack before becoming the property of Lewis G. Tewksbury, one of Wall Street’s most notorious boom and bust brokers. His purchase of the mare in 1894 appears to have been part of his effort to join New York City’s society of wealthy and fashionable horsemen.

A banker by trade, C.B. Fish (1853-1906) skirted the edges of this same division of New York high society, while also exploring his artistic avocation.

Funding for the conservation treatment of these two paintings was awarded to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame through the Conservation Treatment Grant Program administered by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, a re-grant agency. This competitive annual grant initiative provides support for treatment procedures by professional conservators to aid in stabilizing and preserving objects in collections of museums, historical, and cultural organizations in New York State. This program is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has provided additional dedicated support for conservation treatment projects on Long Island. This year’s grant awards totaled $138,157 to 25 organizations across New York State.

The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street, Goshen, N.Y. For information on visitor hours, admissions, events or gift shop services (all of which may vary due to COVID-19), please visit our website at www.harnessmuseum.com or contact us at 845.294.6330 or email info@harnessmuseum.com.

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