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Promised Gift from the Katcher Collection to the American Wing of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Rare Shaker Music Staff Pen and Case

Music Staff Pen

Isaac Newton Youngs (1793-1865), a prolific clockmaker and accomplished musician, was an important member of the Shaker society at New Lebanon, New York for most of his life. He invented this tiny pen with 5 points, only 3/8 x 5 1/8 x 5/8, to be used specifically for drawing a music staff. Although it is uncommon for Shakers to sign their work, this rare example has Young's initials on 2 labels and is also etched on the nib of the pen. Each label bears the inscription: "This pen may be used either side up - but if it will not make good lines without bearing on too hard, it needs some repair.  I.N.Y."

Launch of our New Americana and American Folk Art Website
Americana Insights
is a new nonprofit online journal and information resource center established by Jane Katcher in collaboration with David A. Schorsch, her longtime friend and mentor in the field of Americana and American folk art, and assisted by a distinguished advisory board of museum professionals and published scholars. Americana Insights is edited by independent scholar, author, and curator Robert Shaw. For a more information please go to our website,

The Instruction of Young Ladies: Arts From Private Girls’ Schools and Academies in Early America
September 24, 2016 | December 31, 2016
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New Yor

Memorial to Enoch H. Long by Mary B. Danforth (18071848)
This exhibition was the first of its kind devoted entirely to schoolgirl art produced in private schools and female academies in early America. In addition to outstanding examples loaned from major museums, 11 of the 51 examples are in the Jane Katcher Collection. The basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic were taught in early public and private schools attended by girls, but private school education also made possible instruction in subjects that instilled social and artistic skills desired by families of some means. It is both the broad array of artistic endeavors taught in private academies, and the level of excellence achieved by some of this work that makes this exhibition so remarkable. Included are examples in pictorial needlework, drawing, embroidered pocketbooks and reticules, samplers, embroidered and painted landscapes, memorials, maps and still-lifes, and wooden objects made by craftsmen and then decorated by students.

 Accompanying the exhibition is a fully illustrated catalog published by Fenimore Art Museum, The Instruction of Young Ladies: Arts from Private Girls’ Schools and Academies in Early America, with a superb and extensively researched essay by Robert Shaw and a short introductory essay by Jane Katcher.

Memorial to Enoch H. Long
Mary B. Danforth (1807–1848)
Probably Manchester, Massachusetts, 1823
Silk embroidery and watercolor on silk satin, ink on paper, leather die-stamped with gold, 16 1⁄4 19 3⁄8 inches, with original gilt frame.

Taunton Chest from The Katcher Collection Donated To Yale University Art Gallery
Taunton lift-top chest with drawer
A paint-decorated chest dated 1731 attributed to Robert Crossman of Taunton, Massachusetts, one of approximately twenty known to exist has been donated by The Katcher family to the Yale University Art Gallery, which now joins other distinguished museums that own Taunton chests, that include The Art Institute  of Chicago, Winterthur, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, Bayou Bend, Colonial Williamsburg, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Currier Gallery, and Historic New England.   
Lift-top chest with drawer
Attributed to Robert Crossman (1707-1799)
Taunton, Massachusetts, 1731.
White pine, iron wire hinges, brass escutcheons and pulls, original painted decoration, 32 x 35 1/2 x 17 1/4 inches

Read more @

Please click each article below to read the publication available online

AFA cover story

The Curated Object
January, 2012

The World of Interiors
April, 2012

American Fine Art Magazine
March/April 2012
“Folk Art, Presidential Portraits, and an Eakins Restored”

The Magazine Antiques
January/February 2012
“About books”

San Francisco Book Review
December, 2011
“Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections From the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, Volume II, review”
December, 2011
“Page Turners, Great reads for stylistas and design fans”

The New York Times
November 25, 2011
“For Art Lovers, Volumes Meant to Awe and Inspire”
by Roberta Smith, p. 2: “Among this season’s gargantuas, three stand out. EXPRESSIONS OF INNOCENCE AND ELOQUENCE: SELECTIONS FROM THE JANE KATCHER COLLECTION OF AMERICANA, VOLUME II (Marquand Books/Yale University Press, $95) keeps words and pictures in balance, offering further excursions into an outstanding private collection of American folk art, and following a first volume published in 2006. This one, also overseen by Jane Katcher, the collector, and David A. Schorsch and Ruth Wolfe, two antique and folk art specialists, coincides with an exhibition at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. (through Dec. 31).
The book has contributions from 19 additional scholars, covering a familiar array of objects, including New England limners’ portraits, quilts, weathervanes and embroidery and painted furniture. But the essays proceed in close-up, singling out individual objects and the people who made or used them, often with fresh and revelatory specificity.”
November 10, 2011
“Yale University Press announces publishing of new book on American folk art”

Tribune Media Services, The Smart Collector by Danielle Arnett
October 28, 2011
Featured in “China's Boom Has Created A New Class of Avid Collectors”
“BOOK IT! "Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, Vol. II" (Marquand Books, $95) will get a lot of play this fall as the newest, heaviest, most tome-like book on 18th and 19th Century American and folk art. Yet it's the collection of early portraits, baskets, furniture, memorials, quilts and the like that will capture fans of early Americana. If you like solid history with your art, the scholarly essays inside are for you.”

Antiques and the Arts Online
September 27, 2011
“Inspired Traditions: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana”

ARTFIX daily
September 26, 2011
“New Perspectives on Collecting Revealed in Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, Volume II to be Distributed by Yale University Press in November 2011”

Antiques & Fine Arts Magazine
Cover story, Summer/Autumn 2011
“Inspired Traditions: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Ameriana”

Pennsylvania-German Easter Egg From Katcher Collection Donated to Winterthur Museum
Easter Egg
The Katcher family has recently donated to the Winterthur Museum a brown-dyed Easter egg inscribed in sgrafitto or scratched decoration "jno x Robt x Brt x 1850." The Easter egg fills a rare gap in the encyclopedic and superb collection of Pennsylvania-German artifacts at the famed Delaware Museum. It is destined to be displayed with the rare watercolor and ink drawing of the Easter bunny attributed to schoolmaster Johann Conrad Gilbert of Berks County that Winterthur acquired this past spring.

Easter egg
Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1850
Brown-dyed goose egg with sgrafitto decoration,  height approximately 3 inches
Inscribed in sgrafitto: “jno x Robt x Brt x 1850”
The Easter Bunny and a Decorated Egg: Two Rare Early American Treasures”

On view March 12 - April 13, 2012

2011 Americana Symposium: Inspired Traditions
September 30, 2011 | October 1, 2011
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York
Clock base detail
This fall the Fenimore Art Museum introduced a new program, the Americana Symposium, an annual event that will bring together leading scholars and experts on American history, art, and culture. Each year presenters will use the exhibits and collections of the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum to explore the exciting world of Americana. In addition to scholarly presentations, the symposia may include in-depth object examinations, workshops on preservation and collecting, and opportunities to meet and learn from other participants.

The 2011 Americana Symposium was held on September 30 and October 1 to coincide with the opening of the exhibition Inspired Traditions: Selections from Jane Katcher Collection of Americana at the Fenimore Art Museum and the publication of a new book, Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, Vol. II, from Marquand Books. Presenters included Jane Katcher, Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Eva Fognell, Robin Jaffee Frank, Richard Miller, David A. Schorsch, Robert Shaw, Robert W. Willkins. They covered a wide range of topics that highlight themes and objects from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, as well as the folk art collections of the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum.

Please call (607) 547-1461 if you have questions about the program.

Inspired Traditions: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana
October 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York

FameWeathervaneThe artworks in this exhibition are from the private collection of Jane Katcher, one of the most prominent folk art collectors in America. The collection is comprised of objects largely from New England, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and date from the mid 18th century through the mid 19th century. Included are portraits, sculpture, quilts, weathervanes, trade signs, furniture, baskets and Shaker objects.

This special exhibition will coincide with the publication of Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, Vol. II. It forms a complement to Fenimore Art Museums collection of American folk art, which is also on view.

Read more in Laura Beach’s cover story: September 30 issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly

Two Icons of American Painted Furniture From the Katcher Collection Go On Public Exhibition

Johannes Spitler hanging cupboardA superb slide-lid box and unique Johannes Spitler hanging cupboard (pictured), arguably two of the most important examples of American paint-decorated vernacular furniture in private hands, are included in the exhibition "Paint, Pattern & People, Furniture of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1725-1850," at The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Delaware, from April 2, 2011 to January 8, 2012. It is the first time that either of these extraordinary objects have been included in a museum exhibition. Anyone interested in this subject is encouraged to purchase the wonderful new book of the same title co-authored by Wendy A. Cooper and Lisa Minardi, in which these pieces and many more are illustrated and discussed.Slide-Lid Box

Brewster Masterpiece from Katcher Collection to Go On Public Display

The iconic double portrait of Comfort Starr Mygatt and daughter Lucy painted by John Brewster, Jr. in 1799 has been given to the Yale University Art Gallery by the Katcher family. Beginning on February 20, 2009, it will be on exhibition on the third floor of the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut.

Comfort Starr Mygatt and Lucy Mygatt
John Brewster Jr. (1766-1854)
Danbury, Connecticut 1799
Oil on canvas, 54 x 39 1/2 inches

Comfort Starr Mygatt and daughter Lucy painted by John Brewster, Jr.