The Fenimore's four collections hold American fine art, American folk art, Native American art, and photography. These include 19th-century American genre paintings, landscapes, and portraits that celebrated rural life in New York.
William Sidney Mount, Thomas Cole, Gilbert Stuart, Benjamin West, E.L. Henry, Eastman Johnson, Thomas Waterman, John Wesley Jarvis, Grandma Moses and Ralph Fasanella are all represented in the museum’s holdings. Notable also is the collection of material associated with James Fenimore Cooper, Cooperstown's most famous native son, and his family.
In 1939, Stephen Carlton Clark invited the New York State Historical Association to locate in Cooperstown by offering a 1930s neo-Georgian mansion, Fenimore House, as a headquarters and museum. The Fenimore presents in permanent and changing exhibitions the extensive art and history collections of the Historical Association.
The Fenimore closes for the Winter season.