Fall In Cazenovia          Photo by Anne Saltman

Fall in Cazenovia!   Brilliant vibrant turning leaves, sunlight glowing alternating with moody light grey skies, the smell and sense of the impending autumn rains.

"In Still Water we can see"    by Judith Haynes Levins        

We are pleased to include portraits of this year’s  Fall In Cazenovia  (paintings and photographs) contributed by Judith Haynes Levins, Anne Saltman, Geoffrey Navias, and Heidi Ravven.

Photo by Geoffrey Navias        

This month's newsletter explores some more of the hidden richness here in Cazenovia: a collection, an organization, and a piece of art.  Hope you enjoy.

 "Burlingame & Cobb Hill"  by Judith Haynes Levins        

The Newsletter is here to be a gathering place for the arts, a place of conversation and local creativity.  CazArts is an alliance of artists, cultural organizations and supporters, working together to build a nurturing community.  Please consider making a donation or becoming a member.

Our Community
A History of Cazenovia in Objects

The Egg and Bird Collections
of Robert Frederick Hubbard (1876-1949)
The more than two-hundred year history of Cazenovia is a kaleidoscope of people, places, and things. One of the most defining “things” in our fair town’s history is “Hen,” the mummy brought back from Egypt in the late 1890s by Robert James Hubbard (1830 - 1904) and currently on display at the Cazenovia Public Library. Along with Hen, Hubbard collected and brought back dozens of other artifacts and treasures to share with his community. Collecting was a passion for him.
Accompanying Hubbard on that trip was his son, Robert Frederick Hubbard, (1876 - 1949) who was about 18 years old at the time. It seems young Hubbard inherited his father’s passion for seeking and acquiring objects of interest. For Robert F. Hubbard, the items to which he was most drawn were not the antiquities or relics that stirred his father’s soul; young Hubbard’s passion was grounded in the natural world. It was birds and birds’ eggs.


Hubbard spent hours scouring the fields and forests of Cazenovia in search of birds or eggs to add to his burgeoning collection. He was born with a congenital foot deformity, which caused him to walk with a limp, but that didn’t hinder him from scaling an occasional tree if it provided him with an up close and personal observation of a bird, or its nest. Some of the eggs Hubbard ordered via catalogue from the Frank H. Lattin Company. His copy, which is titled, “The Oologists’ Hand-Book, 1885 Catalogue,” at a cost of twenty-five cents, is also on view.

In 1893/94, following his father’s philanthropic spirit, young Hubbard donated about 60 specimens of birds and roughly 200 eggs from his collection to the Library. “He “blew” the eggs, emptying the shell of its contents. It was a noteworthy donation that caught the attention of the Cazenovia Republican in a piece published on Thursday, January 4, 1894.

“A movement has been started to collect a complete case of stuffed birds in the library building, representing fully the birds of this section (region),” wrote the Republican. “A nucleus of the collection has been formed by the gift of 60 fine specimens from the collection of Master Robert Hubbard….and it is hoped that other persons in the village who have good specimens will fill up the deficiencies, until a complete collection is formed.”

Additional donations of birds were made with a Dr. Bass and W. S. Webber mentioned in the Republican article as committing to add to the collection. Today, a sampling of Hubbard’s birds and other subsequently donated specimens are presented in a large 19th century case, in a manner that was typical of the period. You can identify Hubbard’s birds by the triangular tag attached to one of their feet. An assortment of eggs and a hummingbird’s nest collected by Hubbard are on display in a nearby case.

Thanks to Cazenovia Public Library Executive Director, Betsy Kennedy; Museum Educators Pat Hill and Julia Schotzberger, and Elisha Davies for their assistance in researching this article.
Katherine Rushworth, of Cazenovia, is a free lance writer,  former director of the Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center (State University College at Fredonia) and of the Central New York Institute for the Arts in Education.  Photos & article by Katherine Rushworth


Community and the Arts   Part I
On a fall morning back in 2007, over breakfast at Dave’s Diner, Barbara Bartlett , Colleen Prossner, and Betsy Kennedy (the directors of Lorenzo State Historic Site, the Catherine Cummings Theater, and the Cazenovia Public Library) started to explore how they could collaborate on projects.  By 2013 The Cazenovia Arts and Heritage Alliance (CAHA) emerged and with it a greater vision of the potential role of the arts in our community.  

For almost 13 years now CAHA has been meeting monthly, serving a consistent, quiet, and substantial role in the support and endurance of the arts and cultural activity in the greater Cazenovia Community.

On a recent Thursday the conversation starts with the leaders of the ten organizations present sharing notes on how their organizations are doing in the pandemic environment, hearing about plans for reopening, discussing the commitment to keeping people safe, and the understandable frustration with ever-changing guidelines.  The Cazenovia Arts & Heritage Alliance supports coordination and collaboration, but during this time, equally important, it is a supportive body for the organizational leaders to share solutions and get encouragement.

Cazenovia Artisans Gallery Opening

Some groups have been able to take this time and refocus their work and projects, while others have been closed down for an extended period.  The arts in Cazenovia are doing better than many: for instance many libraries throughout Onondaga County are still closed and their staff furloughed. Organizations that deal with live performance are hardest hit.  Here in Cazenovia the support and strategic thinking among arts organizations is especially important during these times.

Over the years there have been great collaborations and coordination. Some of the important work is invisible to the public, like the yearly planning calendar that is kept to help make sure that events don’t unintentionally compete with one another.  And the collaborative work forges interesting connection -- like when the Art Park or Lorenzo is doing a project, and the Cazenovia Forum presents a complementary topic and the library has a special display of books on the topic. 

This ongoing process illuminates what is important to maintain and what needs to be done to better serve and invigorate the community through the arts. In 2013, the CAHA study of the economic impact of the Cazenovia arts on our community was presented to a standing room only joint session of the Cazenovia Town and Village Boards by Dr. Ronald Wright, who had just overseen an American For The Arts Economic Study of the r Onondaga County.  He presented the documentation of the large dynamic economic impact of the “Arts” on the Cazenovia community, both in direct spending and arts-related jobs, and also in leveraged spending and employment in restaurants, shops, hotels, and other local businesses.  


In a subsequent comparison study of Madison with Chenango County, which is similar and just to the south of us, found that  the arts in Madison County are underfunded by the State of New York.  Over the 19 years studied Chenango received 35% more funding from the New York State Council of the Arts and had 1/3 less the population.

While the Arts in Caz are great and impactful both economically and on the quality of life, it has also become clearer, over the last number of years, the organizations are at full capacity and in some cases over extended.  Underfunded and over extended they cannot do more. 

And yet in a large meeting, in May 2018, of community leaders, artists, and arts organizations, at the Jephson Art Facility of Cazenovia College, there was a clear sense that, with some vision and organization, there is much greater untapped potential and more possibilities which the arts could offer here in Cazenovia.   

Next month Part II, the birth of CazArts
Hidden Treasure

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

As the world mourned the death of Auguste Rodin in November of 1917, The New York Times published the following story a week after his passing, declaring: “Rodin Leaves Pupil to Continue in His Steps: Ivan Mestrovic, Young . . . Sculptor, Is Authoritative Leader of New School of Sculpture. ”
Dial forward, one hundred years and two months later to Central New York: Dalibor Prančević, an assistant professor in the Art History Department of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, Croatia, began a six-month post-doctoral position in January of 2018 as a visiting Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Art & Music Histories at Syracuse University.
As a former curator at the Ivan Meštrović Foundation and the Ivan Meštrović Gallery in Split, Dalibor’s research mission was to examine the impact and imprint of Meštrović (1883-1962) on “Anglophone culture.” This leads one to ask, why did Dalibor base his Fulbright research on Meštrović specifically at Syracuse University? To answer that question, one must understand the life and works of the man who Rodin referred to as “a phenomenon” and who many considered to be the finest sculptor of the 20th century.
Born in Vrpolje, Croatia, Meštrović went on to study sculpture in Vienna where he achieved his first wave of international recognition in 1909 at the Secession Group exhibition. He then won first place for his work at the 1911 International Exhibition of Art in Rome. As a result, his daughter Maria notes that critics called him “the greatest sculptor since the Renaissance.” Between the two world wars, Meštrović moved about Europe and America, continued to work prolifically and executed numerous highly-acclaimed international commissions, including several in the U.S. Throughout this period, Meštrović remained fervently devoted to his homeland and the young, independent nation of Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, his nationalistic sympathies and anti-fascist leanings resulted in his imprisonment during WWII--and it was only due to the intervention of the Vatican that he was eventually released. During Meštrović’s subsequent exile in Switzerland and Italy, the famed American sculptor Malvina Hoffman contacted Chancellor William P. Tolley of Syracuse University on the sculptor's behalf. She successfully persuaded Tolley to offer Meštrović a professorship in the School of Art, and the University arranged for passage of the artist and his family to Syracuse in January of 1947. Within a few short months, the Metropolitan Museum of Art honored Meštrović with a solo exhibition of his work.
Moses by Ivan Meštrović
Remaining in Syracuse until 1955, Meštrović is credited with having developed the University's fully-formed sculpture program. Cazenovians Dorothy Riester and Jim Ridlon were among his noteworthy students. Numerous Meštrović works are included in the collections of the Syracuse University Art Museum and are exhibited prominently throughout the University campus, including Moses, Job and Supplicant Persephone in the outdoor sculpture court between Shaffer Art Building and Bowne Hall.
With Syracuse University as his base of historical research, Dalibor traveled throughout New York state, the eastern seaboard and the Midwest to further examine a number of public and privately-held Meštrović commissions and related holdings. One of Dalibor's longer research forays included a month-long stay at the Snite Museum of Art and the Archives at the University of Notre Dame. In 1955, Meštrović had left the Syracuse community to become “sculptor in residence” at Notre Dame where he remained until his death in 1962.

While researching at Notre Dame, Dalibor discovered the following archival reference: “Column With Angels - Walnut Wood (Cazenovia College Collection - Cazenovia, New York).”

This entry prompted an outreach to Cazenovia College Interior Design Professor Betsy Moore, and happily in the summer of 2018, Betsy was able to identify this impressive Meštrović work in the foyer of Witherill Library. Subsequent research unearthed the following quote from College President Rhea M. Eckel in a December 3, 1965 article entitled “Cazenovia College Given Mestrovic Work” in The Post-Standard: “Our new Mestrovic is a most important acquisition and comes to us via an anonymous donor at the same time that his granddaughter, Veronica, is attending the College as a freshman.”

Information in the archives at Notre Dame reveal that the column was created in 1953. At present, according to Heather Whalen Smith, director of the Witherill Library, the approximate 66” tall by 18” wide Column with Angels has been temporarily removed and placed in storage due to operational concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she looks forward to its return when circumstances allow.


In addition to Cazenovia College and Syracuse University, Ivan Meštrović also left his mark at Colgate University where an exhibition of his work was featured in 1954 and the University commissioned him to produce a bronze profile of President Everett N. Case. Meštrović’s Christ on the Cross is also on display for registered guests at the Chapel House on the Colgate campus.

Ivan Meštrović                            Dalibor Prančević

CazArts is pleased to continue to highlight the bounty of well-kept artistic secrets in Cazenovia and environs. As recounted by Chancellor Tolley in the article “Ivan Mestrovic Comes to Syracuse University” he wrote for the fall 1984 edition of the Syracuse University Courier, “When I look back, I can't help but feel that, broken rules notwithstanding, the opportunity to bring Ivan Mestrovic here was a kind of miracle in itself.”
In this case, we thank the heavens for Tolley’s transgression.
Barbara Bartleltt of Cazenovia,  is a Board Member of CazArts

Photos Heidi Ravven
Resources for Artists
15 Virtual Art Museum Tours to enjoy
Art around the world.  Oddly the article does not give the links, but its easy to copy and paste the museum's names.  It is fun to go exploring.

Emergency Grants for Artists
A listing and description of over seventy five grants

Free lance artists and workers – How to claim paid sick leave in a coronavirus emergency
The Freelancers Union created this resource page which helps you navigate through the system

We hope you enjoyed the watercolors!  Judy is a Cazenovia artist who’s favorite medium is watercolor. She paints her world, daily if able. Judy is very involved with the local art community. She’s a member of CazArts, two plein air groups and has served as President of Cazenovia watercolor Society for the past three years. She exhibits her work locally, teaches classes and sells her work from her home studio as well as online.

Photo Geoffrey Navias
CazArts Newsletter:
Editor: Geoffrey Navias
Copy editor: Kristi Andersen
Production consultant,  Shawn McGuire
Subscriptions, Cathy Savage  
Interviews & articles this month:

Katherine Rushworth ~ Geoffrey Navias ~Barbara Bartlett
Please send all inquiries, feedback, ideas for future articles to: 
Creative Alliance

Interested in becoming a member or supporter? It's easy, just click here


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