Miss Lamphere & Mrs. Fuller visit the Governor!
Early in the summer the library had been contacted by Governor Cuomo’s office. An exhibit was being put together for the Hall of New York and his staff wondered if we had any paintings that pertained to the state. We emailed some we thought would be of interest and ultimately two were selected for inclusion; In the Mohawk Valley by Asher B. Durand and Low Tide at Glen Cove Landing by George Clough.
This past Monday a call came from the Executive Office inviting me to attend the opening of the exhibit and also the unveiling of the recently refurbished skylight in the capitol. So, to that end, Trustee Sharon Fuller and I headed for Albany bright and early Wednesday morning. Upon arrival we made our way to the War Room where we were greeted by two members of the Governor’s staff. Also on hand were individuals representing other sites whose paintings were part of the exhibit. From there we were escorted to the fourth floor for the skylight reveal. Two speakers spoke briefly before Governor Cuomo took the podium and who, as expected, spoke eloquently and passionately about the tremendous history of the state’s capitol and the major refurbishing project that had been underway for the last two years. After the curtain was drawn back revealing an absolutely gorgeous skylight Governor Cuomo, for want of a better word, swept down the staircase in our direction trailed by staff, security and the press. Oh my, no matter what side of the political aisle you sit on, Governor Cuomo does have a commanding presence oozing “leadership”. He worked the crowd as he passed, giving Sharon a pleasant nod of greeting.
We then followed our guide, trailing in the Governor’s wake, back to the War Room and on to the Hall of New York for the opening of the exhibit. We learned from the chief curator at the state museum that Governor Cuomo had been very involved in selecting the work to be displayed in this inaugural exhibit. He also pointed out that the Governor was a strong proponent of tourism and hopefully, this exhibit would encourage people to explore the many institutions, like the Reaney Library, with their very special collections. It was a proud moment for Sharon and I to see our paintings hung side by side with those from other, more prestigious, collections. I told Sharon we had better start barking, because we were running with the big dogs now!
Sharon and I then spent some time exploring the Capitol on our own checking out the Hall of Governors and the Senate Chamber. Excitement still waited when it was time to leave as the anti- and pro-fracking contingents were loudly stating their positions and facing off on the Concourse. We later learned that the old, activist war horse himself, the incomparable Pete Seeger, had been on hand, still going strong at 93.
January 9, 2013, will long be proudly remembered as the day Miss Lamphere and Mrs. Fuller descended on the Capitol representing not only Margaret Reaney Memorial Library but also our wonderful community of St. Johnsville.