The  Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown has received a gift of $2.5 million from the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust. The gift will fund the principal curatorial position of the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art as well as create a new fund for special projects related to the collection. In recognition of the gift, the position has been named the Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator of American Indian Art. Present curator Eva Fognell, who has managed the collection since 2002, will assume the new title immediately. The curatorship is the first endowed position in the museum’s history.

An additional gift of $1 million will support the Fenimore’s art acquisition fund beginning in 2019. The gift also included several notable artworks including the painting Elk Swimming at the Platte by American artist Alfred Jacob Miller.

"I am truly honored to carry the new title that bears Eugene and Clare Thaw’s name," said Eva Fognell, the Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator of American Indian Art. “I feel so fortunate to have been able to get to know Mr. Thaw over the years and work with a collection of such artistic significance.”

“We are profoundly grateful to the Thaw Charitable Trust and its President, Katie Flanagan, for providing such generous support, which allows us to endow this position,” said Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Fenimore Art Museum President and CEO. “This gift helps ensure that the Fenimore continues to be a leader in the collection, study, and presentation of the finest examples of North American Indian art.”

In 1991, the Thaws donated their collection of North American Indian art to Fenimore Art Museum. The Thaw Collection of American Indian Art made its debut in 1995, housed in a newly-built wing designed by renowned New York architect Hugh Hardy. This wing was funded by Jane Forbes Clark and the Clark Foundation in honor of her grandfather, Stephen Carlton Clark