High-Spirited Bohemian Revelry: The Maverick Festival

The name of Woodstock is synonymous with the world-famous Woodstock Music Festival of 1969. But few are aware that in the teens and twenties of this past century another festival had been associated with Woodstock over the course of 16 years. This was the famous Maverick Festival begun in 1915 by Hervey White as a fund-raiser for the Maverick Art Colony he had founded just 100 years ago in 1905.

Image available at http://www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/festpic72-05-05.htmlThe Maverick Festival: An Exhibition on the Centennial of the Maverick Art Colony opening on June 8, with a reception on Friday, July 1 from 6-8:00 p.m. The exhibition will continue through August 7, 2005.

The Maverick Festival was conceived as a high-spirited Bohemian revel with pageantry, spectacle, and costumed artists, writers, musicians, and actors, among other festival participants. However, during the Prohibition Era of the 1920s the festival began to fall prey to bootleggers, gamblers, and curiosity-seekers interested in taking advantage of the uninhibited atmosphere. By 1929 it had grown so large and unruly that it was becoming a threat to public safety. Under a cloud of censure and notoriety the festival was forced to close in 1931.

The exhibition documents the Maverick Festival through vintage photographs from the Jean Gaede and Fritzi Striebel Archive at the SDMA (on extended loan from the Center for Photography at Woodstock.) Gaede and Striebel, both of Woodstock, began documenting the Maverick Festival in 1968, when preparations were in progress for the Woodstock Music Festival of 1969. They felt that it was important to show that Woodstock already had a festival tradition. Eventually the project grew to encompass all aspects of the Maverick Art Colony, and today the archive comprises hundreds of photographs, documents, drawings, and 49 oral histories by those associated with the Maverick Art Colony.

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is dedicated to collecting, researching, interpreting, and exhibiting works of art from diverse cultures. The permanent collection spans a period of almost 4,000 years. Areas of specialization include 20th century paintings and works on paper, Asian and Pre-Columbian art and artifacts, metals and photographs. SDMA has a special commitment to collecting and exhibiting important works of art created by artists who have lived and worked in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions. The Museum is a major cultural resource in the Hudson Valley serving a broad-based constituency from both on and beyond the New Paltz campus.

Hours and additional information Hours: Wednesday Saturday, 11am – 5pm Sunday 1-5pm Closed on Monday and Tuesdays, university intersessions and national holidays Museum Information: (845) 257-3844 or on the Web at www.newpaltz.edu/museum Museum accommodates the disabled Admission is free