DCHS 2022 Year End Message from the Executive Director

Invest in what is important

Dear members and friends of DCHS, 

While this seems like an obvious thing to say, we ask you to consider a greater than usual year-end contribution to the Dutchess County Historical Society that reflects our larger ambition and greater successes in recent years. By doing so, you will be ensuring that our generation as stewards of our local history is a strong link in the long chain of responsibility, and that our greatly expanded work should continue.

Public Exhibition, Programs & Outreach is Growing Exponentially

Several hundred people have attended the exhibition Fertile Ground: The Hudson Valley Animal Paintings of Caroline Clowes, which runs through December 30 at Locust Grove Estate. Our related online exhibition and video program archive continues to grow. The exhibition is the first program from a new, formal, ongoing relationship with the Loeb at Vassar College.

Our exhibition will be discussed at a conference panel in Paris in the new year. The partner curator to Melodye Moore, DCHS Collections Chair, and myself, is Vassar art historian Caroline Culp, Ph.D.  She will be in Paris in the New Year representing the exhibition, invited as a speaker as part of an academic conference at the Musee D’Orsay exhibition of the work of French animal painter Rosa Bonheur.

We get close to one thousand engaged viewers of our website every month, which we have just made a signficant investment in to make it easier to navigate and find resources both within DCHS and outside of DCHS that are relevant.

We gratefully accept a growing number of invitations to speak at seventh grade and high school classrooms to talk about the relevance of local history.

We have been publishing a full page column every two weeks in the Northern/Southern Dutchess News / Beacon Free Press for five years which we want to bundle into an online and printed book, if we get the financial support to do so.

Because we have invested in having all 12,000 pages of our DCHS Yearbooks since 1914 digitally copied, we have a great deal more flexibility in what we can offer.

We launched two DCHS Yearbook Encore Editions this year, which draw from the entire span of our yearbook and bundle a single topic. The topics this year are Black history and Hudson River Sports. Your support will allow us to do more. We published a beautiful 44-page color catalog related to our exhibition of the animal paintings of Caroline Clowes.

DCHS members and donors have access to all three publications and will have access to the 2022 Yearbook as a fourth new publication in the first quarter of 2023. We have delayed the launch of the 2022 Yearbook to take advantage of opportunities for significant savings in printing. The topic, “Invisible People. Untold Stories.” Is inspired by the headline and words of the late Lorraine Roberts who wrote in the 1987 DCHS Yearbook about the challenge and opportunity of untold stories.

We invite you to take a look at www.dchsny.org/memberdonor  with the password: olddutchess. There you will find online versions and instructions on how to buy printed copies of the Encore Editions and Clowes catalog.

We are delighted to have been awarded a near $30,000 grant from Dutchess County but it is very strictly related to out of pocket items like shelvingand computer equipment.

If I can help in any way, if you have questions about your past membership and donation gifts, or have questions about our plans for 2023, I would be happy to speak with you.