Press Release Category: 
Program and Event Press Releases
Publication Date: 
July 2007
Press Release Contact: 

COOPERSTOWN, NY, July 11, 2007—On select Sundays in July, August, and September, The Farmers’ Museum invites visitors to meet some of the carvers behind the museum’s beautifully handcrafted Empire State Carousel for an in-depth look at woodcarving and these talented carvers’ creations, including Sam the Bear and Sofia the Skunk.

On Sunday, July 15 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, The Farmers’ Museum brings woodcarver Bill Cooper to The Empire State Carousel. Cooper is the creator of Sam the Bear and Sofia the Skunk, and carved Buttercup the Horse along with fellow woodcarver and friend Roger Meadway. Cooper has been carving for 45 years and has carved reproductions of the old masters carousel horses, and during his visit at the museum, patrons will be able to take in Cooper’s carving as he recreates a 1916 Parker horse called “Lillybelle.” Originals of Lillybelle vet upwards of $80,000 at auction and it is Lillybelle’s history that inspired Cooper to recreate it. Cooper is a carving purist and recreates the 1875 process with hand tools and formulation paints and undercoats.

Following on Sunday, August 12 and September 16, will be The Empire State Carousel’s creator and Head Carver Gerry Holzman. Holzman became a professional woodcarver in 1970 after studying the trade in England under renowned Master Carver Gino Masero. Holzman has been restoring carousels since 1976. He has restored over 75 works of art from antique carousels and has created approximately 200 pieces of original carousel carving.

Since 1984, he has been the head carver and executive director of the Empire State Carousel Project. Over the course of two decades, Holzman oversaw the production of this full-size operating merry-go-round based on the history and culture of New York State.

Meet the Carver Sundays will be held from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on select Sundays in July, August and September. The programs are included with regular museum admission. For more information, please call (607) 547-1450.

About The Farmers’ Museum
As one of the oldest rural life museums in the country, The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York, provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience 19th-century rural and village life first-hand through authentic demonstrations and interpretative exhibits. The museum, founded in 1943, comprises a Colonial Revival stone barn listed on the National Register for Historic Places, a recreated historic village circa 1845, a late- nineteenth-century Country Fair featuring The Empire State Carousel, and a working farmstead. Through its 19th-century village and farm, the museum preserves important examples of upstate New York architecture, early agricultural tools and equipment, and heritage livestock. The Farmers’ Museum’s outstanding collection of more than 23,000 items encompasses significant historic objects ranging from butter molds to carriages, and hand planes to plows. The museum also presents a broad range of interactive educational programs for school groups, families, and adults that explore and preserve the rich agricultural history of the region.

The Farmers’ Museum is located on 5775 State Hwy. 80, Lake Road, in Cooperstown, NY. Museum admission is $11 for adults, $9.50 for visitors age 65 and over, and $5 for children age 7 to 12; children 6 and under and members are admitted free. From April 1 through May 14 and October 9 through October 31, admission prices are reduced to $9 for adults, $8 for seniors age 65 and over, and $4 for children age 7 to 12. Reduced price combination admission tickets that include the Fenimore Art Museum and The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are also available. For museum hours or general information, please call 1-888-547-1450 or visit


For more information or images, please contact:
Christine Liggio/Public Relations Office
New York State Historical Association
Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers’ Museum
Phone: (607) 547-1472/E-mail: