top of page

Let the Stone Tell the Story: An Inside Look at Sculptor Harvey Fite and His Studio Work

A collaboration between Emerge Gallery and ShoutOut Saugerties

Harvey Fite (1903-1976) renowned for the 6.5 acre bluestone sculptural landscape, Opus 40, began as a studio sculptor and continued working in the studio until his untimely death. His freestanding sculptures, exhibited at galleries in Rome, Paris, New York City and in various locations in the Hudson Valley, are essential to an understanding of his artistic preoccupations and achievement.

Many of the sculptures in the exhibit presented by Emerge Gallery and ShoutOut Saugerties have not been seen in decades, or at all. Work has been in the possession of the Fite family, or exhibited in places not visited by a wide public, such as the Stevenson Library at Bard College. In addition to his expertly crafted sculptures in stone, wood, and bronze, Fite made functional pieces such as cheese boards and whimsical objects from tools.

The exhibit will illustrate Fite’s deep interest in peoples of varied cultures, his admiration for the Mayans, love of dance and animals, and his sense of humor; it extends and deepens the singular view most hold of him, as an earth sculptor who created America’s Stonehenge. More than half of the twenty-six pieces will be for sale.

Marian Anderson (circa 1940), plaster

Emerge Gallery on Main Street will exhibit a visual timeline of Harvey Fite’s life and career that will include family photographs, documents and other archived materials. The exhibition will also feature the role his travels and other cultures played in his art and his dedication to racial justice. Fite’s plaster bust of contralto Marian Anderson — the first African American to sing with the Metropolitan Opera — will be exhibited along with other smaller sculptures.

The work of Harvey Fite will continue two blocks away at the Lamb Center on Market St with an assemblage of his larger sculptures. Works in wood and stone will be shown. There is power and strength, compassion and understanding, humor and pathos in these works that include wooden sculptures from the artist’s Dancer series.

Modern Dance IV (1955), black walnut

Fite held an affinity for dance, which remained a constant throughout his life. In his younger years, he augmented his income by performing with a square dance troupe that gave exhibitions locally. His multidimensional art career will be celebrated with a square dance event to include a live band and caller.

Emerge Gallery and ShoutOut Saugerties plan a full offering of programs during the six weeks that will highlight lesser known aspects of Fite’s singular career. A writer friend of Harvey Fite’s once asked his advice when faced with a creative block. “Let the stone tell the story,” replied Fite. This exhibition completes Harvey Fite’s story.

Schedule of Events

Friday, June 3, 2022, 6-8 PM

Public opening reception at Emerge Gallery and The Lamb Center

Cat (circa 1960)

Saturday, June 11, 2022, 1 - 3 PM

The Lamb Center, 41 Market St, Saugerties

Inspired by Fite — Young People Sculpt

Workshop w/Chloe Sabon-Mayor and Rae Stang. Materials provided, Free. Parking in lot behind Lamb Center

Rain Date: Sun, June 12, 1pm

Sunday, June 12, 2022, 4-6 PM

JJ Newberry 236 Main Street

Harvey Fite: Carver of an Extraordinary Career, Discussion

With: William L. Coleman, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at Olana as moderator; John P. Murphy, Curator of Prints and Drawing, The Loeb Art Center, Vassar; Bruce Weber, independent art historian, former museum curator and producer of; and Tom Wolf, Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at Bard College.

Limited seating. Tickets $8.00 available on Eventbrite.

$10 at the door

Friday, July 8, 2022, 6-7 PM

The Lamb Center, 41 Market St, Saugerties

Who was Harvey Fite? Discussion

Discussion with friends and family.

Mary, bluestone

Saturday, July 9, 2022, 7-8:30 PM

The Lamb Center, 41 Market St, Saugerties

Dance like Harvey Fite! Square Dance and concert with the Mapletones

Did you know that Harvey Fite was an avid square dancer? Join us for a joyous evening with the Mapletones and a live caller. Lawn behind Lamb Center, 41 Market Street, Saugerties. Parking in lot behind Lamb Center. Tickets available on Eventbrite through ShoutOut Saugerties. $10.00


bottom of page