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Home » » New Exhibition Day to Night: Photographs by Stephen Wilkes Opens May 20 at Fenimore Art Museum

New Exhibition Day to Night: Photographs by Stephen Wilkes Opens May 20 at Fenimore Art Museum

Written By Editor on 5/3/23 | 5/3/23


Mesmerizing photographs created using more than 1,500 images captured over the course of a day at some of the most recognizable locations on the globe.



Cooperstown, New York  Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown presents the awe-inspiring photography of Stephen Wilkes in his exhibition Day to Night, on view May 20 – September 10, 2023

Day to NightStephen Wilkes’ most defining project, began in 2009. He and his team traveled to some of the world’s most well-known locations, including the Grand Canyon, Paris, Venice, several celebrated spots in New York City, and many others. Working from a fixed camera angle, he captured the fleeting moments of humanity and light as time passed. After approximately thirty hours of photographing and over 1,500 images taken, he selected the best moments of the day and night. Using time as a guide, all of these moments were seamlessly blended into a single photograph in post-production, visualizing places that are part of our collective memory. In each image, the landscape is masterfully captured with vibrant color and incredible detail.  


“In a world where humanity has become obsessively connected to personal devices, the ability to look is becoming an endangered human experience,” Wilkes said about the project. “Photographing a single place for up to thirty-six hours becomes a meditation; it has informed me in a unique way, inspiring deep insights into the narrative story of life and the fragile interaction of humanity within our natural world.”


The project has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and dozens of other prominent media outlets, and with a grant from the National Geographic Society, was extended to include America’s National Parks in celebration of their centennial anniversary and Bird Migration for the 2018 Year of the Bird. Most recently a new grant was extended by the National Geographic Society for Day to Night of Canadian Iconic Species and Habitats at Risk in collaboration with The Royal Canadian Geographic Society. Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes, a solo exhibition at The National Geographic Museum in 2018.


In 2021, Wilkes, a National Geographic Explorer, was commissioned by National Geographic to create a Day to Night of the Biden Presidential Inauguration. The photograph was featured in the magazine. His newest project for National Geographic, America the Beautiful, was published in September 2022 and his photograph of Bears Ears National Monument was the cover image.


Fenimore Art Museum, nestled on the shore of picturesque Otsego Lake, offers visitors to the village of Cooperstown an opportunity to experience a wide variety of world-class art in an idyllic, small-town setting.




Day to Night: After-Hours Exhibit Tour with Photographer Stephen Wilkes
Saturday, May 27 • 5:30 PM
Join photographer Stephen Wilkes for an exclusive in-person, after-hours tour of his exhibit, Day to Night.
Adults: $20 members; $25 non-members. Visit


"Visualizing Time:" FREE LIVE VIRTUAL LECTURE with photographer Stephen Wilkes via Zoom

Thursday, August 17 • 7:00 PM

“Visualizing Time” is a lecture that delves into the unique and captivating work of renowned photographer and artist Stephen Wilkes. Through a stunning collection of work, Wilkes will share his personal journey as a photographer and artist, the evolution of his style, techniques, and philosophy.

This virtual lecture is online only. Free with a suggested donation of $20. Visit





Museum Hours: 
Open April 1–December 31, 2023. Spring hours (April 1–May 26): 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). Summer hours begin May 27: open daily 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Museum admission is free for visitors 19 and under. Find more information at



About Stephen Wilkes

Since opening his studio in New York City in 1983, photographer Stephen Wilkes has built an unprecedented body of work and a reputation as one of America’s most iconic photographers, widely recognized for his fine art, editorial and commercial work.


His photographs are included in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Dow Jones Collection, Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, Jewish Museum of NY, Library of Congress, Snite Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Museum of the City of New York, 9/11 Memorial Museum and numerous private collections. His editorial work has appeared in, and on the covers of, leading publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Vanity FairTimeFortuneNational GeographicSports Illustrated, and many others.


Wilkes’ early career interpretations of Mainland China, California’s Highway One, and impressionistic “Burned Objects” set the tone for a series of career-defining projects that catapulted him to the top of the photographic landscape.


In 1998, a one-day assignment to the south side of Ellis Island led to a 5-year photographic study of the island’s long abandoned medical wards where immigrants were detained before they could enter America. Through his photographs and video, Wilkes helped secure $6 million toward the restoration of the south side of the island. A monograph based on the work, Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom, was published in 2006 and was named one of Time magazine’s 5 Best Photography Books of the Year. The work was also featured on NPR and CBS Sunday Morning.


In 2000, Epson America commissioned Wilkes to create a millennial portrait of the United States, “America In Detail,” a 52-day odyssey that was exhibited in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.


Day to Night, Wilkes’ most defining project, began in 2009. These epic cityscapes and landscapes, portrayed from a fixed camera angle for up to 30 hours capture fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of his lens over the course of full day. Blending these images into a single photograph takes months to complete. Day to Night has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning as well as dozens of other prominent media outlets and, with a grant from the National Geographic Society, was recently extended to include America’s National Parks in celebration of their centennial anniversary and Bird Migration for the 2018 Year of the Bird. Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes was exhibited at The National Geographic Museum in February, 2018.


Day to Night was published by TASCHEN as a monograph in 2019. The book is available as an XXL Edition and an Art Edition, the latter including one of two fine art prints from the Day to Night series.



About Fenimore Art Museum

Fenimore Art Museum, located on the shores of Otsego Lake—James Fenimore Cooper’s “Glimmerglass”—in historic Cooperstown, New York, features a wide-ranging collection of American art including folk art; important American 18th- and 19th-century landscape, genre, and portrait paintings; more than 125,000 historic photographs representing the technical developments made in photography and providing extensive visual documentation of the region’s unique history; and the renowned Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art comprised of nearly 900 art objects representative of a broad geographic range of North American Indian cultures, from the Northwest Coast, Eastern Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Great Lakes, and Prairie regions. Visit

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