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History As Art In Katonah

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“Katonah has a long history of relocation,” says artist Chris Larson. “Ever since the colonists’ demand that the Ramapo tribe be removed from the land they wished to occupy in 1708, the exact location of Katonah has been a story of location and relocation.” Larson will present his new work, titled The Katonah Relocation Project, at the Katonah Museum of Art’s sculpture garden, where it will be on view from March 29 to June 28. The project focuses on the town in the 1890s, when it had to be moved in order to accommodate a new reservoir. “Katonah came together to move more than 50 of its buildings out of the condemned area using horses drawing the buildings along soap-timbered tracks,” he says. Larson will build a 60’ x 34’ x 13’ replica of the home of Edward Larrabee Barnes—longtime Mount Kisco resident and the architect who designed the Katonah Museum—as if it were one of the buildings being transported on logs or railroad ties. The artist says he was partially inspired by an old newspaper article. “I started researching the history of Katonah and found an article from the New York Times with a provocative headline, ‘Destruction to Katonah, Mr. Daly Orders its Removal from the Face of the Earth,’” he says. “It was a great starting point.”