The Hunter's Return
Oil on canvas
60 1/2 x 40 1/8 in.
signed and dated, l.c.: T.Cole \ 1845
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Depictions of American scenery served as a backdrop for Cole’s storytelling. In this paradise-like, sun-filled valley, a multigenerational family have cultivated the land and seemingly live in harmony with nature. The painting features good fortune—a father and son returning from a successful hunt. The charming narrative is only one part of the tale, however.
In his 1836 “Essay on American Scenery,” Cole lamented the “ravages of the axe” that were destroying the wilderness. He worried “that with the improvements of cultivation the sublimity of the wilderness should pass away.” The fallen trees in the foreground likely signal Cole’s concerns, though many of his patrons were responsible for industrialization, and Cole was eager to please them with his work.
Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American ArtOctober 23, 2017–January 7, 2018
This exhibition brings together iconic works that explore outdoor subjects from the early nineteenth century to World War II, exploring American artists’ fascination with depicting a communion with nature that was receding in the face of industrialization.
From Remington to O’Keeffe: The Carter’s Greatest HitsOctober 6, 2018–March 22, 2019
During the renovation, this exhibition features highlights from the permanent collection, including paintings, photographs, and sculptures, by some of America’s most renowned artists.