The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision

February 26–June 19, 2011
Second floor

Beginning in the 1820s, the American landscape became a significant theme for artists who traveled up the Hudson River from New York City to sketch the rugged mountains and tranquil valleys along its banks. With the noted landscape painter Thomas Cole as their inspirational leader, these artists gave impetus to the first self-consciously “American” vision for landscape painting, a movement that would become known as the Hudson River School. On the occasion of the renovation of the New-York Historical Society, a major repository of Hudson River School painting, 45 of its treasured landscapes have been sent on a journey across the nation, and the first stop is the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

Leading figures of the Hudson River School are represented, including Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, Asher B. Durand, John Frederick Kensett, Jasper Francis Cropsey, and George Inness, among others. Arranged thematically, the exhibition illuminates the sites that artists depicted as resources for spiritual renewal, as well as potent symbols embodying powerful ideas about nature, culture, and history. It follows a Grand Tour, originating with classic views of the Catskill Mountains before moving farther afield with paintings of the Adirondacks and White Mountains of New Hampshire. The final rooms of the exhibition feature a medley of paintings of remarkable scenes of the Ecuadorian Andes, the grand panoramas of the American West and the Arcadian visions of Italy.

Installation Photos

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Accompanied by a full-length publication, The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision is organized by the New-York Historical Society. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. A Tru Vue Optium® Conservation Grant from The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works has supported glazing of the works in the exhibition.

The Fort Worth presentation is supported by the Katrine Menzing Deakins Trust and the Crystelle Waggoner Trust; U. S. Trust, Trustee.