Announcing the 2014 exhibition

Master, Mentor, Master: Thomas Cole & Frederic Church 

on view April 30 - November 2, 2014   

It vividly evokes the personal and intellectual bond between the elder painter and the pupil who became one of the most celebrated artists of the mid-19th century.... An intimate representation of two artistic lives significantly entwined.   - The Wall Street Journal

We are pleased to announce the first exhibition to explore one of the most influential teacher-student relationships in the history of American art – that between the founder of the Hudson River School of painting, Thomas Cole (1801-1848) and his most celebrated student and successor, Frederic Church (1826-1900).  Church was first introduced to the Hudson Valley as an 18–year-old when he came to live and study with Cole at the property known as Cedar Grove in Catskill, New York, from 1844 to 1846.  With over 20 artworks on view, the exhibition offers a rare chance to see Church's early works from this formative period, alongside key examples of Cole's work from the same time. The exhibition is curated by John Wilmerding, the former Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Art, with associate curator Kate Menconeri.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, Eli Wilner & Co., the Bay and Paul Foundations, the Bank of Greene County, the Greene County Legislature through the County Initiative Program administered by the Greene County Council on the Arts, and the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.

Preview a selection of paintings from the show.

Read the Press Release


Special Summer Exhibition & Party  


Thomas Cole’s Honey

Opening July 26, 4:30-6pm 

A special selection of approximately ten new artworks by Stanley Maltzman will be on exhibit at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site from July 26 - October 2, 2014. All made between 2013 and present, Maltzman’s watercolors, pastels, and drawings pay homage to the towering, 200 year old Honey Locust tree that stands across from Thomas Cole’s front door. Please join us for a reception and birthday party for the Honey Locust, Saturday July 26, from 4:30-6pm. This event is free and open to the public. Click here for more information.


Second Annual Kids Paint Out!

Saturday August 2, 1-4pm / Free and open to all

On Saturday August 2nd from 1 to 4pm, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site invites kids of all ages to visit the site and to paint the landscapes that inspired Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School. Participants will be given a free tour of Cole’s artist studio at 1:15, and then will be provided with a complimentary canvas and paints to create a small masterpiece. Participants may take their works home or have them featured in the 3rd Annual Postcards from the Trail exhibition at the Thomas Cole Site on Sunday, September 28th in conjunction with Community Day.

Advance sign up is preferred, please email the names and # of participants in your party to:, with the subject heading “Kids Paint Out.” Drop-ins on day of the event will also be welcome. In case of inclement weather, rain date will be Saturday, August 9th.

Guided Hikes on the Art Trail 

The Thomas Cole Historic Site is pleased to present a series of guided hikes on the Hudson River School Art Trail, which brings you into the magnificent landscapes that inspired Thomas Cole and other luminaries of 19th-century landscape painting. The schedule of hikes is below.

The package price per person is $17, or $15 for members, and includes the following components:

The guided hike/walk along the Hudson River School Art Trail with:

  • A copy of the Hudson River School Art Trail Guidebook, a 55-page book with full-color illustrations ($7.95 value)
  • A guided tour of the Thomas Cole Historic Site at the end of your hike ($10 value)

2014 Art Trail HIKE schedule:
Advance registration is required.

JUNE 14 - Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)    

JUNE 21 - Sunset Rock and the Catskill Mt House (moderate)

JULY 19 – Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)            

AUGUST 16- Kaaterskill Falls and Catskill Mt House (moderate) 

SEPTEMBER 13- Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)

SEPTEMBER 27- Sunset Rock and Catskill Mt House (moderate)                 

OCTOBER 4- Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)

OCTOBER 18- Kaaterskill Falls and Catskill Mt House (moderate)

Download the hike program information sheet.

After reading the information sheet, register for a hike.

The trails are also easy to navigate on your own. Pick up a guidebook from our visitor center or online shop or use the free mobile website:

We need more trail guides! Are you interested? Please call Melissa Gavilanes at 518-943-7465 ext.5.

Hudson River School Art Trail hikes are made possible through the Carol T. Savage Art Trail Docent Program, named in honor of our late friend and former Board Chairman. 



POSTCARDS from the TRAIL 2014  

Exhibition at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Sunday September 28, 2014

Artists are invited to participate in the third annual exhibition and sale “Postcards from the Trail 2014” that will take place at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site on September 28, 2014.

For more information:

download and print guidelines 

downloand and print required entry form

In the 19th-century, painters including Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Sandford Gifford, Jasper Cropsey, and many others who were part of the art movement now known as the Hudson River School, created sublime landscape images throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond. Today, artists continue to create work that is inspired and informed by their experience in the very same landscapes. In 2005 the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, in partnership with Olana, and numerous other organizations, launched the Hudson River School Art Trail, a series of hiking and driving trails that lead visitors to the places that inspired great landscape paintings of the 19th century. In June 2012 the Trail was greatly expanded, more than doubling its original size. In addition, the Trail maps, images, and in-depth cultural content were converted to a digital format, made available for free online and optimized for mobile devices.

To celebrate the Art Trail and the many artists who continue to be inspired by these landscapes, all artists are again invited to visit one or more of the 22 sites on the Hudson River School Art Trail, and to create and submit an original postcard-sized painting or drawing that is based on one of the iconic sites. A complete list of eligible Trail sites, from views of the Hudson River to the magnificent Kaaterskill Falls to the Mohonk “Gunks”, is below. 


Community Day Open House    

September 28, 1-4 pm

Come one, come all to the 4th annual community day! From 1 to 4 pm Thomas Cole's home and studio will be open free of charge, with activities for the whole family. Join us for games, live music, refreshments, and complimentary entry to the exhibitions. All ages welcome.  


The Thomas Cole Historic House is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.