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  


Thomas Cole’s Honey 

A special selection of approximately ten new artworks by Stanley Maltzman are on exhibit at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site from July 26 - October 19, 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. The exhibition can be viewed as an option on the "Gallery Visit" offered in the afternoons, Wed-Sun. Click here for more information about the exhibition.


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.

Remaining 2014 hike dates:                

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

OCTOBER 18- SOLD OUT / 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. 


9th Annual Raymond Beecher Lecture 

Arcadia on the Hudson 

Dr. Aaron SachsThomas Cole, The Arcadian or Pastoral State, The Course of Empire, The New-York Historical Society

Sunday, October 19, 2 pm

Arcadia: for centuries the word has been synonymous with beauty, tranquility and the "contented pastoral simplicity of its people", according to one dictionary definition. Can Arcadia exist in the Hudson Valley today? The best-known environmental tradition in America—as in the National Parks—upholds wilderness as the ultimate landscape.  But a different tradition held sway in the antebellum period, one that put less emphasis on sublime grandeur and more on an everyday engagement with nature.  This pastoral or Arcadian tradition flowered most fully in New England and New York, and especially in the Hudson Valley, where it was cultivated by writers and thinkers like Washington Irving and Andrew Jackson Downing—and especially by Thomas Cole. Join Dr. Sachs, Associate Professor of History and American studies, and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Cornell University, as he holds up for comparison the twenty-first century's—and his own—tendency toward denial of environmental limits. Dr. Sachs will also sign copies of his new book, Arcadian America: The Death and Life of an Environmental Tradition (2013) after the talk.

Tickets are $9 or $8 for members, and is first-come-first-served at the Temple next door to the Thomas Cole Historic Site. Sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities. Many thanks to Temple Israel for providing the venue and parking.  


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

The Thomas Cole Site is a member of the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program (HAHS) of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.