2015 ExhibitionInstallation photo by Peter Aaron

River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home

May 3 - November 1, 2015

River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home, presented in partnership with Olana, features contemporary art installed directly into the historic spaces and landscapes of the two historic sites. The exhibition is curated by the artist Stephen Hannock and Jason Rosenfeld, PhD. Artists in the exhibition include Romare Bearden, Elijah Bergher, Chuck Close, Will Cotton, Gregory Crewdson, Lynn Davis, Jerry Gretzinger, Don Gummer, Duncan Hannah, Stephen Hannock, Valerie Hegarty, Angie Keefer with Kara Hamilton and Kianja Strobert, Charles LeDray, Maya Lin, Frank Moore, Elizabeth Murray, Rashaad Newsome, Thomas Nozkowski, Stephen Petegorsky, Martin Puryear, Cindy Sherman, Sienna Shields, Kiki Smith, Joel Sternfeld, Letha Wilson, and Elyn Zimmerman, in addition to selected works by Thomas Cole and Frederic Church from the permanent collections. A fully-illustrated companion book will be published by The Artist Book Foundation and will include entries by Rosenfeld on all the artists and works, and reflections by such preeminent writers and historians as Maurice Berger, Ken Burns and Marvin Heiferman. On Saturdays from 10:30 to 6 pm there is a free shuttle bus from the Hudson Amtrak station.

Visit the official exibition website.

Purchase Tickets.

See the full press release.

Read The New York Times and other recent reviews. 

Major funding for River Crossings was provided by The Moore Charitable Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, New York State's Empire State Development and the I NY Division of Tourism under Governor Andrew Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council Initiative, Tiger and Caroline Williams and The Bay & Paul Foundations. Additional support is provided by Ed Herrington, Inc., the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, the Village of Catskill, The County Initiative Program of the Greene County Legislature administered by the Greene County Council on the Arts, the Columbia County Tourism Department, Jennifer Krieger, and Chas Miller. The companion book and related public programs were funded by Tiger and Caroline Williams, Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts.



Postcards from the River  

Exhibition at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Sunday September 20, 2015

Artists are once again invited to participate in the annual exhibition and sale “Postcards from the River” that will take place at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site on September 20, 2015.

In the 19thcentury, 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. To celebrate our complex connections to the environments and vistas along the Hudson River, the Cole site invites aritsts to present original postcard-sized works that are inspired by this region. Works may be a view of the Hudson River itself, or a work that redefines what it means to be inspired by the Hudson River waterways. 

For more information:

download and print guidelines 

download and print required entry form


Second Annual Kids Paint Out!

Sunday August 16, 2-5pm / Free and open to all

On Sunday August 16 from 2 to 5pm, 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 and then provided with a complimentary canvas and paints to create a small masterpiece. Participants may take their works home or have them featured in the 4rd Annual Postcards from the River exhibition at the Thomas Cole Site on Sunday, September 20th in conjunction with Community Day.

Advance sign up is preferred. Please email the names and # of participants in your party, with the subject heading “Kids Paint Out.” Drop-ins on day of the event will also be welcome. 


Hikes on the Hudson River School Art TrailView from Sunset Rock

Visit the magnificent nearby views that are depicted in Thomas Cole's paintings. Our guided hikes are offered from June to October.

2015 GUIDED ART TRAIL HIKES / pre-registration is required:

JUNE 20 - Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)

JULY 18 – Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)

AUGUST 15- Kaaterskill Falls and Catskill Mt House (moderate)  

SEPTEMBER 12- Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)

SEPTEMBER 26- Sunset Rock and Catskill Mt House (moderate)                    

OCTOBER 3- Catskill Mt. House and North-South Lake (easy)

Download the hike guidelines here.

After you have read the guidelines, sign up for a hike.

During other times, you can pick up our guidebook or visit our free online guide at and visit on your own. To guide your journey we've created several suggested itineraries that can be accessed here: Suggested itineraries for the Hudson River School Art Trail


Community DayPhoto by Thatcher Keats

Sunday September 20, 2015, 1-4 pm

Come one, come all to the 5th annual Community Day! From 1-4 pm, Thomas Cole's home and the galleries will be open free of charge, with activities for the whole family. Visitors can view the house, River Crossings exhibition, and see over 100 original artworks by more than 75 artists featured in the 4th annual exhibition and sale, "Postcards from the River". There will be live music, and refreshments will be served. 


Annual Major Lecture Event

Sunday October 11, 2 pmTimothy Barringer

Join us for a lecture by one of Yale's most popular professors, Timothy Barringer, discussing the implications of the exhibition that is currently on view at both the Thomas Cole site and Olana, "River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home". Barringer is Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art. Following positions at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Universities of London and Birmingham in Great Britain, he came to Yale in 1998. Barringer has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the History of Art Department and was winner of the Sarai Ribicoff teaching prize in 2004. He is the author of many books and publications, recently including ‘The Englishness of Thomas Cole’ in The Cultured Canvas: A Social History of American Landscape Painting, and was co-curator of the landmark exhibition entitled American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1825-1880 (London: Tate, 2002). Tickets are $9, and are first-come-first-served in the Temple that is next door to the Thomas Cole Historic Site. This event is sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities. Many thanks to Temple Israel for 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.