Announcing the 2014 exhibition

Master, Mentor, Master: Thomas Cole & Frederic Church 

on view April 30 - November 2, 2014Frederic E. Church, Scene on Catskill Creek, 1847, oil on canvas, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, Maryland

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. Curated by John Wilmerding, Sarofim Professor of American Art, Emeritus, at Princeton University and former Senior Curator and Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the exhibition presents Church’s early works from this formative two-year period,  as well as later works that speak to a deep and lifelong connection between two painters who defined American art. 

Preview a selection of paintings from the show.

Read the press release.

Friday May 2, 5-7 pm: Member's Reception

at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Refreshments will be served. Join now and come to the party!


Sunday May 18, 2 pm: CURATOR’S TALK with John Wilmerding.
FREE admission.

The lecture will take place at the Arts Center Theater of  the Columbia Greene Community College, 4400 Route 23, Hudson NY, and will be followed by a reception and viewing of the exhibition at the Thomas Cole site. Click here for directions to the college and click here for a campus map.

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. 

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. 


2014 Summer Party

June 28, 7 pm

Mark your calendars for the event that has been called "the party of the year"! Cocktails, dinner, dancing, fireworks... all overlooking a 180-degree view of the Hudson River. All proceeds benefit the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Tickets will be available this spring.


Community Day Open House    

September 21, 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.  


Claude Mirror Installation

Continuous Live Web Streaming of Thomas Cole's View

Contemporary artist Alex McKay has installed an optical device called a "Claude Mirror" at the Thomas Cole Historic Site, aimed at the view towards the Catskill Mountains that Cole painted more than any other.  A "web cam" is now aimed at McKay's "Claude Mirror," enabling you to see the view live, at any time of day or season. Click here to see the live streaming video and to learn more about the project.


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