PAST EVENTS & EXHIBITIONS
2013 Sunday Salons
Join us once per month for our popular series, the Sunday Salons, each one featuring a lecture at 2 pm followed by a reception at the home of Thomas Cole. Admission is $9 or $7 for members and is first-come-first served.
January 13: Kevin J. Avery
Cole and the American Revolution in Landscape
Scenery-loving Americans today would be surprised to learn that our wilderness was not always our mecca, but our dread. Thomas Cole and many of his followers of the Hudson River School made it a place of thrill and yearning, depicting the dreadful expressly to thrill the viewer. But their success depended upon a culture conditioned to welcome that thrill thanks to the distance that the Industrial Revolution put between people and the natural world. Dr. Kevin Avery, Senior Research Scholar of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, addresses the implications of the Cole revolution in American art, and how his colleague, Asher B. Durand, and his followers both sustained and modified his vision.
February 10: Jean Dunbar
Thomas Cole and the Decorative Arts: Career & Home
Thomas Cole is known for his sweeping American landscapes and few artists remain more firmly associated with the outdoors. Yet, few, if any, 19th-century painters had wider experience with interior decoration. In England, young Cole trained for a career in color block-printing. He soon gained experience creating textiles, wallpaper, floor coverings, and painted “fancy” furnishings that, in turn, educated and influenced his painting. Historic interiors consultant Dr. Jean Dunbar, who has been researching Thomas Cole’s home and studio since 2008, shares fascinating new discoveries about Cole’s home that reveal that Cole, a decorative artist first, remained a decorative artist throughout his career.
March 10: Christopher N. Phillips
What Made Cole Epic?
Thomas Cole is remembered primarily for his landscapes, but throughout his career he aimed to develop an epic art for America. This new aesthetic blended landscape, mythology, history, religion, and literature, and through works such as The Course of Empire and Prometheus Bound the concept captured the imaginations of Cole's contemporaries. In fact, Cole's art brought the term "epic" into American art criticism. Join Dr. Christopher N. Phillips, Assistant Professor of English at Lafayette College and author of Epic in American Culture: Settlement to Reconstruction, for a Salon that will focus on the development of Cole's career as an epic painter and his early reception in that light. Book signing afterwards.
April 14, 2 pm: Barbara Novak
Pioneer in American Art History
Barbara Novak is one of America’s premier art historians. Breaking into the world of American art history in the 1950s, when few professors taught the topic, Dr. Novak, Helen Goodhart Altschul Professor of Art History Emerita at Barnard College and Columbia University, spent the next 40 years creating a foundation for the study of American art history through her seminal books and teaching, inspiring generations of students to pursue remarkable careers in academic and museum life. In this Salon, nine speakers from a range of fields reveal through their personal stories the wide sweep of Dr. Novak’s influence as a scholar and mentor. Dr. Novak will offer her remarks at the end of the Salon.
Other speakers will include Ella M. Foshay, Independent Scholar; Annette Blaugrund, Independent Scholar, Former Director, National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts; Adrienne Baxter Bell, Associate Professor of Art History & Director, College Honors Program, Marymount Manhattan College; Karen Wilkin, Independent Scholar & Art Critic; H. Daniel Peck, John Guy Vassar Professor Emeritus of English, Vassar College; Susan Wides, Photographer; Scott MacDonald, Visiting Professor of Film History, Hamilton College, Harvard University; and Brian O’Doherty, artist and husband of Dr. Novak.
Worlds Between: Landscapes of Louis Rémy Mignot
May - October 2012
Thomas Cole National Historic Site is pleased to announce their 2012 exhibition: Worlds Between: Landscapes of Louis Rémy Mignot. Curated by Katherine E. Manthorne, it is the first major solo show of Louis Rémy Mignot (1831-1870) in over two decades. The exhibition will offer an intimate look at the work of this young, Charleston-born artist who painted in the style of the Hudson River School – and who was on track to achieve greatness on par with his friend and peer, Frederic Church, had he lived beyond the age of 39. The exhibition offers a rare chance to see a full range of Mignot’s accomplished and fascinating work - paintings that move between worlds and ports, and that remain full of complexity, enigma, and beauty unsurpassed.
Seventh Annual Raymond Beecher Lecture
October 14, 2012 2 pm
Over the course of her dynamic career, Dr. Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, the Curator of American Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, has played a pivotal role in the coming of age of the Hudson River School. After a quarter-century as curator at the oldest public art museum in the United States – the Wadsworth Atheneum – Dr. Kornhauser became curator two years ago at The Met. Calling it “a dream job for any museum person,” Dr. Kornhauser quickly became a guiding force in the 10-year project to revamp the museum’s American Wing, stating “our charge was clear: tell this story to the world.” This October, Dr. Kornhauser will speak at the annual major lecture event at the Thomas Cole site, named in memory of Greene County Historian and leader of the movement to "save the Cole House," Raymond Beecher. Admission is $9 or $7 for members, and is first-come-first-served.
2nd Annual Community Day
Sunday September 23, 2012 1-4 pm
Everyone is invited to join the fun at our second annual Community Day. From 1 to 4 pm the beautifully restored site will be offering free admission and more to celebrate the many artists who continue to be inspired by the Hudson Valley. Come and see Thomas Cole’s house and studio and the special exhibition of 19th-century landscape paintings by Louis Rémy Mignot, and enjoy free refreshments, activities for kids, and a new exhibition called "Postcards from the Trail" of postcard-size landscape paintings by today’s artists. The paintings for sale will all be offered for only $100 each. Come early for the best selection! Free live music will be playing all afternoon, featuring Steve Schwebler – the one man band, local musical star Mark Hatton on the banjo, and the award-winning musician Frank Cuthbert on the guitar. Try your hand at being an artist, participate in the giant group landscape painting, get your picture taken with Thomas Cole, and enjoy free apple cider and cookies! Thomas Cole’s 1815 home and 1839 studio will be open free of charge, and all visitors will receive a free walking guide to the 5-acre site as well as a free brochure with the history of the historic property.
2012 Fireworks Party
Saturday June 30, 7 pm
Join us for an unforgettable evening with cocktails, dinner, music, dancing, a live auction and fireworks at a private estate featuring a 180-degree view of the Hudson River. All proceeds benefit the Thomas Cole Historic Site. Tickets are $175 per person or $150 for members. Space is limited; please RSVP by June 15th by sending a check to Thomas Cole Historic Site, PO Box 426, Catskill, NY 12414. For last minute tickets, you can also call Sheri at 518-943-7465 ext.4 and use your credit card.
Preview the live auction items now online.
2012 Sunday Salons
Sundays at 2 pm
Authors, writers, artists and great speakers from all across the country (and abroad!) are coming to the home of Thomas Cole. Join us on Sunday afternoons once per month for talks, wine, and lively conversation at our popular Sunday Salon series. Tickets are $8 per person or $6 for members. Admission is first-come-first served. Remaining program dates are below:
March 11, 2012
Thomas Cole Exhibition at the Louvre
by Guillaume Faroult and Katherine Bourguignon
In 2012, Thomas Cole has his own exhibition at the Louvre! In collaboration with the Terra Foundation for American Art, the High Museum of Art and the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the musée du Louvre kicks off a series of one-room exhibitions, each featuring a different American artist, starting with Cole. Entitled “New Frontier: Thomas Cole and the Birth of Landscape Painting in America,” the exhibition will travel to the United States after its premiere at the Louvre. Join us as Dr. Faroult, curator of the Department of Paintings, musée du Louvre, and Dr. Bourguignon, associate curator from the Terra Foundation for American Art Europe, travel all the way from Paris, France, to speak about this remarkable new exhibition.
April 15, 2012
Thomas Cole’s New Studio
by Julie Levin Caro
Drawing from his experiences as a landscape painter and an artist-tourist in Italy as well as his knowledge of picturesque landscape theory, Thomas Cole actively shaped the built environment of his home and studio at Cedar Grove during the 1830s and 1840s. Julie Levin Caro, art history professor at Warren Wilson College, Asheville, North Carolina, offers a new perspective on Thomas Cole’s artistic identity by describing his design and siting of a rustic Italianate cottage studio as a means of enacting and immortalizing his identity as an artist-gentleman, a political conservative and an American.
175th Wedding Anniversary
November 19, 2011 6-9 pm
Everyone is Invited to be a Wedding Guest for One Historic Night.
This year is the 175th anniversary of the wedding of Thomas and Maria Cole! Celebrate this triple-platinum anniversary in the Main House where the wedding took place. At 6:30pm, the preacher who married the Coles will conduct the ceremony and narrate the scene with two other actors, weaving quotes from actual love letters and first-hand accounts of the 1836 event with some improvisation and audience participation. Wedding-themed dress-up clothes will be provided and guests can be photographed for a souvenir of the historic occasion. At the reception, enjoy wedding cake and locally brewed beer from the award-winning Crossroads Brewery. Bring your own top hat or other flourish if the spirit moves you!
On display for one night only will be Maria Cole’s original white silk 1836 wedding dress, on temporary loan from the Greene County Historical Society.
After the ceremony, guests will be treated to a wedding reception complete with a 3-tiered wedding cake from an 1833 recipe in The American Frugal Housewife, Mrs. Child, Boston:
"Good common wedding cake may be made thus: Four pounds of flour, three pounds of butter, three pounds of sugar, four pounds of currants, two pounds of raisins, twenty-four eggs, half a pint of brandy, or lemon-brandy, one ounce of mace, and three nutmegs. A little molasses makes it dark colored, which is desirable. Half a pound of citron improves it; but it is not necessary. To be baked two hours and a half, or three hours. After the oven is cleared, it is well to shut the door for eight or ten minutes, to let the violence of the heat subside, before cake or bread is put in. To make icing for your wedding cake, beat the whites of eggs to an entire froth, and to each egg add five teaspoonfuls of sifted loaf sugar, gradually; beat it a great while. Put it on when your cake is hot, or cold, as is most convenient. It will dry in a warm room, as short distance from a gentle fire, or in a warm oven."
Reservations are not required, but are appreciated. Please call 518-943-7465 extension 7 and leave your name, phone number, and the number of people in your party. Admission is free.
Many thanks to our sponsors: Crossroads Brewery for beer and promotion; Debbie Klein for graphic design; Q. Cassetti for poster artwork; John Oles for music; Hudson Talbott for Rudie Berkhout lasers; Sheri DeJan for wedding cake.
Exhibition: Robert S. Duncanson
The First African-American Landscape Painter to Gain International Renown
On May 1, 2011, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site opened Robert S. Duncanson: The Spiritual Striving of the Freedmen’s Sons, the first exhibition featuring the work of the nineteenth-century African-American landscape painter Robert S. Duncanson in many years, and the first exhibition of his work to appear on the east coast, even in his lifetime. The exhibition brings the work of this ground-breaking artist to the home of Thomas Cole, who was a major influence on Duncanson. The exhibition is curated by Joseph D. Ketner, the Henry and Lois Foster Chair in Contemporary Art and the Distinguished Curator-in-Residence at Emerson College in Boston. He is the author of the definitive book about the artist, The Emergence of the African- American Artist: Robert S. Duncanson 1821-1872. The catalogue for this exhibition contains an essay by Mr. Ketner including new information on the artist and color illustrations of many new paintings discovered over the past fifteen years. The exhibition runs through October 30, 2011.
Supported by The Bank of Greene County and The Greene County Legislature through the County Initiative Program administered by the Greene County Council on the Arts.
Annual October Lecture Event
by Franklin Kelly, Curator at the National Gallery of Art
Sunday October 23, 2 pm
Join us for the sixth annual Raymond Beecher Memorial Lecture, this year presenting Franklin Kelly, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and a professor in the department of art history and archaeology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Admission is $7 per person, or $5 for members, and is first-come-first-served. After the lecture, enjoy complementary admission to the 2011 exhibition, "Robert S. Duncanson: The Spiritual Striving of the Freedmen's Sons."
Supported by The New York Council for the Humanities and the Thomas Cole Benefactors. Many thanks to Temple Israel for the venue and parking for this event.
If you are in town for the weekend, see also the new installation of "Masters on Main Street," the storefront art project in Catskill, New York. New work is unveiled on Saturday October 22, 4-6 pm, followed by a dance party at BRIK Gallery, 473 Main Street, 6-9 pm. For more information visit http://www.greenearts.org/testpost.
Community Day - Free Admission
Sunday September 25, 1-4 pm
Everyone is invited to join the fun at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the site in 2001. The local musical star Mark Hatton will be playing dancing tunes on the banjo from 3 to 4pm, and free apple cider and cookies will be offered all afternoon. Thomas Cole’s 1815 home and 1839 studio will be open free of charge, and all visitors will receive a free walking guide to the 5-acre site as well as a free brochure with the history of the historic property. A special exhibition that illustrates the major milestones of the last decade will be on view, presenting archival materials, photographs, and audio visual displays. The newly restored stone wall and entrance gates will be ready for all to enjoy, as part of the overall landscape restoration that was just completed with over 200 new trees and shrubs all around the site. No reservations are neccessary -- all are welcome.
Remember the Ladies:
Women of the Hudson River School
May 1-October 31, 2010
The Thomas Cole Historic Site has been presenting annual exhibitions of 19th-century landscape masterworks since 2004; however, the 2010 exhibition was the first to focus on women landscape artists of the Hudson River School. This exhibition included approximately 25 works of art (paintings, photography, drawing manuals) as well as paintings by Thomas Cole’s own sister Sarah Cole and daughter Emily Cole. The exhibition was co-curated by Nancy Siegel, Associate Professor, Towson University, and Jennifer Krieger, Managing Partner, Hawthorne Fine Art. It was accompanied by a printed exhibition catalogue with full-color illustrations and essays by the curators. The title is taken from a letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams in 1776: “I desire you would Remember the Ladies… if particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion.” Read more about the exhibition.
The exhibition is sponsored by Michael Altman Fine Art & Advisory Services, Hawthorne Fine Art New York, the Bank of Greene County, and the Greene County Legislature through the County Initiative Program administered by the Greene County Council on the Arts. Our sincere thanks to Temple Israel for offering us their facility for our lecture at no charge. The exhibition catalogue is supported by Furthermore Grants in Publishing, a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, Sharon and Henry Martin, and Eric and Katherine Baumgartner.
5th Annual Raymond Beecher Memorial Lecture
October 10, 2010 2 pm
Outdoor Men: Manliness, Masculinity, and the Antebellum Landscape Painter
by Sarah Burns
From the 1830s on, landscape representation held pride of place in the realm of American painting, coming to the fore as a truly national art. With this emerging genre came questions about the identity of the new American artist. As one who hobnobbed in elite cultural circles but also worked with his hands and roughed it in the woods and mountains, was the antebellum American landscape painter to be a gentleman or an undomesticated wild man, a James Fenimore Cooper or a Davy Crockett, romantic dreamer or man of action? Please join Dr. Sarah Burns, Ruth N. Halls Professor of Fine Arts at Indiana University, as she examines the ways in which Hudson River School painters attempted to reckon with the problematic aura of femininity that clung to the image of the artist at that time. Admission is $7 per person, or $5 for members, and is first-come-first-served. The event will be held in Temple Israel, which shares a parking lot with the Thomas Cole Historic Site.
Made possible with support from the New York Council for the Humanities. Our sincere thanks to Temple Israel for donating to us the use of their facility for this lecture.
A September Celebration
To unveil the plans for Thomas Cole's New Studio
Saturday September 11, 2010 6pm
Join us for a party at Thomas Cole's home in Catskill with cocktails on the lawn followed by dinner at one of several magnificent river-front homes nearby. At the event, the newly completed architectural drawings for Thomas Cole's "New Studio" will be unveiled. The building was designed by Cole and built in 1846, but was demolished in 1973. The original stone foundation has been unearthed, and this fascinating archaeological site will be on view as well. Tickets are $225 for the cocktail and dinner, or $70 for the cocktail party only.
The 7th annual summer party to benefit the Thomas Cole Historic Site
Sunday July 4, 2010 7pm
Join us for a glorious river party with cocktails, dinner, music, dancing and fireworks at a private estate featuring a 180-degree view of the Hudson River, celebrating the newly established INDEPENDENCE of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Tickets are $150 or $125 for members. Sponsorships are available at the Silver level ($500) which includes two event tickets, Gold ($1000) which includes four tickets, and Platinum ($1500) which includes six tickets. Underwriter sponsors ($2500) receive reserved tables for ten people at the event.
2010 Sunday Salons
Sundays at 2pm, January through April 2010
Authors, writers, artists, Hudson River School authorities with new books on the subject, and great speakers from all across the country are coming to the home of Thomas Cole in 2010. Join us on Sunday afternoons once per month for talks, wine, and lively conversation at our popular Sunday Salon series. Tickets are $8 per person or $6 for members. Admission is first-come-first served.
River Views of the Hudson River School
Exhibition on view through October 25, 2009
In 1609, Henry Hudson made his historic voyage up the Hudson River. 2009 is the 400th anniversary of this event, launching river-related events up and down the valley. To tie in with the region-wide celebration, the Thomas Cole Historic Site presents a loan exhibition of paintings by 19th-century masters of the Hudson River School of art, depicting views of the Hudson River and related bodies of water. Included are oil paintings by Thomas Cole, Sanford Gifford, Jasper Cropsey, and others. Accompanying the exhibition are a series of guided hikes to the magnificent places depicted in the paintings.
June through October 2009
The Thomas Cole Historic Site is pleased to launch a new 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. Offered once per month, the hikes fill up quickly. Pre-registration is required.
Major Speaker Event: Barbara Novak
“Thomas Cole: Pioneer, Predecessor and Prophet”
Sunday October 25, 2pm
Barbara Novak, widely recognized as one of the most influential theorists of American art, will speak at the Thomas Cole Historic Site for the Fourth Annual Raymond Beecher Lecture, named in honor of Greene County’s late historian and philanthropist. Novak is credited with having pioneered the study of 19th-century American painting with her ground-breaking book “American Painting of the 19th Century” (1969). For her presentation at the home of Thomas Cole, Novak has written a new talk. Admission is first-come-first served.
River of Dreams CD Release Party
Sunday September 13, 4 pm
Join us for an afternoon of music, history and fun as we celebrate the release of the CD from the musical, "River of Dreams", based on the book by Hudson Talbott, renowned children's book author and board member of the Thomas Cole Historic Site. The event includes a live performance by local high school students who were part of the original cast, and a book-signing with the author Hudson Talbott and the composer Frank Cuthbert. Books and CDs will be available for purchase, and proceeds will benefit the Thomas Cole Historic Site. Free admission.
“River Picnic” Summer Party
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This year, as it is the Quadricentennial of Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage, our biggest fundraiser of the year will be a glorious river party on the broad lawn that stretches from a high bluff down to the river’s edge at the home of our board chairman Lisa Fox Martin and Dick May, featuring a 180-degree view of the Hudson River. The evening will include cocktails by the pool followed by a classic Hudson Valley supper around a great open tent while admiring the fireworks overhead and the twinkling lights of the many small boats below.
Family Programs: "Making a River"
at both the Thomas Cole Historic Site and Olana
Four Sundays, once a month, 1 to 4 pm:
June 14 at Thomas Cole
July 12 at Olana
August 16 at Thomas Cole
September 6 at Olana
Enjoy an afternoon with the kids at either Olana or the Thomas Cole House, join a story-circle about the Hudson River, study original 19th-century paintings of the river, walk outside to the river's edge to sketch the views, create your own paintings of the Hudson River, and take home a free copy of a book by the renowned illustrator Thomas Locker. Offered once a month, alternating between Olana and the Thomas Cole House, 1 to 4 pm, on the following Sundays: June 14 at Thomas Cole, July 12 at Olana, August 16 at Thomas Cole, and September 6 at Olana. Open to all ages. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Free bus pick-up at the Hudson Area Association Library, 400 State Street, Hudson, at 12:40 pm, and at the Catskill Community Center, 344 Main Street, Catskill, at 12:50 pm. For more information, contact Cheryl O'Donnell at 518-828-1872.