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The Poetry of Nature: A Golden Age of American Landscape Painting

March 19, 2016 to June 12, 2016
Niagara Falls

Louisa Davis Minot (1788-1858). Niagara Falls, 1818. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 5/8 in. Collection of the New-York Historical Society, Gift Mrs. Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Sr., to the Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Jr., Collection. 1956.3

Morning in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Va.

William Louis Sonntag (1822-1900). Morning in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Va., ca. 1858. Oil on canvas, 36 x 56 in. Collection of the New-York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart. S-107

Autumn Woods

Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902). Autumn Woods, 1886. Oil on linen, 54 x 84 in. Collection of the New-York Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Albert Bierstadt. 1910.11

River Scene

John William Casilear (1811-1893). River Scene, Catskill, 1861. Oil on canvas, 15 x 12 in. Collection of the New-York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart. S-4

Catskill Clove

Asher Brown Durand (1796-1886). Catskill Clove, N.Y., 1864. Oil on canvas, 15 x 24 in. Collection of the New-York Historical Society, Gift of Nora Durand Woodman. 1932.14

Thomas Cole painting

Thomas Cole (1801-1848), Sunset, View on the Catskill, 1833, Oil on wood panel, 25 1/4 x 33 3/8’’, New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, Gift of The New-York Gallery of the Fine Arts, 1858.44

Masterworks by Thomas Cole, Asher Durand, John F. Kensett, William T. Richards, William L. Sonntag, and other giants of the Hudson River School will be on view at the Brandywine River Museum of Art from March 19 through June 12, 2016. Organized by the New-York Historical Society from its vast holdings of works by the Hudson River School, the exhibition features over 40 paintings created between 1818 and 1886. 

More than 25 celebrated American artists, also including Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Chambers, Sanford Gifford, Thomas H. Hotchkiss, Jervis McEntee, Louisa Minot, Francis A. Silva and Josephine Walters will be represented in the exhibition. The Hudson River School is considered the first art movement in the United States and one that developed a distinctly American vision of the landscape. These artists were inspired to explore the landscape by the writers of their time whose stories, essays and poems extolled the pristine, primeval quality and symbolic virtue of America’s natural beauty. Hudson River artists’ powerful interpretations of American scenery are illuminated in the exhibition’s arrangement highlighting the regions they frequently painted—along the Hudson River, through the Catskill Mountains and other regions of New York, and beyond to New England and the mid-Atlantic states. The boundless vistas, stately forests, magnificent mountains, gleaming rivers and lakes, and luminous skies the Hudson River School artists created in their paintings shaped national and cultural identity not only for their own time, but also formed an enduring legacy for future generations.


Programs

Trail Magic film screening
Thursday, March 22, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
The documentary focuses on Emma Gatewood, who at age 67 was the first woman to solo hike-through the Appalachian Trail. Trail Magic Director Peter Huston will give comments. $5 per person

Artists of the Hudson River School Gallery Talk
Wednesday, March 30 at 2 p.m.
Presented by Virginia O’Hara, curator of collections, the Brandywine River Museum of Art. Free with museum admission

"All Nature Here is New to Art”
American Scenery and the Hudson River School 
Lecture

Wednesday, April 13, 6 p.m. 
Presented by Dr. Linda S. Ferber, Senior Art Historian & Museum Director Emerita, New-York Historical Society Museum. ​$15 members; $20 non-members 

Art and Literature Teacher Workshop
Wednesday, April 20, 4:15 to 6:15 p.m.
Taking inspiration and examples from the exhibition, teachers will explore connections between the art of the Hudson River School and American writers of the time, including William Cullen Bryant, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Free for teachers

Odes to Nature: The Poetry of Landscape Painting Gallery Talk
Wednesday, April 27 at 2 p.m.
Presented by Amanda C. Burdan, associate curator, the Brandywine River Museum of Art. Free with museum admission

Creative Escape: Painted Landscape
Wednesday, April 27, 6 to 8 p.m.
Art-Making and BYOB. $15 members; $20 non-members

Kuerner Farm Plein Air Days
Fridays, April 29 & June 3, and Sundays, May 1 & June 5 (rain or shine), 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
$15 members; $20 non-members, per day. Spaces are limited

PNC Arts Alive First Sundays for Families: Inspired by Nature
Sunday, May 1, art and garden activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., musical performance at 1 p.m.
PNC Arts Alive is a multi-year initiative of the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. The goal of PNC Arts Alive is to help area residents gain access to the arts and to help arts organizations expand and engage audiences. For more information visit www.pncartsalive.com.

The Legacy of the Hudson River School: A Conversation on the Environment
Thursday, May 5, 6 p.m.
Discussion with Edith J. Dondero, associate director, Land Stewardship, the Brandywine Conservancy; Margaret Laster, associate curator of American Art at the New-York Historical Society and an expert on environmental messages in Hudson River School paintings; and Virginia O’Hara, curator of collections, the Brandywine River Museum of Art. $15 members; $20 non-members 

Creative Escape: Painted Landscape
Wednesday, May 11, 6 to 8 p.m. 
Art-Making and BYOB. $15 members; $20 non-members

Collecting the Hudson River School Lecture
Thursday, June 9, 6 p.m.
Sarah Cash, associate curator at the National Gallery of Art in the Department of American and British Paintings, will discuss the history of collecting Hudson River School paintings. $15 members; $20 non-members 

This exhibition has been organized by the New-York Historical Society.

Support for this exhibition is provided by Freeman’s and Hudson Valley Tourism, Inc.