CATSKILL – The Thomas Cole National Historic Site’s 2020 “Sunday Salons” lecture series continues on February 23rd with a presentation, and subsequent discussion, by Elizabeth W. Hutchinson, Associate Professor of American Art History at Columbia University and Barnard College. She will discuss the complex meaning of Native Americans in Cole’s art.
Dr. Hutchinson’s talk will examine Thomas Cole’s depictions of northern New York, thinking through how they participate in the transformation of Mohawk land into American territory. She will share historical information about settler-indigenous interactions during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and compare Mohawk ways of understanding land and landscape with Anglo-American ones. The presentation will end with a few artworks by contemporary Haudenosaunee artists who reflect on this history.
The “Sunday Salons” series presents leading national scholars on major topics that offer a fresh take on history and connect contemporary issues with the life, work, and legacy of Thomas Cole (1801-1848), founder of the nation’s first major art movement, now known as the Hudson River School of landscape painting. Subsequent “Sunday Salons” will be held as follows:
March 15 – Jean Dunbar, leading historic interiors expert overseeing the restoration of Thomas Cole’s 1815 Main House, will reveal new sources for Cole’s designs;
April 19 – Dorothy M. Peteet, Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, will illuminate the ecology of our contemporary landscapes in connection with our 2020 exhibition, Cross Pollination, which will be presented in partnership with Olana and Crystal Bridges Museum of Art.
The lectures will take place at 2:00 pm in Thomas Cole’s New Studio building at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 218 Spring Street, Catskill, NY. Admission is $10 for members; $12 for general admission. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at thomascole.org/events, and memberships are available at thomascole.org/membership.
The “Sunday Salons” are supported by the Ann and Arthur Grey Foundation, James T. Lewis and Dianne Young, Empire State Development’s I LOVE NY Program under the Market NY initiative, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Ongoing Exhibitions in the Thomas Cole Site’s 1815 Main House include:
+ The Parlors, an immersive experience with the artist’s own decorative painting on the walls and multimedia installations that convey his passionate concern for the environment.
+ Mind Upon Nature: Thomas Cole’s Creative Process, an exhibition featuring Cole’s original paintings, sketches, palettes, and other unique objects.
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is an international destination presenting the original home and studios of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of painting, the nation’s first major art movement. Located in the Hudson Valley, the site includes the 1815 Main House; Cole’s 1839 Old Studio; the recently reconstructed New Studio building; and panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains. It is a National Historic Landmark and an affiliated area of the National Park System. The Thomas Cole Site’s activities include guided and self-guided tours, special exhibitions of both 19th-century and contemporary art, printed publications, lectures, extensive online programs, activities for school groups, the Cole Fellowship program, free community events, and innovative public programs such as the Hudson River School Art Trail—a map and website that enable people to visit the places in nature that Cole painted – and the Hudson River Skywalk – a new walkway connecting the Thomas Cole Site with Frederic Church’s Olana over the Hudson River. The goal of all programs at the Thomas Cole Site is to enable visitors to find meaning and inspiration in Thomas Cole’s life and work. The themes that Cole explored in his art and writings—such as landscape preservation and our conception of nature as a restorative power—are both historic and timely, providing the opportunity to connect to audiences with insights that are highly relevant to their own lives.
Hours vary by season. For more details, see thomascole.org.