A stunning array of more than 40 paintings from the New York Historical Society’s collection by renowned Hudson River School artists, including Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper Cropsey, John F. Kensett, and William T. Richards. Painted between 1818 and 1886, the works illustrate America’s scenic splendor as seen through the eyes of some of the country’s most important painters.
In the first decade of the 19th century, the expansive landscapes of the Hudson River Valley and adjacent areas, such as the Catskills and the Adirondack Mountains, inspired an elite group of American artists known as the Hudson River School. Coming together under the influence of British émigré painter Thomas Cole (1801–1848), they shared a philosophy and appreciation for the natural landscape. Today their collective works are considered the first uniquely American art movement. In their idyllic depictions of the landscape, these artists conveyed not only the majesty of America, but an image of man living in harmonious balance with nature.
Poetry of Nature, comprises paintings by 25 artists and offers a varied survey of important paintings conceived in the style of the Hudson River School and further enriched by each artist's personal vision. The exhibition also offers an opportunity to explore the exchanges of influence among a group of artists whose social and professional networks in New York City and at their favored sketching grounds established an artistic vision that we now recognize as the Hudson River School.