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American Scenery: Different Views in Hudson River School Painting

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NEW PALTZ -- An exhibition of 116 Hudson River School paintings drawn from a remarkable and comprehensive private collection will open February 4, 2006 at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz. American Scenery: Different Views in Hudson River School Painting features the work of key figures in the movement - Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Cole, Frederick Edwin Church, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Asher B, Durand, as well as women members Laura Woodward and Edith Wilkinson Cook and other accomplished but lesser known artists.

Image available at collector's passionate observations about the each artists' diverse approach and skillful rendering of natural effects as light, weather, time of day, and season was the driving force to assemble this special collection. American Scenery opens with a reception on February 4th from 2-4pm. The exhibition continues through May 14, 2006.

Events relating to the exhibition are being finalized and will be announced in January.

Flourishing between 1825 and 1875, The Hudson River School is a movement that celebrated the vast natural resources of the American landscape just prior to the industrialization that forever changed that landscape. Considered by many to be the first truly American school of painting, the style is not geographically confined to the Hudson River region. For example, in the exhibition, Thomas Cole's Sunset at the Arno, 1837, paired with Frederic Church's Ruins at Baalbek,1868 were selected to compare approaches to the landscape outside of the region.

The exhibition studies landscape paintings by illuminating the practice of Hudson River School artists of creating pairs, series, and groupings of paintings that are thematically related and intended to be viewed together. The viewers are encouraged to compare and contrast how different generations of artists interpreted the majestic American landscape. Influenced by the ever-changing landscape around them, artists and works in the exhibition are organized according to nine themes, of which Times of Day; Weather Conditions, Atmosphere, and Mood; Man's Impact on Nature; The Machine in the Garden are included.

According to Judith Hansen O'Toole, curator for American Scenery and director of the Westmoreland Museum of American Arts, ... the idea {for the exhibition} was to bring together paintings that captured the natural effects expressed through the vast landscape of America, thereby recalling the underlying spiritual, philosophical, and nationalistic significance of the land, which was fundamental to and universally understood by this group of nineteenth-century artists.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Columbia University Press and includes essays, a complete checklist and descriptions of each pairing and grouping of paintings.

Image: Thomas Prichard Rossiter (1818-1871) Niagara Falls, 1858 Oil on canvas, 13 1/2 x 24 inches Private collection

About the Museum

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is dedicated to collecting, researching, interpreting, and exhibiting works of art from diverse cultures. The permanent collection spans a period of almost 4,000 years. Areas of specialization include 20th-century paintings and works on paper, Asian and Pre-Columbian art and artifacts, metals and photographs. SDMA has a special commitment to collecting and exhibiting important works of art created by artists who have lived and worked in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions. The Museum is a major cultural resource in the Hudson Valley serving a broad-based constituency from both on and beyond the New Paltz campus.

Museum information

Days/Hours: Wednesday -Saturday 11am - 5pm, Sunday 1-5pm. The museum is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, university and national holidays.

SUNY New Paltz 75 So. Manheim Blvd. New Paltz, NY 12561 845) 257-3844