News Pulse - State University of New York at New Paltz

SDMA to host special exhibition of Hudson River School Paintings

photo of painting

Homer Dodge Martin; Saranac Lake (Morning), 1857; oil on canvas, 18 X 32 in.; private collection

An exhibition of 116 Hudson River School paintings drawn from a remarkable and comprehensive private collection will open Friday, Feb. 4 at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and run through May 14.

“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.

American Scenery opens with a reception on Feb. 4 from 2 - 4 p.m. There will be a talk, titled “A Closer Look at American Scenery,” at 1 p.m. in the museum given by curator Judith Hansen O’Toole, director/ CEO of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, Pa.

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, Arno, 1837, paired with Frederic Church's Thomas Cole's Sunset at the Ruins at Baalbek,1868 were selected to compare approaches to the landscape outside of the region.

Neil Trager, director of the SDMA, said that the collector’s passionate observations about each artists diverse approach and skillful rendering of natural effects such as light, weather, time of day, and season was the driving force to assemble this special collection. 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.

The exhibition is organized and toured by Westmoreland Museum of American Art and 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.

The SDMA is open Wednesday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, university and national holidays.

JANUARY 30, 2006
Volume 4, Issue 2

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