Thomas Coles New Studio Plans Revealed

There will be a party at Thomas Cole’s home in Catskill with cocktails on the lawn followed by dinner at one of several magnificent river-front homes nearby on Saturday September 11, 6pm. The event is a fundraiser, and the newly completed architectural drawings for Thomas Cole’s &#8220New Studio&#8221 will be unveiled. The building was designed by Cole and built in 1846, but was demolished in 1973. The original stone foundation has been unearthed, and the fascinating archaeological site will be on view. The evening includes a viewing of the current exhibition in the Main House, &#8220Remember the Ladies: Women of the Hudson River School.&#8221 Tickets are $225 for the cocktail and dinner, or $70 for the cocktail party only.

Celebrating Women of the Hudson River School

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site will present “Remember the Ladies: Women Artists of the Hudson River School”, believed to be the first exhibition ever to focus solely on women artists associated with the 19th century landscape painting movement. The exhibition, which opens on May 8, 2010 is co-curated by Jennifer C. Krieger, of Hawthorne Fine Art in Manhattan and Nancy Siegel, Associate Professor of Art History at Towson University, Towson, MD.

“Remember the Ladies: Women Artists of the Hudson River School” will feature approximately 25 works including paintings, embroidered landscapes, photography, and drawing manuals by artists, such as Julia Hart Beers (sister to William and James Hart), Evelina Mount (niece to William Sidney Mount), Susie Barstow, Eliza Greatorex, Harriet Cany Peale, and Josephine Walters among others. The paintings of Thomas Cole’s sister, Sara Cole, and her daughter Emily Cole will also be on view.

By the turn of the 19th century, schools, seminaries, and private instructors were already providing artistic education for young women, particularly in the art of landscape painting. Women traveled in increasing numbers to experience the American landscape and wrote of their adventures poetically. “Remember the Ladies” seeks to increase awareness of a previously little-celebrated but highly-talented and accomplished group of women artists associated with the well-known Hudson River School.

Following its stay at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site the exhibition will travel to Hawthorne Fine Art in the fall of 2010. Plans are underway by Siegel and Krieger to develop a more extensive version of the exhibition to travel nationally.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a printed catalogue with full-color illustrations co-written by Krieger and Dr. Siegel. The title of the exhibition is taken from a letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams in 1776: “I desire you would Remember the Ladies… if particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion.”

The Thomas Cole Historic Site is located at 218 Spring Street in Catskill, New York. For information regarding the exhibition and directions, call 518-943-7465 or visit www.thomascole.org.

Illustration: Mary Blood Mellen (1817-1882) &#8220Field Beach, c1850s&#8221 Oil on canvas on board, 24 x 33 15/16 in. Cape Ann Museum, Gift of Jean Stanley Dise, 1970.2019-2

Thomas Cole National Historic Site Seeks Volunteers

Folks at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, NY are busy preparing for the 2010 season and are looking for volunteers. They’re currently seeking volunteer docents to conduct tours of the site from May through October. They are also recruiting guides for their hiking program on the Hudson River School Art Trail.

Everyone is invited to an Open House on March 14th, 12 noon, with behind-the-scenes tours and an opportunity to meet other volunteers and ask questions about becoming a docent. The Open House will be followed by a lecture about American landscape painting by Dr. Linda S. Ferber, offered as part of the Cole House’s ongoing Sunday Salon series. Participants in the 12pm Open House will also receive refreshments and complimentary admission to the 2pm lecture.

Reservations are required for participation in the Open House. Admission is free. For more information, please contact Joanna Frang, Education Coordinator, at 518-943-7465 ext. 2, or education@thomascole.org.

Thomas Cole Historic Site Seeks Paid Guides

Applications are now being accepted for Visitor Center Guides, a seasonal paid position from April 1 through October 31, 2010, at the Thomas Cole Historic Site. Responsibilities include welcoming visitors to the historic site and orienting them to the opportunities that are available to them including guided tours, the orientation film, and the educational kiosks. The Guide operates the visitor center front desk including the cash register, and sells tickets and shop merchandise. The successful candidate will have excellent people skills, as he or she will be a visitor’s first impression of the organization. Applications are due February 5th.

The hourly pay is $13.41, and the hours are Thursday through Sunday, 9:30am to 4:30pm, April through October. Please note: weekend work is required, and candidates must be available for the entire seven months. More information and an application can be found online.

Do not send applications to the Thomas Cole Historic Site directly. The application process is being handled by the National Park Service, and applications can only be accepted through USAJOBS.

The National Park Service will rank candidates based on their amount of training and work experience that relates to the position, therefore it is very important to include the exact dates of employment when you apply. For example, do not list the start date of a recent job as &#8220January 2009&#8243-. Instead, include the actual day, for example &#8220January 10, 2009.&#8221

See their EMPLOYMENT page on their website.

Thomas Cole House Hosts Sunday Salons

Sunday Salons are gatherings at the home of Thomas Cole, with guest speakers leading discussions on topics relating to the Hudson River School, America’s first major art movement. The public is invited for wine, cheese, and lively conversation once per month at Cedar Grove, the birthplace of American landscape painting. Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $8 per person or $6 for members. Admission is first-come-first-served.

During the reception following each talk, a new exhibition will be on view in the 2nd floor Beecher Gallery, displaying historic wallpapers from the collection of Michael Levinson. The exhibition explores Thomas Cole’s work as a young man in the wallpaper business, demonstating the types of designs he might have been exposed to and influenced by.

January 10 Patricia Junker
Sacred to the Memory of Thomas Cole: Charles Herbert Moore and his Views of Cedar Grove

Patricia Junker, Curator of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum, explores Charles Herbert Moore’s affection for Thomas Cole, evident in his captivating paintings of Cole’s house and studio. Moore rented Cole’s studio in the early 1860s, making Catskill a meeting place for a new generation of landscape painters. While much has been made of the Pre-Raphaelites’ dismissal of Cole’s visionary tendencies, Moore warmly embraced his memory. The artist who worked in Cole’s studio could not help but evoke the late artist’s spirit—enlisting the language of Cole’s art to create richly symbolic landscape compositions.

February 7 Katherine Manthorne
Eliza Pratt Greatorex: “First Artist of Her Sex in America”*

Katherine Manthorne, Professor of Modern Art of the Americas (1750-1950) at City University of New York, reveals highlights from her upcoming biography on one of the most fascinating, least-known Hudson River School painters: Eliza Pratt Greatorex. Focusing on her extraordinary life – the first female to be admitted to the National Academy of Design, one of the first artists to capture images of New York City’s historic sites before they were destroyed, and a world traveler who made her living as an artist/teacher while raising her children by herself – this talk is a wonderful prelude to our 2010 exhibition, “Remember the Ladies: Women of the Hudson River School.” The title of the talk is a phrase dubbed by a 19th-century critic.

March 14 Linda S. Ferber
The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision

Linda S. Ferber, Senior Art Historian and Museum Director Emerita of the New-York Historical Society, and former Chair of the Department of American Art at the Brooklyn Museum, returns to the Cole House with her new book, The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision. Capturing the New-York Historical Society’s world-renowned Hudson River School collection in book form for the first time, Dr. Ferber’s book features all the greatest artists of the group including Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Church, Thomas Cole, Jasper Cropsey, Asher B. Durand, Sanford Gifford, and John F. Kensett. One of the Cole House’s most popular speakers, Dr. Ferber will sign copies of her book after her talk.

April 11 Stephen Hannock
Thomas Cole with a Power Sander

One of the most exciting artists of our time – called “the consummate landscape painter” – Stephen Hannock began his artistic career near the site of Thomas Cole’s famous 1836 painting, the Oxbow. Cole has been “a reference point” for Hannock, whose virtuosic use of light &#8211 as well as a power sander &#8211 has landed his paintings in museum collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art Historian Jason Rosenfeld describes Hannock’s work as &#8220both distinctively modern as well as reflective of landscape traditions&#8230-.Hannock, in his radical technique is a true American luminist. His paintings, multi-layered in both surface and meaning, radiate in a manner that connects past and present.&#8221 After his talk, Mr. Hannock will sign copies of his new monograph.

150 Thomas Cole Images Now Online

The Thomas Cole Historic Site is substantially increasing its online presence with the launch of a new interactive website where visitors can see Thomas Cole’s paintings in a new way, enabling a greatly enhanced understanding of the artist and his work.

The most ambitious feature of the new website is the learning portal. Five years in the making, it offers 150 of Thomas Cole’s best-known artworks all in one place. Written by some of the top scholars in the field of American art, it gives you the experience of seeing Cole’s artwork with a team of experts by your side.

High-resolution digital technology reveals details that are not evident in printed reproductions, and the visitor can zoom in closer to the painted surface than would be permissible in a museum. The database of images will continue to grow, eventually becoming as complete a resource as possible for Cole’s artistic output.

Photo: Autumn in the Catskills by Thomas Cole. Oil on wood, 1827.

Thomas Cole Historic Site Gets $1 Million Bequest


The Thomas Cole Historic Site has announced that it has received a bequest of $1,000,000 from the estate of Raymond Beecher (1917–2008), a guiding light in the preservation of the Thomas Cole Site as well as countless other historic properties in the area. The newly established Raymond and Catharine Beecher Memorial Fund will be used for the maintenance of the buildings and grounds of Cedar Grove, the 19th- century home of Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole.

The bequest is restricted to funding the maintenance of the building and grounds of the Thomas Cole Historic Site, and only a portion of the interest may be used each year so that the principal will endure. Were it not for Raymond Beecher, who passed away in October at the age of 91, there might not be a Cedar Grove today. When the property was up for sale and possibly headed for demolition, Beecher put up his own money to buy the property and begin the restoration process. According to Thomas Cole Historic Site Executive Director Elizabeth Jacks, “It might not have happened without him. He led the charge. So we are delighted that his legacy lives on in a way that helps maintain the site he loved so much.”

Raymond Beecher was a soldier, educator, historian, writer, philanthropist, and public servant. He was the Chairman of the Greene County Historical Society and the Greene County Historian for many years. He was a leader in the establishment of the Vedder Library – a collection of important pieces of Greene County history. Beecher was a World War II veteran serving in both Europe and the Pacific. He wrote several books and for many years wrote a weekly column in local newspapers. He was declared a “Greene County Treasure” by the County Legislature in 2007.

Cedar Grove is the historic name for the Thomas Cole Historic Site, a non-profit organization that preserves and interprets the site where the artist Thomas Cole lived, worked, was married, and where he died at the age of 47. Today the site consists of the Federal style brick home (c. 1815) in which Thomas Cole resided with his family, as well as the artist’s original studio building, on five landscaped acres with a magnificent view of the Catskill Mountains.

Photo: Raymond Beecher in the grounds of his beloved Cedar Grove. Photo Richard Philp.

Guided Hikes of Hudson River School Locations

Cedar Grove, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site has announced a series of guided hikes to the nearby places that inspired Thomas Cole and fellow artists of the Hudson River School. On the hikes you will see the views that appear in some of the most beloved landcape paintings of the 19th-century and hear stories that bring their history to life. The hikes range from easy walks to moderately vigorous climbs. All hikers will receive a copy of the Hudson River School Art Trail Guide, a new 48-page book with full-color illustrations of the paintings that were inspired by the sites along the trail. The book includes an introduction by Kevin Avery, curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it is published by the Thomas Cole Historic Site. The book will be available for sale in our visitor center starting in mid-June.

Each hike is limited to twelve people and they depart from the Thomas Cole Historic Site at 9am. Hikes designated as &#8220Easy&#8221 are approximately two hours in length. Those designated as &#8220Moderate&#8221 are closer to four hours. Each of the guided hikes also includes a guided tour of the Thomas Cole Historic Site at the end of the hike. The total price per person: $15, or $10 for members.

Here is a schedule of the hikes:

June 6: Sunset Rock and the Catskill Mountain House (Moderate)

July 18: Kaaterskill Falls and the Catskill Mountain House (Moderate)

August 1: The Catskill Mountain House and North-South Lake (Easy)

September 5: Kaaterskill Falls and the Catskill Mountain House (Moderate)

October 3: Sunset Rock and the Catskill Mountain House (Moderate)

Thomas Cole National Historic Site Seeks Volunteers

Cedar Grove, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site is seeking volunteers to conduct on-site school programs during the 2009-2010 school year. The schedule and time commitment are very flexible although a brief training will be held June 5 and 6, 2009. School Programs Docents impart meaningful information about the life, relationships and works of the 19th-century artist Thomas Cole through hands-on activities catered to each grade level and subject area. To get involved contact Education Coordinator Gregory Rosenthal at 518-943-7465 ext. 2, or at education@thomascole.org . Individual informational meetings will be held May 28-31.

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