Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School at the New-York Historical Society (September 2009)
The New-York Historical Society continues to showcase together more than 100 famous paintings by artists of the Hudson River School, including Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, John F. Kensett, Jasper F. Cropsey and Albert Bierstadt, in a series of exhibitions drawn from the Historical Society’s extraordinary American art collection. Benjamin Genocchio of the New York Times wrote of the exhibit, "Every now and then, an exhibition comes along that is so perfectly lovely that you want to shout its merits from the closest rooftop, or in this case mountain. . . . Many touring exhibitions of Hudson River paintings in previous years have left us no wiser—in large part because curators played it safe with their selections. Not so with this exhibition, which is stocked with pictures of such variety and interest that you can’t help but be enthralled. Nor can you help wondering whether or not there is another state in this country that possesses a greater variety of admirable scenery than New York"
The Historical Society holds one of the oldest and most comprehensive collections of landscape painting by artists of the Hudson River School, the first school of truly American art to garner worldwide recognition and fame. Artists, poets and writers forged the first self-consciously "American" landscape vision and literary voice, grounded in the exploration of the natural world as a source of spiritual renewal and as an expression of national identity, first expressed through the scenery of the Hudson River Valley.