Hi everyone! I am blessed to live in a culturally rich part of the country. The Dutch settled New York City north to Albany in the early 1600’s; several Presidents and other important political figures arose from this area, and a key school of painters–the Hudson River School–developed in the region during the mid-1800s. The Albany Institute of History and Art, which owns a significant Hudson River School collection, recently had a free admission day, so I took advantage and drove into the Albany for a visit.
Hudson River School Painters
The School was not a “school” per se, but rather a group of like-minded, 19th century painters who looked to Thomas Cole, the artist who painted Ruined Tower (above), as their guide.
They are known for reflecting the pastoral nature of the American landscape in an idealized fashion, as in An Adirondack Pastoral (above) by George Inness. Most Hudson River School paintings depict the Hudson River Valley, the Catskills, the Adirondacks, and the White Mountains. Cole’s home, Cedar Grove, is a National Historic Site in the town of Catskill (NY) about an hour south of Albany.
Frederic Church studied under Thomas Cole and is perhaps second only to Cole in fame as a Hudson River School painter. The National Gallery did a retrospective of his works in 1990 that I had a chance to see and it was spectacular. Church gifted this painting (above), Twighlight (Sunset) to Erastus Dow Palmer, an Albany sculptor (see below). Church’s Moorish-style home, Olana, is a State Historic Site about an hour and a half south of Albany.
Erastus Dow Palmer
The Institute also owns a large collection of works by Albany sculptor, Erastus Dow Palmer, a nationally recognized 19th century artist.
You may recognize this handsome angel from my post about Albany Rural Cemetery. This piece is the plaster model for the larger piece in the cemetery, called, Angel of the Sepulcher. The exhibit noted that it is rare to find an angel depicted as male.
Here you can see the angel sitting in the midst of the cemetery.
This marble sculpture, Infant Flora (1857), was hand-carved by Palmer himself. He and his apprentices carved their own pieces, rather than sending them to Italy for carving, as was the custom. He is said to have breathed “life into the neoclassical sculptural tradition.”
I think she’s lovely.
Albany Institute of History and Art
125 Washington Avenue, Albany 12210
$10 adults, $6 kids 6-12
Thanks so much for stopping by–
If you enjoyed your visit, I hope you follow me by email.
Sign up and never miss a post.
Bye for now,
Looking for vintage?
Bye for now,