We’re gonna go out on a limb here and say that Frederick Church and Thomas Cole, founders of the world-famous Hudson River School of art, were the original upstaters. After successful careers in New York City, they emigrated northwards for the pastoral landscapes and rustic beauty of the Mid-Hudson. They both agonized over real estate and the coolest towns to live in, and both found the inspiration for their lives and their art in the bountiful beauty of our humble valley. Their legacy continues through their respective historic associations, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and the Olana State Historic Site, which open each home to the public for visits and tours. They’ve teamed up to celebrate the artists’ contributions and continual influence to present “River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home.” A landmark exhibit, River Crossings seeks to “ highlight the pivotal role that the two historic properties – and the artists who lived and worked there – played in shaping America’s culture of contemporary art.” One look at the roster here leaves no question that this is a huge deal.
Thirty Artists will be featured, including legends like Chuck Close, Maya Lin, Martin Puryear, Cindy Sherman, and Kiki Smith. The exhibition is curated by Jason Rosenfeld, who recently oversaw two exhibitions at none other than Tate Britain and the National Gallery in Washington D.C., and Stephen Hannock, the celebrated painter known for his sprawling, almost dreamlike landscapes. The exhibition takes place in Cole’s and Church’s historic homes at the Thomas Cole Historic Site and at Olana, the 250-acre home and landscape designed by Church himself throughout the 1870s and 1880s. An illustrated companion book accompanies the exhibition, courtesy of The Artist Book Foundation, which will include all the artists and works, along with commentary from writers and historians including Ken Burns (yes, THAT Ken Burns), Maurice Berger, Adam Gopnik, and Marvin Heiferman.
Both Olana and the Thomas Cole Historic site are must-see locations for any trip to the area, and this exhibit simply must not be missed. On certain weekends, a shuttle service will also be offered so that visitors can reach both sites from the train station without needing a car (bonus!). If you’re anything like us you’re already on airbnb planning your trip.
Runs May 3rd – November 1, 2015
See it at both: