The studio of Thomas Cole in Catskill, New York

Although he is best known for paintings of the American West, Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) often painted landscapes in New York and throughout New England. Some of those will soon be displayed in the home and studio of Thomas Cole (1801-1848).

The exterior of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site

On Sunday, April 28 from 2-5 p.m., the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, home and studio of the founder of the Hudson River School, will celebrate the opening of their 2013 exhibition Albert Bierstadt in New York & New England. For the forthcoming exhibition and accompanying illustrated catalogue, guest curator Annette Blaugrund, former director of the National Academy Museum, will focus on Albert Bierstadt’s East Coast paintings. Bierstadt is best known for his iconic images of the American West, and this exhibition will offer a rare chance to see the artist’s faithful depictions of botanical and geological details in the unspoiled wilderness, mountains, and meadows in the White Mountains, Hudson Valley, and in New England and New York. Both large- and small-scale paintings were composed between the late 1850s and 1880s, often while the artist was selecting aesthetic sites for his brothers Charles and Edward to photograph for their stereographs. The exhibition will be on view through November 3, 2013. For information visit or call 518.943.7465.

“White Mountains New Hampshire,” by Albert Bierstadt, oil on paper mounted on board, 8 1/2 x 11 1/2 in.

Another view of Thomas Cole’s studio

Bierstadt was one of the most renowned landscape painters in the United States during the 19th century. Born in Germany to a family who emigrated to New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1832, Bierstadt was the epitome of the American success story, achieving fame and fortune through his dramatic panoramic paintings of the far West. Less known are his vibrant oil sketches and finished paintings of the White Mountains, Niagara Falls, the Catskills, and more in New York and New England, areas to which he returned time and again. At the height of his career in the 1860s and 1870s, Bierstadt’s paintings attracted an international audience and set record prices. By the 1880s interest in Hudson River School paintings waned and Bierstadt’s career plummeted. From rags to riches and back again, Bierstadt died in virtual obscurity in 1902.


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