Bierstadt paintings
Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), "Autumn Woods, Oneida County, State of New York," ca. 1886 . Oil on linen. New York Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Albert Bierstadt, 1910.11

The Hudson River School rose to eminence in New York during the first half of the nineteenth century. The growing number of crowded industrial cities in the East gave rise to an appreciation for pictures of the landscape untouched by humans.

This closely-knit group of artists, together with like-minded poets and writers, forged a self-consciously “American” landscape vision and literary voice. Both were grounded in the exploration of the natural world as a rouse for spiritual renewal and as an expression of cultural and national identity.

Hudson River landscapes
George Henry Boughton (1833-1905), “Hudson River Valley from Fort Putnam, West Point,” 1855. Oil on canvas., New York Historical Society, Gift of John V. Irwin and William F. Irwin, 1927.1

The Hudson River and the varied scenery along its banks provided the subjects for many of their landscape paintings.

“The Poetry of Nature” is an exhibition that looks in-depth at depictions of the Northeast and New England.

Hudson River landscapes
John William Casilear (1811-1893), “River Scene, Catskill,” 1861. Oil on canvas. New York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart, S-4

“The Poetry of Nature” Exhibition Details

New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA)
New Britain, Connecticut
“The Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School Landscapes from the New York Historical Society”
Through May 22, 2022

Hudson River landscapes
Thomas Chambers (1808-1869), “Lake George and the Village of Caldwell,” ca. 1843-1860. Oil on canvas. New York Historical Society, Thomas Jefferson Bryan Fund, 1977.13

More from the organizers:

A stunning array of over 40 paintings created between 1818 and 1886, “The Poetry of Nature” illustrates America’s scenic splendor as seen through the eyes of over 25 leading Hudson River School artists, including Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, John F. Kensett, Albert Bierstadt, as well as lesser-known but important artists Josephine Walters, Christopher Pearse Cranch, and Louisa Davis Minot, among others. Its display at the NBMAA will include the addition of works by Robert S. Duncanson, the first Black artist of the Hudson River School to gain international acclaim.

Hudson River landscapes
Asher B. Durand (1796-1886), “Chapel Pond Brook, Keene Flats, Adirondack Mountains,” 1871. Oil on canvas. New York Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Lucy Maria Durand Woodman, 1907.4

Drawn from the collection of the New York Historical Society, the exhibition explores the exchange of influence among this group of artists, their favored sketching grounds, and the legacy of Hudson River School painting today.

Hudson River landscapes
Jervis McEntee (1828-1891), “Over the Hills and Far Away,” 1878. Oil on canvas. New York Historical Society, Gift
of Richard T. Sharp, 1985.23

“We are honored to showcase this spectacular group of Hudson River School masterworks from the New York Historical Society’s preeminent collection,” said Dona Cassella, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Interim Director. “‘The Poetry of Nature’ beautifully complements and expands upon our own celebrated collection of 19th-century landscape paintings. Held concurrent to the Bicentennial of Frederic Law Olmsted’s birth, the exhibition will provide a timely opportunity to explore how artists and landscape architects have depicted and shaped the land throughout American history.”

Durand landscape paintings
Asher B. Durand (1796-1886), “Catskill Clove,” 1864. Oil on canvas. New York Historical Society, Gift of Miss Nora
Durand Woodman 1932.14, Asher B. Durand (1796-1886)

In the context of this exhibition, the NBMAA will highlight contemporary perspectives on land use, the environment, and landscape painting in America through related programming, and by welcoming contemporary artists and scholars to reflect upon the legacy of the Hudson River School and what it means within our world today.

Paintings of Niagara Falls
Louisa Davis Minot (1788-1858), “Niagara Falls,” 1818., Oil on canvas. New York Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Sr. to the Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Jr. Collection, 1956.3

Additionally, the exhibition will take place concurrent to the Bicentennial of Frederick Law Olmsted’s birth (April 2022), and will provide a rich platform for programming that will further explore how artists and landscape architects depicted and shaped the American landscape in the 1800s.


For over 100 years artists have tried to master the look and feel of the Hudson River School Painters. These paintings created by Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and others had a special sense of air, dramatic light, distance, and a luminous quality — something others have tried unsuccessfully to copy.

Artist Erik Koeppel has spent over a decade studying these masters, researching their writings and notes, and discovering how they captured the feel of nature in their paintings. Now you can learn these techniques from this young master. [learn more about “Techniques of the Hudson River School Masters]

Visit to find out all the amazing opportunities for artists through Streamline Publishing, including:
– Online art conferences such as Plein Air Live
– New video workshops for artists
– Incredible art retreats
– Educational and fun art conventions, and much more.

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  1. Thank you for sharing this information about the Hudson River Painters. I knew immediately the site of Asher B. Durand’s , “Catskill Clove”. I live on this mountaintop and this is a view from the top of Haines Falls, New York. The road in the painting is now Route 23A and is a three mile ascend from Palenville NY, passing Bastion Falls (bottom of Kaaterskill Falls which was painted by many Hudson River artists.). The great Kaaterskill Hotel and Catskill Mountain House were located on South Mtn.(on left of painting). These are beautiful works of art and I am always in awe of their beauty, and of course the beauty of my home here on the mountaintop where they once stood .Thanks again!


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