The Albany Institute of History & Art is set to host Rebecca Bedell, associate Professor of Art at Wellesley College, on Sunday, October 14 at 2 pm for a lecture on the Hudson River School movement and their relation to America’s national parks. The lecture is included with museum admission. Space is limited and attendees will receive a wristband at the admission desk the day of the lecture. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘Hudson River School’
The Long Lake Historical Society and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Long Lake Public Library will present a lecture on Thomas Cole, a founder of the Hudson River School, by Matt DeLaMater on Friday, August 19th, at 7 pm at the Town Hall on Route 30 in Long Lake.
September, 2016 will be the 180th anniversary of Thomas Cole’s 1846 trip to the central Adirondacks and Long Lake. Many of Cole’s works were inspired by the Adirondacks and White Mountains , but it has largely remained a mystery whether there were any paintings remaining from Cole’s visit to the Central Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
Few incidents in nineteenth-century Adirondack history have been more often recounted than the famous Philosophers’ Camp at Follensby Pond. The story of how Ralph Waldo Emerson and an assortment of VIPs from the Concord-Cambridge axis camped for several weeks in 1858 on the shores of a virtually untouched lake deep in the wilderness has become a familiar chestnut in the Adirondack canon. » Continue Reading.
If The Hyde Collection had ever hoped to mount an exhibition of the art of the Adirondacks, the result could not have been more comprehensive than the show that the Glens Falls museum is presenting through April 12th.
“Wild Nature: Masterworks from the Adirondack Museum,” as the title signifies, is composed solely of works within the permanent collection of the Adirondack Museum.
For those who have never visited the museum in Blue Mountain Lake, “Wild Nature” is an introduction both to master works of American art depicting the landscape of the Adirondacks and to the museum itself, which is closed in the off-season. » Continue Reading.
Something has had men heading for the interior, long before Henry David Thoreau publicly declared “I am leaving the city more and more, and withdrawing into the wilderness.” And as men of a certain tradition in 19th century America began to make their private pilgrimages public through written and artistic records, their excursions and revelations became canonized.
These meditations contributed to a change in national ideas about the value and fragility of nature and “man’s” place within it.
I understand the importance of reaching back into our histories to understand the cultural touchstones like these that have come to signify certain ideas and ideals, certain styles of thought and ideologies. After all, our histories are our foreground and they mark the path that we took to get here. Yet, from time to time in the midst of what can seem like a tireless reminiscence on the trope of the vigorous and steadfast wayfaring male archetype depicted through art and literature in the wilderness; I can hear a sucking sound like my boot makes when I’ve gone walking in mud season.
Since its creation, advocacy for and against conservation and preservation within the Park boundary has called on these and other similar images to underscore qualities like individuality, independence and virility in the midst of a seemingly untamed and unspoiled country. Guided by certain American philosophers and artists we enter into a stylized landscape, one that was politically manufactured through legislation and philosophically manufactured through the proliferation of 19th century ideals.
When popular literature and art combine to illuminate different parts of the same story, the impact often resonates outside the original medium of paint or narrative and into the larger cultural landscape. In the case of 19th century landscape art and literature, the story that fine art and prose conspire to tell transcends the cultural period and becomes part of one collective identity. Artists and writers who have become signs themselves of this aesthetic, and of a singular set of values, labored under a shared vision of wild America. These artists and scholars illustrated an ideal landscape beyond increasingly industrialized cities, and the legacy of this movement is largely responsible for our 21st century conception of the natural ideal.
Yet, this ideal only represents those who are drawn into its frame. But ours are stories (plural) and histories (as in many) so what would it take to shift the emphasis from one tone of voice to another? When old signifiers dominate a changed contemporary scene, we risk losing our way by walking backwards into the present.
Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Museum