Hudson River School | American Art Exhibition

A History of the Hudson River School: Homage from Connecticut

Chelsea DeLay | July 17th, 2012 | Posted in News

The story of American art has long been painted as a journey that, during its early years, was ripe with a determination to succeed.  The fiercely independent nature of Americans has become a distinct national trait that first took shape along the banks of New York’s Hudson River; beginning in the early-nineteenth century, artists used pens, pencils, watercolors, and oils in countless attempts to capture their country’s newly emerging identity, sketching, reworking, and painting the mountainous landscapes and rivers of the Hudson River Valley.  Today, these works belong to the Hudson River School and have endured as living proof of the first American art movement; a fantastic selection loaned by the Albany Institute of History and Art is currently on display at the Florence Griswold Museum.

On display until September 23, On Hudson: Highlights From the Albany Institute of History and Art is not your typical Hudson River School art exhibition. Curated by Amy Kutz Lansing, this collection of paintings and drawings is a nod to the location where the American identity first took form.  As life flourished along the Hudson, artists such as Thomas Cole, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Frederic Edwin Church, and Asher B. Durand produced American landscape paintings that are snapshots of the area’s urbanization.  The fifty-nine works in the exhibition expand beyond the well-known artists of the Hudson River School, also exploring the realms of lesser known artists, such as Sarah Cole and Ann Bell, in addition to contemporary artists including Stephen Hancock and Bill Sullivan.

As audiences pass through the exhibition, they will be guided through an integral part of American history. Paintings of the Hudson riverbanks and the rocky Catskill Mountains will soon make visitors forget that they are in Connecticut, and after a few steps they will find themselves in upstate New York, surrounded by a striking landscape that remains recognizable to this very day.


Frederic Edwin Church, “Morning, Looking East Over the Hudson Valley,” 1848, Collection of Albany Institute of History and Art, NY

Chelsea DeLay is a Researcher at Questroyal Fine Art. Chelsea earned her MA in art business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, and her BA in art history and classical studies. Her interest in American paintings first began while working at an auction house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has multiplied exponentially since joining the Questroyal team.