Hudson River School Painters | American Landscape Art | The Albany Institute of History & Art

Visions of the American Landscape at The Albany Institute of History & Art

Chelsea DeLay | February 14th, 2014 | Posted in Essays

Located in the northern region of New York’s Hudson Valley, The Albany Institute of History & Art is one of oldest museums in the United States, with a history that is deeply rooted within the surrounding American landscape. The Institute presents audiences with a unique glimpse into the life and culture of New York’s capital city through its impressive collection of over 35,000 artworks and historic objects, which date from the late-seventeenth century to the present day. The museum’s remarkable inventory of nineteenth-century American landscape paintings is an absolute must-see for American art lovers: there are sublime views painted by important Hudson River School artists including George Henry Boughton, Frederic Edwin Church, Asher B. Durand, and Homer Dodge Martin, in addition to the Institute’s noteworthy collection of more than 500 works by the founder of the Hudson River School himself, Thomas Cole.

Albany emerged as a bustling city in part due to its advantageous location that provided convenient access to the port of New York Harbor via the Hudson River; when the Erie Canal was completed in 1825, the city was further connected to Lake Eerie near Buffalo, New York and as a result, Albany became one of the nineteenth century’s most important commercial and trading centers in upstate New York. As Albany’s population boomed, the neighboring Adirondack, Berkshire, and Catskill Mountain regions emerged as popular artistic meccas, attracting painters who drew inspiration from the natural, rugged beauty of the American landscape. The nineteenth-century landscape paintings displayed at The Albany Institute of History & Art are stunning reminders of the pioneering role played by Hudson River School painters in the development of American art, and also highlight the area’s natural beauty, which can still be found just outside of the museum’s front doorsteps. Enjoy a selection of artworks from the Institute’s collection below!

Frederic E. Church, Twilight (Sunset). Gift of Beatrice Palmer.

Frederic Edwin Church, Twilight (Sunset). Oil on canvas, 16 1/4 x 24 1/4 inches. Gift of Beatrice Palmer,1942.34.44.

George Henry Boughton, Autumn on the Susquehanna. Bequest of Mrs. Anna Vandenbergh.

George Henry Boughton, Autumn on the Susquehanna. Oil on canvas, 27 x 48 1/8 inches. Bequest of Mrs. Anna Vandenbergh, 1909.19.1.

Asher B. Durand, An Old Man’s Reminiscences. Oil on canvas, Gift of the Albany Gallery of Fine Arts.

Asher B. Durand, An Old Man’s Reminiscences. Oil on canvas, 39 5/8 x 58 1/4 inches. Gift of the Albany Gallery of Fine Arts, 1900.5.3.

Thomas Cole, Gardens of the Van Rensselaer Manor House. Bequest of Miss Katherine E. Turnbull

Thomas Cole, Gardens of the Van Rensselaer Manor House. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches. Bequest of Miss Katherine E. Turnbull, 1930.7.1.

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.