The significance of the term “pedagogy” is deeply rooted in the academic traditions of ancient Greece; it is a form of teacher-student interaction, with a literal translation of “to lead the child.” The Thomas Cole National Historic Site recently announced its 2014 exhibition, Thomas Cole & Frederic Church: Master, Mentor, Master, which promises to provide audiences with a comprehensive examination of the most important pedagogic relationship in the history of American art. Master, Mentor, Master will explore the two years during which Thomas Cole assumed the role of mentor to Frederic Edwin Church; it was during this period that the eighteen-year-old Church became educated in the subtleties of capturing the sublime, and was also taught how to master the contours of the American landscape—all by the father of the Hudson River School himself!
Master, Mentor, Master specifically highlights how Cole groomed Church to further his advances in American painting. The exhibition will run from April 30, 2014 through November 2, 2014, and is curated by Dr. John Wilmerding, Sarofim Professor of American Art, Emeritus, at Princeton University and former Senior Curator and Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The sheer significance of the artists featured lends undeniable importance to Master, Mentor, Master, however it is the specific focus on this crucial relationship between two American art legends which brings a fresh perspective and added historical relevance.