Catskill Mt. House | Hudson River School

The Catskills: Catskill Mountain House

The Catskill Mountain House, built in 1824, was a one of the premier hotels of its day. Located near Palenville, New York, in the Catskill Mountains, it overlooked sweeping vistas of the Hudson River Valley.

The Mountain House location had been famous for its panoramic views of the Hudson Valley before the building of the hotel. Artists and writers had discovered the Catskills earlier, and frequented the Mountain House once it was built. Washington Irving and artists of the new Hudson River School, notably Thomas Cole, enjoyed and depicted the hotel. Cooper advised Europeans, “If you want to see the sights of America, go to see Niagara Falls, Lake George and the Catskill Mountain House.” Famous paintings of the Mountain House include Thomas Cole’s A View of the Two Lakes and Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, Morning (ca. 1844), now at the Brooklyn Museum, and Jasper Francis Cropsey’s The Mountain House (1856), with a view of the Mountain House and North-South Lake from Bear’s Den.

From the 1850s to the early twentieth century it was visited by three United States presidents, U.S. Grant, Chester A. Arthur, and Theodore Roosevelt, as well as other prominent figures of the day.

Thomas Cole (1801–1848) A View of the Two Lakes and Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, Morning, 1844
Oil on canvas, 35 13/16 x 53⅞ inches
Collection Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 52.16


Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823–1900) Catskill Mountain House, 1855
Oil on canvas, 29 x 44 inches
Collection The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN, Bequest of Mrs. Lillian Lawhead Rinderer in memory of her brother, William A. Lawhead, and the William Hood Dunwoody Fund, 31.47