Hudson River School Collections

Important Public Collections & Exhibitions

Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, NY

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

In 2007, the Brooklyn Museum held an exhibition entitled Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape (March 30 to July 29, 2007), which brought together nearly sixty works by the artist in the first monographic exhibition devoted to the painter in more than thirty-five years.

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902)
Mount Corcoran, ca. 1876–77
Oil on canvas, 60 11/16 x 95⅞ inches
Collection Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund, 78.1

The Corcoran Gallery is the largest privately supported cultural institution in Washington, D.C. with a primary focus in American art. The extensive collection includes: Albert Bierstadt’s Mount Corcoran (ca. 1876–77) and The Last of the Buffalo (1888); Ralph Albert Blakelock’s Moonlight (1886–95); Frederic Edwin Church’s Tamaca Palms (1854) and Niagara (1857); Thomas Cole’s The Departure (1837) and The Return (1837); Jasper Francis Cropsey’s Tourn Mountain, Head Quarters of Washington, Rockland Co., New York (1851); Thomas Doughty’s View on the Hudson in Autumn (1850); Asher B. Durand’s The Edge of the Forest (1868–71); Sanford Robinson Gifford’s Ruins of the Parthenon (1880); Martin Johnson Heade’s View of Marshfield (c. 1866–76); George Inness’s Sunset in the Woods (1891); John Frederick Kensett’s View on the Genesee near Mount Morris (1857); and Worthington Whittredge’s Trout Brook in the Catskills (1875). 

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is located in Bentonville, Arkansas. The museum was founded by Alice Walton and officially opened on November 11, 2011. Crystal Bridges brings together many of the masterworks of American art, and includes works from the Hudson River School by Jasper Francis Cropsey, Samuel F.B. Morse, Asher B. Durand, and Thomas Moran. In May 2005, the museum acquired Kindred Spirits, a masterwork by Asher B. Durand. Formerly in the collection of the New York Public Library, Kindred Spirits sold for more than $35 million in a sealed auction.

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY

Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900)
Autumn in North America, ca. 1856
Oil on board, 11¼ x 17 inches
Collection The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY, Gift of Matthew Vassar, 1864.1.16

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is a teaching museum, major art repository, and exhibition space on the campus of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. It was originally founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. Highlights include Frederic Edwin Church’s Autumn in North America (1856).

Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, MA

Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

In 1975 the Louvre acquired Thomas Cole’s The Cross in the Wilderness (begun 1825), which represents the culmination of the artist’s reflection on the representation of a certain type of American landscape.

The Musée du Louvre, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, and Terra Foundation for American Art have announced the launch of a four-year international collaboration devoted to American art. The first presentation of the “New Frontier” partnership is centered on Thomas Cole and the rise of American landscape painting.

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Shawnee, OK

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds one of the premier collections of Hudson River School paintings. The Met has recently completed a massive renovation of its American Wing, which opened to the public in January, 2012. The Met now has an entire gallery devoted to the Hudson River School, which houses many of its masterpieces, including Cole’s The Oxbow. Canvases like The Oxbow, along with dramatic works by Asher B. Durand, John Frederick Kensett, and Sanford Robinson Gifford, have been given more space and importance within the permanent collections since the renovation. Also displayed in the wing are two other seminal works from the Met’s collection: Frederoc Edwin Church’s Heart of the Andes and Albert Bierstadt’s Rocky Mountains, both of which have been recently restored.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Martin Johnson Heade (1819–1904)
Passion Flowers and Hummingbirds, ca. 1870–83 
Oil on canvas, 15½ x 21⅝ inches
Collection Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865, 47.1138

The American wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has recently undergone a massive renovation. Fifty-three new galleries are now open in a new wing devoted to the Art of the Americas, from the Pre-Columbian era through the third-quarter of the twentieth century. The Museum features, among other works, Martin Johnson Heade’s beloved Passion Flowers and Hummingbirds (ca. 1870–83), Albert Bierstadt’s Valley of the Yosemite (1864), and George Inness’s Blue Niagara (1884).

The upcoming exhibition Art of the White Mountains (July 14, 2012–July 7, 2013) will draw from the MFA’s collections. The exhibition will highlight works by early landscapists including Thomas Doughty, Thomas Cole, and Benjamin Champney, later masters Winslow Homer and George Inness, as well as numerous twentieth-century artists who recorded the beauty of northern New Hampshire’s natural wonders.

The exhibition American Landscape 1830–1930 will feature images of the American landscape from the seashore of New England to the mountains of the American West, including approximately forty-five works from the MFA’s collection. Featured artists include Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, Martin Johnson Heade, George Inness, Winslow Homer, Willard Metcalf, Arthur Dove, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Newark Museum, Newark, NJ

New-York Historical Society, New York, NY

The New-York Historical Society has recently undergone a comprehensive renovation. From September 23, 2012 through February 2013, the New-York Historical Society will feature The Return of The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision. After a national tour, forty-five iconic works will are returning and will once again be on display at the New-York Historical Society, including Thomas Cole’s monumental five-part series The Course of Empire (1833–36) and Catskill Creek, NY (1845), and other masterworks by Cole, John Frederick Kensett, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper Francis Cropsey, and Asher B. Durand.

Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy (November 11, 2011–September 9, 2012) features fifty-five works from the New-York Historical Society’s collection that aims to explore the history of American art and the formation of American cultural ideals during the crucial period from the 1830s to the 1860s. By comprehensively examining historical, literary, religious, rural, and domestic genres, the exhibition explores the broad range of styles and themes that appealed to nineteenth-century Americans.

The New-York Historical Society has featured several landmark exhibitions, including:
- Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School at the New-York Historical Society (February–June, 2011) / (Original exhibition Spring 2005)
- The World of Asher B. Durand: The Artist in Antebellum New York (April–September, 2007)

Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, IL and Paris, France

Established in 1978, the Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to the visual arts of the United States.

The Terra foundation houses important works of American Art: one of Thomas Cole’s first masterpieces, Landscape with Figures: A Scene from “The Last of the Mohicans” (1826); William Stanley Heseltine’s Rocks at Nahant (1864); Alfred Thompson Bricher’s The Hudson River at West Point (1864) and The Sidewheeler “The City of St. Paul” on the Mississippi River, Dubuque, Iowa; Sanford Robinson Gifford’s Morning in the Hudson, Haverstraw Bay (1866) and Lake George from Bolton’s Landing (1867); Martin Johnson Heade’s Newburyport Marshes: Approaching Storm (ca. 1871); Francis Silva’s On the Hudson near Haverstraw (1872); and George Inness’s Summer, Montclair (1877).

The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA

The Oakland Museum of California is devoted to the art, history, culture, and natural environment of California. The museum holds several important works by Albert Bierstadt, including Yosemite Valley, Yellowstone Park (ca. 1868).

Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, NY

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT

The Wadsworth Atheneum houses one of the largest collections of paintings by artists of the Hudson River School. The collection was formed by Daniel Wadsworth, Elizabeth Colt, and other patrons in the nineteenth century, who collected and commissioned works directly from the artists.

The Atheneum has recently reinstalled its Hudson River School collection, which includes more than sixty-five landscapes by artists like Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, and Albert Bierstadt. The collection includes thirteen landscapes by Cole and eleven by Hartford native Church, both of whom were personal friends of the museum’s founder, Daniel Wadsworth. Also included in the collection are works by John Frederick Kensett, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Samuel Coleman, Martin Johnson Heade, John William Casilear, Worthington Whittredge, Jasper Frances Cropsey, and Jacob Caleb Ward.

Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art, Tuscaloosa, AL