Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School

  • The Course of Empire: The Arcadian or Pastoral State by Thomas Cole.  Oil on canvas, 1834, 39 ½ x 63 ½ in.

    The Course of Empire: The Arcadian or Pastoral State by Thomas Cole. Oil on canvas, 1834, 39 ½ x 63 ½ in.

    Collection of The New-York Historical Society, 1858.2.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School, the West Coast presentation of the New-York Historical Society's premier collection of 19th-century American landscape paintings, December 7, 2014-June 7, 2015.

The Hudson River School—a group of New York-based artists, poets, and writers—forged a vision of American cultural and national identity through their visual exploration of nature. Drawn entirely from the New-York Historical Society, this exhibition features 45 paintings and represents 23 renowned artists who led the American landscape movement, including Thomas Cole, Asher Brown Durand, Frederic Edwin Church, and Albert Bierstadt, among others.

Nature and the American Vision also examines the movement beyond the Hudson River, with works by artists who reflected both realistic and romantic attitudes toward nature in scenes of New England, the American West, and South America. For the first time on the West Coast, all five paintings that compose Thomas Cole's series The Course of the Empire (c. 1834-36) are on view.

Nature and the America Vision: The Hudson River School is curated by Dr. Linda S. Ferber, Senior Art Historian and Museum Director Emerita at the New-York Historical Society.

"It is an honor to share the New-York Historical Society's exceptional holdings of iconic American landscape paintings with Los Angeles. The Hudson River School paintings are a critical part of American visual culture, and we're thrilled for this rare opportunity to host these works on the West Coast," said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director.
"Regarded as the first cultural movement in the history of the United States, the Hudson River School extolled the beauty of the divine through artists' depiction of the vast North American landscape, ultimately forging a national and cultural identity,"

 

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