Documentary filmmaker Vin Tabone has completed Part 2 of the PBS series, “The Hudson River School." "The Hudson River School: Part 2 - Cultivating a Tradition” was made available to all 360 PBS-member stations on Sept. 28th. “The Hudson River School: Artistic Pioneers (Part 1)” was released in 2015 and the series is available on Amazon Prime and shoppbs.org.
Part 2 focuses on artists such as John Kensett, Sanford Gifford, Fitz Henry Lane, Martin Johnson Heade, and other members of the second generation of artists and their brilliant work, and features in-depth interviews with renowned scholars John Wilmerding, Dr. John Driscoll, Kevin Avery, Elizabeth Jacks (The Thomas Cole National Historic Site), Louis Salerno (Questroyal Fine Art), William Coleman (Newark Museum/The Olana Partnership), Anthony Speiser (The Newington-Cropsey Foundation) and Thomas Colville (Thomas Colville Fine Art).
Part 2 beautifully illustrates how by mid-19th century members of the Hudson River School would come to create a style “distinctively all their own.” According to Mr. Tabone, "The first generation of Cole and Durand would give way to a second generation who would expand their palette with a sophisticated technique that was reflective, atmospheric and immersed in light. This artistic innovation was later known as, 'The Luminist Movement.' Part 2 tells the story of these artists who became the greatest landscape painters in the world."
Tabone, who also wrote and directed the PBS series, grew up on the banks of the Hudson River in Stony Point, New York. He said he “came to love the magnificence and beauty of the river and the Hudson River Valley,” noting both had "a profound affect on him,” and that "many of The Hudson River School painters were an integral part of the intellectual fabric of New York City’s creative community of artists, sculptors, writers and poets of the 1800s. Their works are featured in many museums including, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and even The Louvre in Paris."
According to Tabone, a Summit, NJ, resident, “Several artists in this series were local New Jersey residents who were major contributors to the Hudson River School anthology, such as, Worthington Whittredge. Whittredge was a Summit, NJ resident for many years and Whittredge Road in Summit and The Worthington Apartments are named in his honor.”
Asher Durand, considered the leader of the Hudson River School following the death of Thomas Cole, was born in Maplewood, NJ (called Jefferson Village at the time of his birth), and artist George Inness was a resident of Montclair, NJ for many years.
Check your local PBS station for time schedules. The Hudson River School Series is distributed by PBS Distribution (shoppbs.org).