How Manly is it to be an Artist? Acclaimed Art Historian to Speak at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site

  • Asher B.  Durand Detail from Kindred Spirits, 1849 Oil on canvas

    Asher B. Durand Detail from Kindred Spirits, 1849 Oil on canvas

    Asher B. Durand Detail from Kindred Spirits, 1849 Oil on canvas Courtesy of the Walton Family Foundation, Inc.

  • Sarah Burns

    Sarah Burns

Award-winning art historian Sarah Burns will speak at the Thomas Cole Historic Site (www.thomascole.org) at the 5th annual Raymond Beecher Memorial Lecture on Sunday, October 10th at 2 pm.  The title of her lecture is “Outdoor Men: Manliness, Masculinity, and the Antebellum Landscape Painter.” Tickets are $7 per person, or $5 for members of the Thomas Cole site. For information and to purchase tickets call (518) 943-7465 or visit the website: www.thomascole.org/current-events/. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is located at 218 Spring Street in Catskill, New York.

With the Catskills as the focus for emerging artists in the mid-nineteenth century, American landscape painters provoked questions about what it meant to be American, what it meant to be an artist and our collective identity as Americans. Much like landscape artists today, the artists of the Hudson River School both hobnobbed in elite circles and also worked with their hands, hiking and camping in the woods throughout New England, but especially the Catskill Mountains. This raises a series of question which Professor Burns will address in her talk: was the mid-nineteenth century American landscape painter a person of leisure or untamed by nature by virtue of their intimacy with the wilderness? Were they visionary dreamers or persons of action?

Professor Burns’ lecture coincides with the first-ever exhibition of women artists of the Hudson River School, titled Remember the Ladies, now on view at the Thomas Cole Historic Site. “With all the attention that has been given to the nineteenth-century landscape movement, it seems about time that we ask about the women artists. With this lecture by Professor Burns, I am really looking forward to finding out more about what it meant to be a woman, or a man, making a career in art,” said Betsy Jacks, Executive Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.

The Thomas Cole Historic Site is honored to host Professor Burns, whose scholarly works focus on the vicissitudes of identity and nationalism in nineteenth century art and culture.  As Burns notes, landscape representation held pride of place in American painting from the 1830s forward, and eventually came to the fore as a truly “national” form of artistic representation. As the capstone to this 2010 exhibition of 19th-century women landscape painters, Professor Burns’ Beecher Lecture brings to light how the development of American art in the nineteenth century informed the development of American culture and national identity.  

About Sarah Burns
Sarah Burns received a B.A. from the University of Chicago, an M.A. at the University of California, Davis, and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Professor Burns has received numerous awards, from the Terra Foundation for American Art, The Charles Eldredge Prize of Outstanding Scholarship in American Art, and the Victorian Society in America. She has published extensively on art in 19th-century America, specifically on landscape-art and the emergence of American artists in that period.

 

Thomas Cole National Historic Site
218 Spring Street
Catskill, New York
(518) 943-7465
http://www.thomascole.org
About Thomas Cole National Historic Site

About the Thomas Cole National Historic Site The Thomas Cole Historic Site, historically known as Cedar Grove, is where the artist Thomas Cole lived, worked, was married, and where he died at the age of 47. Today the site consists of the Federal style brick home (c. 1815) in which Thomas Cole resided with his family, as well as the artist’s original studio building, on five landscaped acres with a magnificent view of the Catskill Mountains. Directions The Thomas Cole Historic Site is located at 218 Spring Street in Catskill, New York, near the western entrance to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, with easy access from the New York State Thruway, Exit 21.

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