The Hudson River School was an American artistic movement of the mid-nineteenth- century. This group of artists embodied the spirit of the United States through landscape painting. At the forefront of the visual dialogue articulated by these works is the eternal relationship between man and land. Heavily influenced by Romanticism, these painters captured the complexities of nature through depictions of the Catskills, Adirondacks, White Mountains, New England, the American West, South America, and even the Southern Tier. Many of the artists represented in this exhibit were influential figures in New York City and founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These landscape paintings are referred to as the first movement in American painting and present the dynamic growth and development of the nation.
The paintings in this show derive from a local private collection. These images of landscape encompass the styles and subject matters traditional for the Hudson River School. This exhibit introduces the movement through three rotations of landscape painting. The first presents prominent figures of the movement whose paintings are represented in museum collections across the country. The second deals with the themes of the Beautiful and the Sublime, otherwise known as that which has the potential to aesthetically please and evoke terror. The third focuses upon the ideal American pastoral landscape through images of farms. While seemingly different, each group expresses themes promoted by the artists of the Hudson River School and displays imagery which has created a foundation for the aesthetic history of the United States.