Black Dome Press




The Story of the Hudson River School of Painting

by Barbara Babcock Millhouse
foreword by Kevin Avery, Associate Curator,
Dept. of American Paintings & Sculpture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The story of the 19th-century American artists who took the raw material of America’s scenic wilderness and transformed it into a new style of landscape painting.

Should be read by anyone interested in its subject. Kevin J. Avery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

More than 40 full-color reproductions of some of their greatest paintings illustrate this historical overview of the Hudson River School of landscape painting and the lives and works of artists Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Asher Durand, Sanford Gifford, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper Cropsey, Worthington Whittredge, William Merritt Chase, Martin Johnson Heade, John Frederick Kensett, George Inness, and other American landscape painters who created a new — and quintessentially American — style of art in the early and mid-19th century. Inspired first by the pastoral Hudson River Valley and the rugged wilderness of the Catskill Mountains, many of these artists then ventured forth to capture unspoiled scenes of the American West, New England, or South America. This critical history and intimate look at the lives of the artists features a foreword by Kevin Avery, Associate Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is set in a beautifully designed oversized volume.

Entertaining, skillfully presented, highly readable retelling of the fascinating story of America’s first native school of art, the Hudson River School, from its rise in 1825 with the transforming landscapes of Thomas Cole, the founder, who succeeded in capturing the sublime qualities of American nature, to its broad dissemination and great popularity through the work of many subsequent practitioners including Church, Durand, Gifford, Kensett, Whittredge, Bierstadt, and Heade, to its decline around 1875 when other styles prevailed. Because of its charm, excellent scholarship and beautiful illustrations, Millhouse’s fine book should be widely read and appreciated by those interested in American art. I recommend it enthusiastically.
Elliot S. Vesell, M.D., ScD., Evan Pugh Professor, Penn State College of Medicine
editor of The Life and Works of Thomas Cole by Louis Legrand Noble

Books devoted to the Hudson River School today are legion, but none that I know quite performs the service that this one does, and so entertainingly. … For all, it relates the social dimension of the New York landscape painting phenomenon as no other book that I know has yet done so purposefully. Novices will be borne along by a well-paced narrative of artistic enterprise and community; specialists will be gratified by the encapsulation between two covers of an aesthetic movement they have theretofore conceptualized from a host of artist monographs and exhibition catalogues.
Kevin Avery, Associate Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

I simply couldn't put it down. American Wilderness brings to life this unique moment in our nation's cultural development when painters, poets, sculptors and writers all shared the common purpose of creating an American identity, and the public eagerly looked for them to provide it. It is a rare combination: a sweeping historical account (covering the better part of a century) of the first American art movement, and also a thrilling read, cinematic in scope and intensity.
David Barnes, Board of Governors, Cedar Grove, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site

ISBN: 978-1-883789-57-2 / 1-883789-57-5
$29.95 paper, 8.5" x 9.5", 208 pages, 64 illustrations (44 full-color reproductions!)


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This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 13 May, 2012.

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