Current Exhibitions & Events

The Parlors

Now open 

Visit The Parlors, an immersive experience in the first floor of the Main House where historic restoration meets multimedia technology.The carefully researched restoration has transformed the first floor of Cole’s home to his original design, as visitors in his day would have experienced it and features recently discovered hand-painted decorative borders by Thomas Cole himself which represent the earliest-known interior decorative painting by an American artist. Photo © Peter Aaron/OTTO

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Guided Tours

Weekends in April

Join a seasonal guided tour with a friendly Cole Site Educator to explore the 1815 Main House where Thomas Cole lived and worked. The experience features the multimedia installation The Parlors and the exhibition Thomas Cole’s Creative Process, which includes original works by the artist.


Hudson River Skywalk Viewing Platforms

Open Year-Round

Take in magnificent views of the landscape that so inspired Thomas Cole from the new Hudson River Skywalk viewing platforms along The Rip Van Winkle Bridge, located just a quick walk from the Thomas Cole Site. Learn more about the Skywalk initiative and the pedestrian connection from our site to Olana.

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Mind Upon Nature: Thomas Cole’s Creative Process

Now open

Explore Thomas Cole’s working process and ideas through an array of original sketches and paintings made by Cole, alongside the books and objects that inspired him. Discover the pigments and materials he used to realize his influential paintings. This special exhibition is located upstairs in the Main House and is comprised of original objects, ninety percent of which are from the Cole Site collection.


Painting: Diagram of Kontrasts, 1834, Thomas Cole. Courtesy of Collection Richard Sharp.


“Essay on American Scenery” contest

Deadline: Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Submit your writing for publication by the Thomas Cole Site and to be included in a special exhibition at the Albany International Airport. The contest will be judged by a panel of leading Thomas Cole scholars, curators, and land conservation experts. In 1836, Thomas Cole wrote Essay on American Scenery, reflecting on the beauty of the American landscape and decrying its disappearance at the hands of industrialization. We invite you to respond to the question,“How is the American landscape changing today?”

Drawing: Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900), Portrait of Thomas Cole, c. 1845, pencil on paper, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., John Wilmerding Collection

Guidelines Read Cole's Essay

Bus Trips to The Met

Tues, Apr 17, 2018

8:15 am departure 

The site’s Outreach Committee organized a bus trip for you to see the Thomas Cole exhibition at The Met in NYC! Tickets are $50/pp including museum admission. For reservations contact

Members’ Preview Days

Fri, Apr 27 & Sat, Apr 28, 2018

11 am – 2 pm 

Members are invited to preview the special exhibition Picturesque and Sublime in Thomas Cole’s New Studio during these special preview hours, before it opens to the public. The exhibition is presented in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art and will be on view from May 1 through November 4.


Opening Reception

Sat, Apr 28, 2018

4 – 6 pm 

Join us in Catskill to toast the opening of the 2018 special exhibition Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance, presented in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art and members of the Yale University Art History Department.


Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance

May 1 – Nov 4, 2018 

Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance is presented in Thomas Cole’s New Studio, in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art and members of the Yale University History of Art Department. Explore how Cole transformed the well-developed British traditions of landscape representation into a new, bold formulation, the American Sublime.

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Curator’s Talk

Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor, History of Art at Yale University

Sun, May 13, 2018

2 pm

Dr. Barringer is co-curator of the exhibition Picturesque and Sublime opening at the Thomas Cole Site on May 1, 2018, as well as co-curator of Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2018. The lecture will be held at Temple Israel, 220 Spring Street in Catskill, NY, adjacent to the historic site.


Talking Tea 101

Sat, June 16, 2018

3:30 – 5:30 pm

During Thomas Cole’s life in Catskill, tea time would have been an everyday necessity. Kim Bach, owner of Verdigris Tea in Hudson and Catskill will give a lecture on teas at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. For information on tickets call Verdigris Tea & Chocolate at 518-828-3139.

2018 Summer Party

Sat, June 23, 2018

6:30 pm

Join us for a magical evening in celebration of the sublime with cocktails, dinner, music, fireworks and dancing at a private home on the banks of the Hudson River.


Past Exhibitions

KIKI SMITH / “From the Creek”

Curator: Kate Menconeri, Thomas Cole Site Curator

Aug 12 – Nov 19, 2017

 Photo © Peter Aaron/OTTO

“Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills”

Curator: Kevin J. Avery, Ph.D., Senior Research Scholar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Apr 30 – Oct 29, 2017 

Photo © Peter Aaron/OTTO


“Thomas Cole: The Artist as Architect”

Curator: Annette Blaugrund, Ph.D., Independent Scholar, Author and Curator, and former Director of the National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts    

May 1 – Oct 30, 2016


JASON MIDDLEBROOK: “Nature Builds / We Cover”

Curator: Kate Menconeri, Thomas Cole Site Curator

Aug 14 – Oct 30, 2016


“River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home”

Curators: Stephen Hannock, Contemporary Artist and Jason Rosenfeld, Ph.D., Distinguished Chair and Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College and Senior Writer and Editor-at-Large for the Brooklyn Rail

May 3-Nov 1, 2015

Photo © Peter Aaron/OTTO

Information Catalogue

Stanley Maltzman / “Thomas Cole’s Honey”

Curator: Kate Menconeri, Thomas Cole Site Curator

July 26- Oct 2, 2014


“Master, Mentor, master – Thomas Cole & Frederic Church”

Curators: John Wilmerding, Ph.D., Sarofim Professor of American Art, Emeritus, at Princeton University and former Senior Curator and Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Art 

Apr 30 – Nov 2, 2014

Information Catalogue

“Albert Bierstadt in New York and New England”

Curator: Annette Blaugrund, Ph.D., Independent Scholar, Author and Curator, and former Director of the National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts

May 1 – Nov 3, 2013

Information Catalogue

“Worlds Between: Landscapes of Louis Rémy Mignot”

Curator: Katherine E. Manthorne, Ph.D., Professor of American and Latin American Art at the CUNY Graduate Center, and former Research Center Head at the Smithsonian American Art Museum  

Apr 29 – Oct 28, 2012

Information Catalogue

“Remember the Ladies”

Curators: Nancy Siegel, Ph.D., Professor of Art History at Towson University and Jennifer Krieger, Managing Partner of Hawthorne Fine Art and Academic Scholar  

May 2- Oct 31, 2010

Information Catalogue

“River Views of the Hudson River School”

Curator: Nancy Siegal, Ph.D., Professor of Art History at Towson University    

May 2- Oct 31, 2010

Information Catalogue

“Thomas Cole’s Sketch Paintings: An Exploration of the Creative Process”

Curator: Elizabeth B. Jacks, Thomas Cole Site Executive Director

May 3 – Oct 26, 2008

Information Catalogue

“Asher B. Durand: Intimate Observations”

Curator: Lee Vedder, Ph.D., Independent Curator and former Henry Luce  Curatorial Fellow in American Art at the New York Historical Society     

May 20 – Oct 28, 2007

Information Catalogue

“Jasper Cropsey: Interpreting Nature”

Curator: Elizabeth Stevens, former Thomas Cole Site Curator    

May 7 – Oct 29, 2006


“George Inness: Paintings”

Curator: Elizabeth Stevens, former Thomas Cole Site Curator    

May 1 – Oct 30, 2005