Current Exhibitions & Events

2017 Opening Day

Free admission

Sun, Apr 30 from 11 am – 2 pm

Join us for Opening Day of our 2017 season. The historic site will offer free admission from 11 am to 2 pm. This special event will include the unveiling of The Parlors in the Main House and the opening of the 2017 New Studio exhibition Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills curated by Kevin Avery, Senior Research Scholar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Image credit: Detail of Thomas Cole’s decorative borders in the East Parlor of the artist’s home. 

Opening Lecture “Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills”

Dr. Kevin Avery

Sun, Apr 30 at 2 pm

Join Dr. Kevin Avery, Senior Research Scholar at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and curator of the Thomas Cole Site 2017 exhibition “Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills,” to discuss the exhibition featuring paintings by 19th-Century landscape painter Sanford Gifford, whose work was Inspired by Cole.

Sanford Gifford, Ledge on South Mountain, in the Catskills, ca. 1861-62. Oil on canvas, 12 7/8 x 10 ¾ in. Framed: 17 1/4 x 15 x 2 1/4 in. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Sanford Gifford, M.D, 2006.1. Photo © Imaging Department, president and Fellows of Harvard College 

Information & Tickets

Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills

April 30 – October 29, 2017 

The 2017 exhibition presented in Thomas Cole’s New Studio gallery explores the work of the Hudson River School artist, Sanford R. Gifford. Curated by Kevin J. Avery, Senior Research Scholar at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills explores the artist’s creative process and for the first time brings the original paintings to a venue just a few miles from the sites that inspired them. The exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, Barrie and Deedee Wigmore Foundation, Michael Altman Fine Art, Bank of Greene County, Greene County Legislature and GCCA.

Sanford Robinson Gifford, Study for the View from South Mountain, in the Catskills, 1873. Oil on canvas, 8 1/8 x 15 ½ in. Signed, lower left: S R Gifford; inscribed, on the verso: South Mountain, Catskills, 1873. Portland Museum of Art

Information & Tickets

The Thomas Cole Site Annual Summer Party

Sat, June 24 from 7 -11 pm

152 William Street, Catskill, NY 12414

Join us for a spectacular evening under the stars on the banks of the Hudson River in Catskill, NY to benefit the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. The event features sweeping views of the Hudson River, elegant cocktails, a magnificent seated dinner and the opportunity to bid on thrilling get-aways and other fabulous auction items.

Information & Tickets

Past Exhibitions & Events

SUNDAY SALONS: “A Painter’s Paradise”: Thomas Cole and His Transformative Experience in Florence, 1831-32

John F. McGuigan, Jr. 

Sun, Apr 9 at 2 pm

Join independent scholar John McGuigan as he explores the critical twelve months Cole lived and worked in Florence, the place Cole’s biographer called “next to home itself, the happiest place in which he ever lived,” and where he produced some of the finest paintings of his career.

Thomas Cole, View of Florence, 1837. Oil on canvas. 39 11/8 x 63 1/8 inches. Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund, The Cleveland Museum of Art

Information & Tickets

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Sun, Jan 7, Feb 12, Mar 12 & April 9 at 1 & 3:30 pm

Join us for a sneak preview into the installation of The Parlors, an immersive experience in the newly restored rooms where America’s first major art movement was born. These special tours take place on the second Sunday of each month from January through April on the same days as the Sunday Salons. Opening in May 2017, the Parlors integrates a meticulous historic restoration with interactive audio visual technology to bring to life the two main parlors of Thomas Cole’s home.

Information & Tickets

SUNDAY SALONS: Buried Treasure: Thomas Cole’s Decoration of Cedar Grove

Jean Dunbar, Matthew Mosca

Sun, Mar 12 at 2 pm

Meet the historic interiors experts – Jean Dunbar, of Historic Design, Inc. and Matthew Mosca, of Artifex, Ltd. – as they reveal the story behind the amazing discovery of Thomas Cole’s decorative painted borders on the walls of his home that had been hidden from view for over a century. The borders will be unveiled in May with the completion of the Parlors, an immersive experience in the the newly restored rooms in the Main House.

SUNDAY SALONS: The Influence of the Dutch Golden Age on the Hudson River School

Lloyd DeWitt

Sun, Feb 12 at 2 pm

Join Dr. Lloyd DeWitt, Chief Curator and Irene Leache Curator of European Art at the Chrysler Museum of Art, as he explores the transformational influence of the 17th century Dutch landscape painting on Cole and other Hudson River School artists.

Please note, this lecture did take place despite the inclement weather and there are no plans to reschedule another one at this time.

SUNDAY SALONS: Reinventing Thomas Cole’s Home

Elizabeth Jacks & Alan Wallach

Sun, Jan 8 at 2 pm

In May 2017, the Cole site unveils a project that has been in the making for over a decade, the Parlors Project. Join Elizabeth Jacks, Executive Director of the Cole site and Alan Wallach, Ralph H. Wark Professor of Art and Art History and Professor of American Studies Emeritus at the College of William and Mary, for a sneak preview of this highly innovative installation.

A Holiday Gathering in Thomas Cole’s New Studio

Sat, Dec 10 at 5 pm

Please join us for a special holiday event that will take place in our newest building, the reconstructed “New Studio.” Festive libations will be served starting at 5 pm in the gallery. Guests are then invited to one of six magnificent nearby private homes for a scrumptious holiday dinner, seated around a table with both old friends and new acquaintances. Please note: the dinners for this event are now sold out, but tickets are still available for the cocktail portion of the evening.

Cover art by Carrie Feder, painted on a print of Portrait of Thomas Cole by Asher B. Durand, 1838. Berkshire Museum

Thomas Cole: The Artist as Architect

May through October 2016

In celebration of the reconstruction of Thomas Cole’s Italianate studio at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, the 2016 exhibition and the accompanying book focus on Cole’s architectural interests, and feature major works by Cole that are rarely seen in this region, including his iconic painting, The Architect’s Dream.


JASON MIDDLEBROOK: Nature Builds / We Cover

August through October 2016

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is pleased to announce the start of a new series of contemporary installations entitled OPEN HOUSE: Contemporary Art in Conversation with Cole, and the inaugural exhibition, Jason Middlebrook: Nature Builds / We Cover. The artworks are installed throughout the Main House as well as outside on the lawn.


The Raymond Beecher Memorial Lecture

October 9 at 2 pm

Taking Time to Look: The Landscape Films of Peter Hutton

by Scott MacDonald, PhD

Join Scott MacDonald, author of 14 books on independent cinema, as he presents the work of filmmaker Peter Hutton, the foremost Hudson River film artist of the past half-century, who passed away on June 25. For over thirty years MacDonald’s passion has been introducing audiences to the worlds of alternative film and video. The lecture will take place at the Arts Center Theater at the Columbia Greene Community College and a reception will follow. Lecture tickets are $9, or $8 for members.

Guided Hikes

Visit the magnificent nearby views that are depicted in Thomas Cole’s paintings. Our guided hikes are offered from June to October, and each begins at 9 am. During other times you can pick up our guidebookvisit our free online guide at Hudson River School and visit on your own. See suggested itineraries

Guided Hikes will begin again in the spring. 


Support for programs at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts.