Digital Content & Outdoor Experiences

Outdoor Guided Tours

Fri, Sat & Sun

Join a 45-minute guided tour of the scenic grounds with a museum educator to learn about Thomas Cole and his legacy.



The Pollinator Pavilion

by Mark Dion & Dana Sherwood

Aug 7, 2020-Fall, 2021

 Visit the new outdoor public artwork designed specifically for the site by internationally renowned artists. The pavilion provides a fantastical architectural setting to encounter hummingbirds while exploring a nurturing relationship with nature.


Outdoor Explore Kits


Visit and explore with our new Outdoor Explore Kits, now available for contactless pick-up. Kits come in “Basic” and “Family” and are designed to enhance your visit to the grounds.


Hudson River School Art Trail

Step into a landscape painting with our program, the Hudson River School Art Trail, which provides maps and directions to visit the places in nature that Thomas Cole and other Hudson River School artists painted.

Choose Your Destination

Art Trail Podcast

Weekly Release

Join geologists and art lovers Robert and Johanna Titus on, “Traveling Through Time on the Art Trail.” The Tituses will take you to their favorite sites on the Hudson River School Art Trail and explore changes in the landscape going back to the Ice Age. New episodes every Wednesday. 


Live Virtual Programming for Schoolchildren

Teachers can email us at to schedule live virtual programming with a Thomas Cole educator.


Walk along Catskill Creek

Visit the Mawignack Preserve down the road and discover new outdoor interpretation we created with Scenic Hudson, Greene Land Trust, Greene County Historical Society, the Mohican Nation Stockbridge-Munsee Band and the Hudson River Valley Greenway.


Grounds Explore Guide

Visit the historic grounds and building exteriors now using our “Explore at Your Own Pace” digital educational guide.

Download the Guide Book

360 Explore

Virtually explore Thomas Cole’s historic Main House and Old Studio. Venture into the artist’s bedroom to spot his traveling trunk and linger in front of his painting easel in the studio. You have the buildings all to yourself.


“Cross Pollination” Catalogue

Now available for purchase

Our newest publication is available now in the shop. The book accompanies our collaborative 2020-2022 national exhibition coming to the Hudson Valley in 2021. Discover original essays by the curators, gorgeous 19th-century paintings and major contemporary art.


2020 Annual Beecher Lecture Video

Watch Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, the R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama, to learn about our newest Thomas Cole painting “Hunters in a Landscape.” The painting was gifted to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site by Susan G. A. Warner and is now part of the growing collection.


New Film with Contemporary Artist

Meet the artist Shi Guorui and go behind the scenes of his artistic process and critically-acclaimed exhibition at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in 2019.


Summer Party Pic-Nic

Lisa and Betsy welcomed all our many guests, each with their custom pic-nic packages in hand, the brilliant Tim Barringer of Yale revealed the story behind Cole’s painting, “A Pic-Nic Party,” and we ended the evening with a virtual fireworks display by the artist Brian Kenny.


Digital Library

Sunday Salons, Beecher Lectures, Curator’s Talks, Artist Interviews, Fellows Presentations & more 

Learn about American art and landscape from leading scholars and artists.

Watch Videos

Virtual Gallery

Explore Thomas Cole’s paintings and writings with scholar analysis on our website


Remote Learning Activities

Learn at home with curriculum-based lesson plans for schoolchildren using American art to teach American history.

Learn more

Thomas Cole’s Story

Read Thomas Cole’s Story by author and illustrator Hudson Talbott.

Read the Story

Writing Prompts

Consider how a landscape changes over time with curriculum-based writing prompts and a drawing activity designed for K-5 and grades 6-12.

Learn More

Slow Looking Activity

Slow down and discover all the details hidden within Thomas Cole’s epic landscapes with a new guided activity for all ages.

Learn more

Virtual Views & Coloring Activity

Explore Cole’s favorite view at his home. Consider how a landscape changes over time and color your own landscape art.

Learn more

Hudson River Skywalk

See America’s first canvas with a new scenic walkway connecting the Thomas Cole Site with Frederic Church’s Olana across the Hudson River.


Recent Press

Thomas Cole’s message is connecting with people today. Read about the artist and our recent activities in the news.

Read Here

Online Gift Shop

Browse select publications available for shipping now.


Cross Pollination

Heade, Cole, Church & Our Contemporary Moment

Jun 12-Oct 31, 2021

Presented at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Olana State Historic Site

A new exhibition exploring the theme of “cross pollination” and communities working together in art and nature from the 19th Century to the contemporary moment. The project stems from the artist Martin Johnson Heade’s 19th century painting series of hummingbird and habitats and includes major paintings by Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, and contemporary art by Nick Cave, Maya Lin, and more.

Created by Thomas Cole National Historical Site, The Olana Partnership at Olana State Historic Site, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Its tour is organized by Crystal Bridges.


Past Exhibitions



Curator: Kate Menconeri, Thomas Cole Site Curator

Sep 22-Dec 15, 2019

The exhibition features a new series of large-scale landscape photographs by the international contemporary artist Shi Guorui that pay homage to the landscapes and legacy of Thomas Cole. The exhibition is part of our annual series OPEN HOUSE: Contemporary Art in Conversation with Cole.


Thomas Cole’s Refrain:

The Paintings of Catskill Creek

Curator: H. Daniel Peck, John Guy Vassar, Jr., Professor Emeritus of English, Vassar College

May 4-Nov 3, 2019

The exhibition illuminates Thomas Cole’s Catskill Creek paintings, considered for the first time as an integral series.


The Art of Emily Cole

Curator: Amanda Malmstrom, 2019 Cole Fellow

March 2- Aug 11, 2019

The first solo exhibition of Emily Cole’s artwork on both paper and porcelain, revealing her exquisitely painted botanicals. Emily Cole was Thomas Cole’s daughter and the only one of his children to
become an artist.


Emily Cole, Untitled (detail), n.d., watercolor and pencil on paper, 7 5/16? x 10 5/16?.


Curators: Kate Menconeri and Kathy Greenwood, Director, Art & Culture Program, Albany International Airport

Sep 29-Feb 25, 2019

The Thomas Cole Site and the Albany International Airport present a new multidisciplinary exhibition that features 10 contemporary visual artists and 7 writers whose works explore our relationship to the natural world, and share common ground with Thomas Cole’s greatest written work, Essay on American Scenery. The gallery is open daily from 7 am to 11 pm.


Lisa Sanditz, Fumigation Tents, 2016, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 70”, photograph courtesy the artist


Curator: Kate Menconeri, Thomas Cole Site Curator

Aug 14 – Nov 18, 2018

A contemporary art exhibition installed throughout the historic site as part of the ongoing series OPEN HOUSE: Contemporary Art in Conversation with Cole. The exhibition grew out of conversations between the Cole Site curator Kate Menconeri, the artist Kiki Smith, and exhibiting artists.


Painting: Place (Place), 2017, Jackie Saccoccio. Oil and mica on Linen, 79 x 90 in. Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter,

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

Curators: Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor in the History of Art at Yale, Jennifer Raab, Associate Professor in the History of Art at Yale, Sophie Lynford, Ph.D. candidate at Yale and Nicholas Robbins, Ph.D. candidate at Yale

May 1 – Nov 4, 2018


Photo © Peter Aaron/OTTO

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


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

Robert S. Duncanson “the spiritual striving of the freedman’s sons”

Curator: Joseph D. Ketner II, the Henry and Lois Foster Chair in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice at Emerson College, Boston

May 1 – October 30, 2011

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, 2009

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

Information Catalogue

“George Inness: Paintings”

Curator: Elizabeth Stevens, former Thomas Cole Site Curator    

May 1 – Oct 30, 2005

Information Catalogue

Support provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, U.S. Small Business Administration, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Bay & Paul Foundations, Willow Springs Charitable Trust, the Enoch Foundation, Empire State Development’s I LOVE NEW YORK program under the Market NY initiative, Art Bridges Bridge Ahead Initiative, the Brown Foundation, the Gilder Foundation, a Humanities New York CARES Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act, Terra Foundation for American Art, Tianaderrah Foundation, and the Kindred Spirits Society of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.

The Program Endowment that supports educational programs at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this the programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Eve AaronEvents