Sarah Cole (1805–1857)
Landscape with Church, 1846
Oil on artist board, 10 1/8 × 13¼ in.
Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Gift of Lynne Hill Bohnsack, TC.1999.1

Like her brother, Thomas, Sarah Cole was an artist who made paintings, drawings, and engravings. Though she likely never traveled back to England as an adult, this painting features the church in Duffield, Lancashire, where her and Thomas’s parents were married. Sarah lived primarily with their parents in New York City, and made regular journeys to Catskill to visit her brother. Thomas and Sarah hiked together to Kaaterskill Clove and through the wooded hills of the Village of Catskill. They were close as brother and sister but also shared a bond through art and confided in each other as artists. When Sarah first began to paint in 1837, she wrote to her brother: “I have again been painting on my own and find it rather a difficult piece of business and I very often stand in need of a word from you.” After Thomas’ death, Sarah began to live in the Cole family home. She exhibited and sold her work to help provide for herself and her brother’s family.

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Brooke KrancerLandscape with Church