Thomas Cole’s Box of Minerals and Artifacts
Collected by Thomas Cole (1801–1848) c. 1830–1848
Various minerals, artifacts, and specimens: fossil specimens, quartz minerals, limestone, pyrite, granite, limonite, other local minerals of the Hudson Valley, arrowheads, quartz crystals, volcanic specimens, ceramic figurines, rock specimens from England, Italy, and Switzerland; shell materials, barnacle specimen, bottled wood fragments, ancient Roman clay lamp, mosaic fragment from the Temple of Jupiter, Italian wall fragment, box of pebbles from England, artificial material, engraved portrait figures, mosaic particles from Constantinople, fragment of ceramic material
Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Gift of Edith Cole Silberstein and the Greene County Historical Society
The box of minerals, fossils, artifacts, and rocks encompass nearly one hundred objects collected by the artist and those close to him. The items pay homage to many of the places to which Cole traveled and the things he saw there, which influenced and helped to shape his artistic practice. This collection is a manifestation of Cole’s commitment to experiencing nature firsthand. The box contains an assortment of items; some are of mineral origin, like a quartz specimen from Ball’s Cave in Schoharie County, while others evidence human interaction, such as a mosaic fragment from the Temple of Jupiter in Italy. Together they form a collection of observation, documentation, and thoughtful reflection.
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