Who We Are

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, NY, marks the birthplace of the formative art movement of the United States, now known as the Hudson River School of American landscape painting, as it was founded by Thomas Cole (1801-1848). The nationally recognized historic site is an affiliate of the National Park Service and operates as a forward thinking nonprofit organization embracing change and continually pursuing authenticity and resonance. Thomas Cole’s profound influence on America’s cultural landscape and the historic context of his work inspires us to engage broad audiences through innovative educational programs that are relevant today. Our programming and operations are continually evolving under our initiatives for Greening and Diversity, Equity and Access.

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Vision Statement

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site will be the leading source for education and scholarship that inspires cultural and environmental awareness of the American landscape and the continuing impact of Thomas Cole’s art and ideas.

Mission Statement

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site preserves and interprets the home, and studios of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of painting, the formative 19th-century art movement of the United States. Cole’s profound influence on America’s cultural landscape and the historic context of his work inspires us to engage broad audiences through innovative educational programs that are relevant today.

Land Acknowledgement

It is with gratitude and humility that we acknowledge that at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, we are learning, speaking, and gathering on the ancestral homelands of Muhheaconneok or Mohican, The People of the Waters That Are Never Still, who are the Indigenous peoples of this land. Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all. We respect the enduring relationships that exist between these peoples and the land and waterways.



Elizabeth B. Jacks, Executive Director

Sonja Ashley, Gardener

Martha Bradicich, Museum Guide

Lilac Buttons, Gardener

Michaela Ellison-Davidson, Museum Guide

Margaret DiStefano, Marketing & Visitor Services Coordinator

Lora Lee Ecobelli, Museum Guide

Jennifer Greim, Director of Advancement & External Affairs

Jessica Goon, Events & Communications Coordinator

Traci Horgen, Director of Finance & Administration

Bob Howard, Grounds & Facilities Assistant

Amanda Malmstrom, Associate Curator

Kate Menconeri, Chief Curator / Dir. of Curatorial Affairs, Contemporary Art, & Fellowship

Garry Nack, Facilities Manager

Eugene O’Brien, Bookkeeper

Maura O’Shea, Deputy Director

Heather Palmer, Director of Visitor Engagement

Madeline Pelletier, Museum Guide

Mike Russell, Assistant Facilities Manager

Jordan Shook, Museum Guide

Caroline Williams, Development Operations & Data Manager

Nancy Winch, Museum Guide

Beth Wynne, Education Coordinator



Frances Baker-Tucker

Megan Betke

Cait Gurley

Elizabeth Vazquez

Board of Trustees

Lisa Fox Martin, Chairman

Marianne Lockwood, Vice Chairman 

Warner Shook, Vice Chairman 

Tom de Swardt, Treasurer

Susan Ball, Secretary

Elizabeth B. Jacks, Executive Director 

Carrie Feder

Nina Matis

Anne J. Miller

Stephen Shadley

Tara Sullivan

Hudson Talbott

Evelyn Trebilcock

Emma Davidson Tribbs

Susan G. A. Warner

Trustees Emeritus

Stephen Dunn

Linda Gentalen

Michel Goldberg

Sybil Tannenbaum

Maynard Toll

Jack Van Loan

New Studio, © Peter Aaron/OTTO

National Council

Kevin J. Avery, Senior Research Scholar, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor in the History of Art, Yale University

Annette Blaugrund, Former director of the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Art, NYC

Linda S. Ferber, Senior Art Historian & Museum Director Emerita, New-York Historical Society

Ella M. Foshay, Independant Scholar

Eleanor Jones Harvey, Senior Curator (Painting & Sculpture), Smithsonian American Art Museum

Patricia Junker, Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art, Seattle Art Museum

Elizabeth Kornhauser, Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Katherine Manthorne, Professor of Modern Art of the Americas, City University of New York

Mark D. Mitchell, Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, Yale University Art Gallery

Barbara Novak, Helen Goodhart Altschul Professor of Art History Emerita, Columbia University

Paul D. Schweizer, Director Emeritus, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

Nancy Siegel, Professor of Art History, Towson University

Kiki Smith, Artist

Alan Wallach, Ralph H. Wark Professor Emeritus of Art and Art History & Professor of American Studies, The College of William & Mary


The Thomas Cole National Historic Site publishes an annual newsletter available here on our website. Learn about where we’ve been and where we’re going.

Annual Reports

Filled with information on our exhibitions, education, outreach and development and a letter from the Executive Director, Elizabeth B. Jacks, the Annual Report provides an exciting overview of the National Historic Site each year.

2019 Historic Structure Report on the 1815 Main House

The HSR was prepared by John G. Waite Associates, Architects, with support from the National Park Service.

Life at Cedar Grove Research Report

The Life at Cedar Grove research report was prepared by independent researcher Maureen Hart Hennessey for the Thomas Cole National Historic Site Interpretive Planning Project, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Cultural Landscape Report

The Cultural Landscape Report was prepared by Heritage Partners and Robert M. Toole.

Special appreciation to Raymond Beecher, the preservation angel who saved this National Historic Site, and whose research on aspects ofthe Cedar Grove story, as cited in the footnotes of this report, enriched this study.

The Thomas Cole Site programs and operations are supported by the National Park Service, Warner Foundation, David Bury and The Bay & Paul Foundations, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, Enoch Foundation, The Educational Foundation of America, KHR Family Fund, Brown Foundation, The J. M. Kaplan Fund, Tianaderrah Foundation, and the Kindred Spirits Society of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.

Programs and operations are also supported by a grant awarded to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site by New York State’s Empire State Development and the I LOVE NY Division of Tourism.

Staff photo by Adam T. Deen

® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.
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