The Thomas Cole National Historic Site (TCNHS) has completed its application review for the Cole Fellowship Class of 2020-2021. We will soon be announcing our newest Class of Cole Fellows.
Please check back in December of 2021 for information on applying to the Cole Fellows Class of 2022.
The Cole Fellowship is a one-year residential research and professional development program at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Each year four new Fellows are invited to join the site and participate in the research and interpretation of the work, home, and studios of the artist, Thomas Cole (1801–1848). Through a combination of research, seminars, and hands-on projects, Cole Fellows conduct significant primary research and gain professional museum experience.
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site (TCNHS) preserves and interprets the home and studios of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of painting, the nation’s first art movement. Cole’s profound influence on America’s cultural landscape inspires us to engage broad audiences through programs and exhibitions that are relevant today.
Through a combination of research, interpretation, and hands-on projects, Cole Fellows conduct significant research and gain professional museum experience. Selected candidates are provided the opportunity to:
Conduct in-depth research that leads to a major project and /or paper based on their work.
Attend an intensive one-week seminar with the leading Cole scholar and Professor, Dr. Alan Wallach.
Lead tours of the historic site, galleries, and have full engagement in interpretive programming.
Work closely with the Curator, and other TCNHS staff on projects that may include collection care and research, exhibition planning, educational programming, and special events.
Participate in various events and site-wide staff meetings to learn about the structural, strategic, and creative decisions involved in the day-to-day operations of a historic artists’ house museum.
Attend monthly field trips and site visits to museums and cultural venues; benefit from professional development opportunities including resume review and next step planning based on individual career goals.
All Time is Now: Developing Audience Engagement Through Exhibitions and New Media – Leila Farrer, 2016
Empowering Children: The Historical and Cultural Legacy of Thomas Cole and Catskill – Kathleen Brousseau, 2016
“Nature is a sovereign remedy”: Expanding the Hudson River School Art Trail – Casey Monroe, 2016
Design, Interaction, and the Visitor Experience at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site – Claire Pohl, 2016
The Appreciation of ‘Pure, Simple Nature’: Friends and Patrons of Thomas Cole – Amy LeFebvre, 2015
Traveling Through Time with Thomas Cole: Creating an Engaging Web Experience – Elena Ostock, 2015
The Social Importance of Art: Imagining Thomas Cole’s East Parlor – Keith Lebel, 2015
Catskill Calling: Thomas Cole’s 1825 Hudson River Journey – Rita Carr, 2014
Making Commitments: Revisiting the letters, poems, and journals of Thomas Cole, 1835-1836 – Kathryn O’Dwyer, 2014
Then and Now: Tracing the Histories of Thomas Cole’s Paintings – Jennifer Morales, 2014
A Worthy Pupil: The Relationship between Thomas Cole and his most celebrated student, Frederic Edwin Church – Kelsey Hoffman, 2013
In their Own Words: Central Themes in Thomas Cole’s Art and Writing and Their Continued Relevance Today – Catherine Popovici, 2013
“An Alter [sic] onto Mammon” – Thomas Cole, Industrialization, and Reverent Editing – Anne Rich, 2013
Thomas Cole’s Paintings at Home: 1836-1848 – Margot Mache, 2012
Thomas Cole: Art & Tourism in the 1820s – Amara McMann, 2012
From Passion to Painting: Thomas Cole & the Visual Representations of his Intellectual World – Madeline Turner, 2012
Words from a few of our Fellows:
The Cole Fellowship Program provides the space for recent graduates to join a supportive community that is incredibly invested in your professional growth within the museum and art history field. Your voice as a Fellow is heard in meaningful and substantial ways.
Amanda Malmstrom, Cole Fellow 2018-2019
Working at the Cole site was an amazing opportunity because I was able to be a part of a wide variety of projects across disciplines—public programming, exhibition design, curation, and marketing. I got to design my own experience as I entered the Fellowship, following my own interests and influencing the creative direction of the museum. The professional development, mentorship, and site visits provided structure, but I felt free to explore my own passion for history and public engagement. Plus, I learned a ton about Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School directly from the experts and had the history at my fingertips everyday.
Leila Farrer, Cole Fellow 2016
It was an incredible experience, more than I thought it would be. I saw every level of museum management — other places only showed me one department. It allowed me to experience a museum as a whole. The professional development was great, with access to high-level people. It led directly to a job.
John Kingsley, 2011 Cole Fellow
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.
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site encourages you to learn more about our volunteer program! Our volunteers are wonderful people who contribute their time and skills for an array of enriching and vital aspects of our operation. The volunteer program offers a rich and fulfilling experience with special programs and events just for volunteers throughout the year. Become a Thomas Cole volunteer!
I love the friends I’ve met at the Thomas Cole House. It was a great way to get involved in the community. – Ethel
Recruitment is on-going
Now is the time to join the fun and fascinating group of people who give tours of the historic site, conduct programs for visiting children, or lead hikes into the beautiful surrounding landscape. All training is provided; no special knowledge or experience is required except a passion for learning. While some volunteers have a public role, others work behind the scenes. Applications are now being accepted for the following:
Docents to conduct tours of the house, studio, and gardens
School Program Docents to conduct programs for children
Enjoy working with children? The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is currently seeking volunteer docents to lead school programs at the historic site for visiting school groups. Our School Programs Docents inspire young people with meaningful information about the life, relationships and works of the 19th-century artist Thomas Cole through hands-on activities that are designed for each grade level and subject area. Want to get involved? Please contact 518-943-7465 for more information.