The Art of Emily Cole

MAR 2 – AUG 11, 2019


Exhibition Overview

In Celebration of Women’s History Month, the Thomas Cole NHS Presents The Art of Emily Cole, the First Exhibition of Her Work in Over a Century

Daughter of Iconic Landscape Painter Thomas Cole, Emily was the Only One of His Children to Become an Artist

March 2-August 11, 2019

Community Preview: Sunday, March 3, 3:30-5 pm

The Art of Emily Cole marks the first solo exhibition of Emily Cole’s artwork on both paper and porcelain, revealing her exquisitely painted botanicals. Emily Cole (1843-1913) was the daughter of renowned artist Thomas Cole (1801-1848) who founded America’s first major art movement, now known as the Hudson River School. The exhibition will be presented in the 1815 Main House where both Thomas and Emily Cole lived and worked in Catskill, New York.

Emily Cole created an extensive oeuvre of botanical illustrations, which includes over one hundred watercolors on paper and painted porcelain objects that now reside in the collection of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. American flower painting emerged as a distinct genre in the mid-nineteenth century as scientists and artists were influenced by European still life painting traditions and scientific discoveries.

The exhibition will feature 12 original sets of painted porcelain works c. 1900-1910, and 13 works on paper c. 1870-1880s. The works on paper will include both originals and select works presented in reproduction due to the extreme light sensitivity of the original works on paper. All artwork in the exhibition is from the collection of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.

The exhibition is curated by Amanda Malmstrom, 2019 Cole Fellow in conversation with Kate Menconeri, Cole Site Curator and Director of Collections, with research conducted by Rowanne Dean, 2018 Cole Fellow. The exhibition is accompanied by a new guided tour also developed by Amanda Malmstrom entitled The Women of Cedar Grove at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.  The 45 minute tour is offered on weekends in March, 2019 at 11 am and 1 pm. Supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature

Read the press release.

“[Emily Cole] was ahead of her time … earning her own place in American art.” – WAMC Northeast Public Radio

“We learn…a deeper understanding of the places these women shaped and the greater impact they made on the world.” – National Trust for Historic Preservation

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

Emily Cole, Untitled, n.d., watercolor and pencil on paper, 7 5/16″ x 10 5/16″.

Emily Cole, Untitled, n.d., watercolor and pencil on paper, 7 5/16″ x 10 5/16″

Emily Cole, Untitled, April, 1881, watercolor and pencil on paper, 8 5/8″ x 10 3/4″

Emily Cole, Cups and saucers, c. 1900, painted Limoges porcelain, various sizes.

Eve AaronThe Art of Emily Cole