Exhibitions, Programs, and Events

Grounds Open for Free Every Day

Thomas Cole’s Studio

Memory & Inspiration

Apr 30-Oct 30

Thomas Cole National Historic Site

A new exhibition that reassembles many of the significant works that were in Thomas Cole’s studio when he died suddenly at the peak of his artistic talents. The project explores how Cole’s example so powerfully affected the evolution of art in the United States. The exhibition is curated is Franklin Kelly, Senior Curator and Christiane Ellis Valone Curator of American Paintings at the National Gallery of Art.

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MARC SWANSON

A Memorial To Ice At The Dead Deer Disco

Jul 16-Nov 27

Thomas Cole National Historic Site

A new series of installations by Marc Swanson inspired by the artwork and writings of Thomas Cole (1801-1848). A Memorial to Ice is jointly presented at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and MASS MoCA. The companion exhibitions are curated by Denise Markonish, Senior Curator and Director of Exhibitions at MASS MoCA.

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Meet the Artist + Book Release Party

Sat, Aug 20 | 2-5 pm

Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Join the artist Marc Swanson at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site to celebrate our new exhibition and catalogue release for Memorial to Ice at the Dead Deer Disco, presented jointly at the Thomas Cole Site in Catskill, NY, and MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA.

If you would like to attend, we encourage you to become a member if you are able to do so.

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2022 Reading List

Join us and the Catskill Public Library as we read books inspired by Marc Swanson’s exhibition, A Memorial to Ice at the Dead Deer Disco. Check out our reading guides to join the conversation and read along with us this summer!

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Thomas Cole’s Creative Process

Permanent Exhibition

A new installation of Thomas Cole’s Creative Process, the collection-based permanent exhibition. Book a Private Guided Tour to visit.

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The Pollinator Pavilion

by Mark Dion & Dana Sherwood

 Visit the site-specific outdoor public artwork designed by internationally renowned artists. The Pavilion provides a fantastical architectural setting to encounter birds year-round while exploring a nurturing relationship with nature.

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Hudson River School Art Trail

Step into a landscape painting with our program, the Hudson River School Art Trail, which provides maps and directions to visit the places in nature that Thomas Cole and other Hudson River School artists painted.

Choose Your Destination

Virtual 360 Explore

Virtually tour Thomas Cole’s historic Main House and Old Studio. Discover pop-out videos and find the artist’s original letters.

Explore

Grounds Explore Guide

Visit the historic grounds and building exteriors now using our “Explore at Your Own Pace” digital educational guide.

Download the Guide Book

Walk along Catskill Creek

Visit the Mawignack Preserve – Cole’s favorite walking spot – just down the road and discover new outdoor interpretation organized by the Greene Land Trust in partnership with the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Greene County Historical Society, Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, and Scenic Hudson.

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Visit Cole’s Gravesite

The gravestones of Thomas Cole, his wife Maria Bartow, and their family are located in the Catskill Village Cemetery, just down the street and walkable from the historic site.

Learn more

Hudson River Skywalk

See America’s first canvas with a new scenic walkway connecting the Thomas Cole Site with Frederic Church’s Olana across the Hudson River.

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Community Canvas

Cole Fellow Issy Bohling designed a “Community Canvas” at the historic site for visitors from near and far to pick up a pencil and get creative. The easel is located between the Visitor Center and the Kitchen Garden on the historic campus.

The Community Canvas is part of an ongoing site-wide initiative to support our visitors in getting creative. Look around the historic campus and on the porch of the Main House for baskets filled with sketch pads and pencils.

Collection Highlights

Browse our online Collection Highlights, a selection from over six hundred objects and two research archives. Many collection items are on view throughout the Cole Site interiors, in historic rooms, as well as within the rotating exhibition Mind Upon Nature: Thomas Cole’s Creative Process.

Browse

Perspectives

Digital content presenting new perspectives from curators, artists, and community leaders on Thomas Cole’s life and art from the 19th century to today.

Watch Videos & Listen to Podcasts

Virtual Gallery

Explore Thomas Cole’s paintings and writings with scholar analysis on our website explorethomascole.org.

Visit

Teacher Resources

Programs, lesson plans and activities for K-12 students that use American art to teach American history.

Learn more

Thomas Cole’s Story

Read Thomas Cole’s Story by the Penguin Random House author and illustrator Hudson Talbott.

Read the Story

Past Exhibitions

Cross Pollination

Heade, Cole, Church & Our Contemporary Moment

Jun 12-Oct 31, 2021

Presented across both the Thomas Cole National Historic Site & Frederic Church’s Olana

A collaborative exhibition of 19th-century and contemporary art exploring the theme of “cross pollination” in art and the environment.

Created by Thomas Cole National Historical Site, The Olana Partnership at Olana State Historic Site, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Its tour is organized by Crystal Bridges.

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SHI GUORUI:

Ab/Sense-Pre/Sense

Curator: Kate Menconeri, Thomas Cole Site Curator

Sep 22-Dec 15, 2019

The exhibition features a new series of large-scale landscape photographs by the international contemporary artist Shi Guorui that pay homage to the landscapes and legacy of Thomas Cole. The exhibition is part of our annual series OPEN HOUSE: Contemporary Art in Conversation with Cole.

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Thomas Cole’s Refrain:

The Paintings of Catskill Creek

Curator: H. Daniel Peck, John Guy Vassar, Jr., Professor Emeritus of English, Vassar College

May 4-Nov 3, 2019

The exhibition illuminates Thomas Cole’s Catskill Creek paintings, considered for the first time as an integral series.

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The Art of Emily Cole

Curator: Amanda Malmstrom, 2019 Cole Fellow

March 2- Aug 11, 2019

The first solo exhibition of Emily Cole’s artwork on both paper and porcelain, revealing her exquisitely painted botanicals. Emily Cole was Thomas Cole’s daughter and the only one of his children to
become an artist.

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

Landmark

Curators: Kate Menconeri and Kathy Greenwood, Director, Art & Culture Program, Albany International Airport

Sep 29-Feb 25, 2019

The Thomas Cole Site and the Albany International Airport present a new multidisciplinary exhibition that features 10 contemporary visual artists and 7 writers whose works explore our relationship to the natural world, and share common ground with Thomas Cole’s greatest written work, Essay on American Scenery. The gallery is open daily from 7 am to 11 pm.

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Lisa Sanditz, Fumigation Tents, 2016, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 54 x 70”, photograph courtesy the artist

SPECTRUM

Curator: Kate Menconeri, Thomas Cole Site Curator

Aug 14 – Nov 18, 2018

A contemporary art exhibition installed throughout the historic site as part of the ongoing series OPEN HOUSE: Contemporary Art in Conversation with Cole. The exhibition grew out of conversations between the Cole Site curator Kate Menconeri, the artist Kiki Smith, and exhibiting artists.

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Painting: Place (Place), 2017, Jackie Saccoccio. Oil and mica on Linen, 79 x 90 in. Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter,

Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance

Curators: Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor in the History of Art at Yale, Jennifer Raab, Associate Professor in the History of Art at Yale, Sophie Lynford, Ph.D. candidate at Yale and Nicholas Robbins, Ph.D. candidate at Yale

May 1 – Nov 4, 2018

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Photo © Peter Aaron/OTTO

KIKI SMITH / “From the Creek”

Curator: Kate Menconeri, Thomas Cole Site Curator

Aug 12 – Nov 19, 2017

 Photo © Peter Aaron/OTTO
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“Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills”

Curator: Kevin J. Avery, Ph.D., Senior Research Scholar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Apr 30 – Oct 29, 2017 

Photo © Peter Aaron/OTTO

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“Thomas Cole: The Artist as Architect”

Curator: Annette Blaugrund, Ph.D., Independent Scholar, Author and Curator, and former Director of the National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts    

May 1 – Oct 30, 2016

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JASON MIDDLEBROOK: “Nature Builds / We Cover”

Curator: Kate Menconeri, Thomas Cole Site Curator

Aug 14 – Oct 30, 2016

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“River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home”

Curators: Stephen Hannock, Contemporary Artist and Jason Rosenfeld, Ph.D., Distinguished Chair and Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College and Senior Writer and Editor-at-Large for the Brooklyn Rail

May 3-Nov 1, 2015

Photo © Peter Aaron/OTTO

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Stanley Maltzman / “Thomas Cole’s Honey”

Curator: Kate Menconeri, Thomas Cole Site Curator

July 26- Oct 2, 2014

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“Master, Mentor, master – Thomas Cole & Frederic Church”

Curators: John Wilmerding, Ph.D., Sarofim Professor of American Art, Emeritus, at Princeton University and former Senior Curator and Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Art 

Apr 30 – Nov 2, 2014

Information Catalogue

“Albert Bierstadt in New York and New England”

Curator: Annette Blaugrund, Ph.D., Independent Scholar, Author and Curator, and former Director of the National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts

May 1 – Nov 3, 2013

Information Catalogue

“Worlds Between: Landscapes of Louis Rémy Mignot”

Curator: Katherine E. Manthorne, Ph.D., Professor of American and Latin American Art at the CUNY Graduate Center, and former Research Center Head at the Smithsonian American Art Museum  

Apr 29 – Oct 28, 2012

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Robert S. Duncanson “the spiritual striving of the freedman’s sons”

Curator: Joseph D. Ketner II, the Henry and Lois Foster Chair in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice at Emerson College, Boston

May 1 – October 30, 2011

Information Catalogue

“Remember the Ladies”

Curators: Nancy Siegel, Ph.D., Professor of Art History at Towson University and Jennifer Krieger, Managing Partner of Hawthorne Fine Art and Academic Scholar  

May 2- Oct 31, 2010

Information Catalogue

“River Views of the Hudson River School”

Curator: Nancy Siegal, Ph.D., Professor of Art History at Towson University    

May 2- Oct 31, 2009

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“Thomas Cole’s Sketch Paintings: An Exploration of the Creative Process”

Curator: Elizabeth B. Jacks, Thomas Cole Site Executive Director

May 3 – Oct 26, 2008

Information Catalogue

“Asher B. Durand: Intimate Observations”

Curator: Lee Vedder, Ph.D., Independent Curator and former Henry Luce Curatorial Fellow in American Art at the New-York Historical Society     

May 20 – Oct 28, 2007

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“Jasper Cropsey: Interpreting Nature”

Curator: Elizabeth Stevens, former Thomas Cole Site Curator    

May 7 – Oct 29, 2006

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“George Inness: Paintings”

Curator: Elizabeth Stevens, former Thomas Cole Site Curator    

May 1 – Oct 30, 2005

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Support for the Thomas Cole National Historic Site programs and operations provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, U.S. Small Business Administration, National Park Service, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, The Bay & Paul Foundations, the Enoch Foundation, Empire State Development’s I LOVE NEW YORK program under the Market NY initiative, The Manitou Fund, Art Bridges Bridge Ahead Initiative, Brown Foundation, a Humanities New York SHARP Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal American Rescue Plan, The Educational Foundation of America, The J. M. Kaplan Fund, Tianaderrah Foundation, and the Kindred Spirits Society of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.

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.

Eve AaronEvents