Women Reframe American Landscape: Susie Barstow & Her Circle/ Contemporary Practices is a two-part exhibition and accompanying publication illuminating the artistic contributions and perspectives of women. The project reinserts the accomplished 19th-century American artist Susie Barstow (1836-1923) into the history of the Hudson River School of landscape painting and presents work by contemporary artists who expand and challenge how we think about “land” and “landscape” today. The internationally acclaimed contemporary artists include: Teresita Fernández, Guerrilla Girls, Marie Lorenz, Tanya Marcuse, Mary Mattingly, Ebony G. Patterson, Anna Plesset, Jean Shin, Wendy Red Star, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Cecilia Vicuña, Kay WalkingStick, and Saya Woolfalk.
Susie Barstow & Her Circle is the first retrospective of Barstow’s magnificent paintings, despite successfully exhibiting and selling her work during her lifetime. The historic presentation includes additional artworks by artists in her circle: Julie Hart Beers, Fidelia Bridges, Charlotte Buell Coman, Eliza Greatorex, Mary Josephine Walters, and Laura Woodward.
The Contemporary Practices artists created large-scale installations and artworks drawing upon diverse practices that are sited within and in response to the 19th-century artist’s work, home, studios, and landscape.
The exhibition is curated by Dr. Nancy Siegel, Professor of Art History at Towson University; Kate Menconeri, Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, Contemporary Art, and Fellowship at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, and Amanda Malmstrom, Associate Curator at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. It will travel to the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT, from November 16, 2023 to March 31, 2024 and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI, from May 4 to August 25, 2024.
Read the press release
“The exhibition at the Thomas Cole site pulls double-duty, restoring Barstow’s reputation as a pre-eminent American landscape painter while putting her in conversation with contemporary artists who also incorporate nature into their work. The roster of artists shown alongside the 19th-century painter is formidable”—Zachary Small for The New York Times
An exhibition at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site shows the extent to which the idea of landscape has been rethought. —Travis Diehl for The New York Times
“Barstow’s paintings, along with the contemporary works included in this show, add complexity and nuance to history of American landscape”—The Washington Post
“Striking and powerful…necessary to see for yourself”—Times Union
“That Barstow fell off the art-historical map seems inexplicable”—The Magazine Antiques
“The exhibition unearths Barstow’s career, significant in her time, but largely disregarded by scholarly practice”—The Boston Globe
“The first retrospective for Susie Barstow”—artnet news
“First retrospective of her career one century following her death” —Forbes
“Exemplifies what the Cole Site does best—placing contemporary artists in dialogue with painters from the Hudson River School.” —The Berkshire Eagle
“Reframing history” —Native American Art Magazine
“The visual appeal of the works draws you in and creates a space where you can begin to question why you have never seen some of them before, or why you respond as you do to seeing them in this place.”—Antiques and the Arts Weekly
The project is accompanied by a full-color publication printed by Hirmer Publishers, Munich. The publication includes essays by the curators Nancy Siegel, Kate Menconeri, and Amanda Malmstrom; texts and plates by the artists, including “Artist as Arsonist: Burning Down the Myth of the American Landscape” by Teresita Fernández; “Upturning the Map: Native Women and Representations of Land and Landscape” with Candice Hopkins (Carcross/Tagish First Nation) and Jolene Rickard (Tuscarora Nation (Turtle Clan, Hodinöhsö:ni Confederacy), and a Women, Land, and Art timeline by Sofia Thieu D’Amico and Heather Bruegl (Oneida/ Stockbridge-Munsee).
Two additional international books on artists in the exhibition, Susie Barstow and Fidelia Bridges, have been published by Lund Humphries in London and are available in our gift shop now.
The project is presented at the Thomas Cole Site as the cornerstone of the year-long Women, Land + Art initiative across exhibitions, programs, collections and interpretation.
Curators’ Talk & Artist Panel | Now Streaming on YouTube
Hear a discussion accompanying the Thomas Cole Site special exhibition, Women Reframe American Landscape: Susie Barstow & Her Circle / Contemporary Practices: “Susie M. Barstow: Redefining the Hudson River School” with co-curator Dr. Nancy Siegel, Professor of Art History at Towson University and a Panel Discussion with exhibiting contemporary artists Anna Plesset, Jean Shin, and Saya Woolfalk with co-curators Kate Menconeri, Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, Contemporary Art, & Fellowship at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Amanda Malmstrom, Associate Curator at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.
This event was presented by the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in partnership at Foreland, Catskill, NY, on July 30, 2023.
Women Reframe American Landscape: Susie Barstow & Her Circle / Contemporary Practices is made possible by the Warner Foundation.
The exhibition is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This project is supported by a grant awarded to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site by Empire State Development and I LOVE NY/New York State’s Division of Tourism through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
Additional support is provided by Wyeth Foundation for American Art and Tavolozza Foundation.
The exhibition and publication are also supported by Jennifer Krieger and Eric Siegel, Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, Rick and Candace Beinecke, The Coby Foundation, Ltd., Marshall Field V., Allan E. Bulley, Jr., Greene County Legislature through the Greene County Cultural Fund, National Trust Insurance Services, LLC, Suncommon, The Bank of Greene County Charitable Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and the Kindred Spirits Society of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.