Special Event to Honor Peter Hutton Sunday, October 9, 2 pm



Contact: Heather Paroubek – 518.943.7465 ext. 5 / hparoubek@thomascole.org

Thomas Cole National Historic Site

218 Spring St, P.O. Box 426

Catskill, NY 12414

Special Event for the Late Filmmaker Peter Hutton to take place on Sunday, October 9, 2 pm

Annual Fall Event to Feature Lecture by Scott MacDonald and Screenings of Hutton’s Films

Catskill, NY — Join the Thomas Cole National Historic Site as we celebrate the work of Hudson River landscape filmmaker Peter Hutton at the Arts Center Theater of Columbia-Greene Community College on Sunday, October 9 at 2 pm. During his 46 years as an independent filmmaker, Hutton, who passed away on June 25, produced a remarkable body of work that demonstrates that the legacy of Thomas Cole and Hudson River School painting is very much alive, not only in modern painting, but in cinema, as well.

Professor Scott MacDonald, Ph.D., Professor of Art History at Hamilton College and author of 14 books on independent cinema, will present this year’s Raymond Beecher Memorial Lecture: Taking Time to Look: The Landscape Films of Peter Hutton. Dr. MacDonald, whose passion for over 30 years has been introducing audiences to the worlds of alternative film and video, will show two of Hutton’s films – Landscape (for Manon) and Time and Tide – while providing an overview of Hutton’s life and work. A full-color print publication with an essay by MacDonald, who was named an Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2012, will accompany the lecture and screening event.

Although Hutton made films all over the world, a number of his most important films focus on the same Hudson Valley scenery that captivated Thomas Cole. Hutton paid homage to Cole and the Hudson River School painters both explicitly – as in calling his 1991 film In Titan’s Goblet, a direct reference to Cole’s 1833 painting, The Titan’s Goblet – and implicitly, by forcing contemporary audiences to slow down and really look at the landscape, echoing the intent of 19th-century American landscape painters. The affinities between their artworks extend even to their chosen mediums: Hutton often slows the action on the screen to a stillness that is almost painting-like, while Cole was the most cinematic 19th-century American painter. Although Thomas Edison’s moving pictures didn’t appear until 50 years after Cole’s death, Cole was intimately familiar with panoramas, widely popular in the 19th century, and from his first paid commission – for which he painted a paired series for the Steamboat Albany – to the five-part series The Cross and the World he was working on when he died, Cole wanted to tell pictorial stories in multiple frames. Cole’s biographer, Ellwood C. Parry, III, wrote that Cole possessed “a truly cinematic imagination,” speculating that “it is not difficult to imagine that if Cole were alive today he might be making motion pictures.”

Peter Hutton began teaching at Bard College in 1985 and chaired the Film and Electronic Arts Program there for 27 years. He studied painting, sculpture, and film at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he received his BFA and MFA degrees, and paid his way by serving with the merchant marine. In 1987, Hutton was awarded Best Cinematography for his work on Phil Hartman’s feature film No Picnic at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2011, the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress selected Study of a River as one of 25 films annually chosen. Hutton has many fans locally, nationally and worldwide: in 2010, when the magazine Film Comment, which is produced by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, asked critics around the world to choose the best avant-garde films of the first decade of the new millennium, Hutton’s At Sea was voted the number #1 film of the decade, and Hutton himself one of the top filmmakers of the decade.

The Columbia-Greene Community College Theater is located at 4400 Route 23, Hudson, NY. A reception will follow the lecture. Tickets are $9 or $8 for members, available in advance or at the door. This event is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts “Imagine Your Parks” program as well as individual funders including Adele Pressman, David Gatten, Erin Espelie, Patricia O’Connor, John Knecht, James Benning, Sharon Lockhart, Robb Moss, Alfred Guzzetti, Richard Herskowitz, David Rodowick, and Patricia Zimmermann.

About Thomas Cole: As the founder of America’s first art movement, the Hudson River School, Thomas Cole (1801-1848) is a central figure in the development of American culture. When Cole made his first trip up the Hudson River in 1825, thought-leaders were searching for something distinctly American to establish the nation’s own culture as separate from that of Europe. Thomas Cole found it in the Catskill Mountain wilderness, which came to symbolize the unspoiled character of the new nation. Lionized during his lifetime and celebrated by a generation of artists who followed in his footsteps, Cole is now widely regarded as the father of American landscape painting.

About the Thomas Cole National Historic Site: 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 nation’s first art movement. Cole’s profound influence on America’s cultural landscape inspires us to engage broad audiences through educational programs that are relevant today. The Thomas Cole Historic House is an independent non-profit organization and an affiliate of the National Park Service. HOURS:  Tour the Main House and Old Studio, Tues-Thurs, 10am-4pm, and Fri-Sun, 10am-1pm. Your ticket also includes the New Studio and exhibitions. Explore all the historic buildings and special exhibitions at your own pace with guides are on hand to answer questions, Fri, Sat & Sun from 2 to 5pm. The site is open May through October 30, 2016. Grounds are free and open to the public from dawn until dusk.


Contact: Heather Paroubek – 518.943.7465 ext. 5


Thomas Cole National Historic Site

218 Spring St, P.O. Box 426

Catskill, NY 12414




Kate MenconeriSpecial Event to Honor Peter Hutton Sunday, October 9, 2 pm