There can be little doubt that, when one sees or hears the names Cole, Heade, Bierstadt, Kensett, or Cropsey, interest is piqued.
Although the seminal artists of the Hudson River School were working well over a century ago, there still remains ample opportunity to spotlight how innovative each of them were and how their lessons continue to influence art today. On view now through June 25 at Driscoll Babcock Galleries in New York City, “The Shock of the Old: Epic Visions in 19th Century American Art” is an exciting exhibition that seeks to celebrate some of our greatest painters.
“The Hudson River School was America’s first native school of painters,” writes the gallery, “and their imagery of the unfettered American landscape probed deeply into the psychological, political and sociological manifestations of the new nation and produced some of the greatest painters of the nineteenth century.
“Today, nineteenth century American paintings are being recognized as never before with the recent renovation and reinstallation of new American galleries at major museums throughout the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City, [and] the Art Institute of Chicago and the formation of major new collections including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas and The Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona. ‘The Shock of the Old’ refreshes consideration of the ‘Old,’ in the context of new perspectives and new audiences.”
To learn more, visit Driscoll Babcock Galleries.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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