Louisa Davis Minot - Niagara Falls - FineArtConnoisseur.com
Louisa Davis Minot, “Niagara Falls,” 1818, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 5/8 in. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Waldron Phoenix Belknap Sr. to the Waldron Phoenix Belknap Jr. Collection, 1956.3

The Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School Landscapes from the New-York Historical Society
Cincinnati, Ohio
Through January 12, 2020

George Henry Boughton - Hudson River Valley painting
George Henry Boughton, “Hudson River Valley from Fort Putnam, West Point,” 1855, oil on canvas, 46 7/16 in. × 58 5/16 in. New-York Historical Society, Gift of John V. Irwin and William F. Irwin, 1927.1

The paintings in “The Poetry of Nature” reveal the natural wonders that sparked the first artistic movement in the United States. The American landscape inspired a loosely knit group of 19th-century artists to create paintings that present nature as spiritually renewing and culturally defining. Sketching outdoors and composing their ideal visions of the landscape in their studios, these artists filled their canvases with majestic mountains, tranquil valleys, enchanting forests, shimmering lakes, and luminous skies. Such views of nature forged an essential part of America’s national identity as people sought respite from rapidly expanding cities during an age of industrial progress.

Bierstadt paintings - Autumn Woods
Albert Bierstadt, “Autumn Woods, Oneida County, State of New York,” 1886, oil on linen, 54 x 84 in. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Albert Bierstadt, 1910.11

While some artists traveled around the continent, this exhibition highlights the movement’s roots in New York’s Hudson River Valley; the Catskills, Adirondacks, and White Mountains; and other locations in the eastern United States. Works by well-known artists, including Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Jasper Francis Cropsey, and Sanford Robinson Gifford, join lesser-known gems by Louisa Davis Minot and William Louis Sonntag—who began his career in Cincinnati—to paint a picture of America’s promise embodied in landscape.

Asher Durand painting - Group of Trees
Asher B. Durand, “Group of Trees,” 1855–1857, oil on canvas, 24 × 18 in. New-York Historical Society, Purchase, The Louis Durr Fund, 1887.8

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  1. The Hudson River watershed is one of the most beautiful areas of our country. No wonder so many artists have painted it and so many people have visited the area to see the beauty.


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