Thomas Cole’s life and work coincide with a pivotal period in American history. Before Cole’s eyes and on his canvas, the newly formed nation would find a vision of its identity born and its future questioned. American history fixates on 1776 and 1865, but in the period between lies a rich and under-explored territory.
Additional Funding Provided by Robert and Doris Fischer Malesardi
Part ONE | REFRAMING AN EMPIRE
The Myth of American Identity and Thomas Cole
In the first episode of Reframing an Empire, examine the profound influence of Thomas Cole's technique and artistry on American art, specifically New York: The Empire State. Discover how his paintings shaped the American identity and aesthetic.
Part TWO | REFRAMING AN EMPIRE
Discovering the Legacy of Thomas Cole
In part two of Reframing an Empire, we delve into the life, times, and legacy of Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School art movement. Known for his romantic landscape paintings, Cole's work remains some of the first of the American Landscape. Join us as we uncover the history and significance of his art, exploring the influences behind his work and the lasting impact of his legacy.
Part THREE | REFRAMING AN EMPIRE
Man vs Land: Creation and Evolution of New York
In Part Three of Reframing an Empire, we dive into the story of Thomas Cole, an artist who arrived in America during a period of rapid transformation. Discover how Cole's concern for the preservation of the land was reflected in his artwork, and how the industrialization of the landscape was intertwined with the erasure of history. Join historians Heather Brugel, Renee Barry, Devin Lander, and Betsy Jacks as they reveal the creation and evolution of New York in the early 19th century.
Part FOUR | REFRAMING AN EMPIRE
Between the Wars
Explore Thomas Cole's art in the context of a rapidly changing America, from industrialization to religious revivalism. Dive deep into the rich history of 1800-1848, as we uncover the role of landscape art in shaping the nation's identity, highlighting the complex relationship between economic success and the oppression of marginalized populations. Learn how the Hudson River School and artists like Cole captured America's triumphs and struggles, ultimately creating a nostalgic vision of the past and present.
Part FIVE | REFRAMING AN EMPIRE
Revisiting America's Past
In this episode of Reframing and Empire we look at reframing our narratives around historic spaces and images. Discussing with Betsy Jacks, Nancy Seigel, and Heather Bruegl why it is important to still value works that speak of a particular version of America's past and simultaneously recognizing that this work needs to be seen through the lens of history.
Part SIX | REFRAMING AN EMPIRE
Land of the "Free"
Reframing an Empire Ep 6 strives to expand the understanding of humanity and the impact of slavery on the economy, the land, and the culture in New York. While the Catskills were considered to be in a “Free” state during most of the Thomas Cole was living there the nation, the state, and the legislations were struggling with the transition.
Part SEVEN | REFRAMING AN EMPIRE
This Land is Your Land
Thomas Cole occasionally painted indigenous people into his pieces and wrote about them in his writings. In this episode we learn what the experience was for the indigenous tribes of what is now New York state in the 1800's.
Part EIGHT | REFRAMING AN EMPIRE
While the fraternity of the Hudson River School made its mark on history it's time that we recognize and remember the Mothers of the American Landscape movement. At the turn of the 19th century, many young women were gathering artistic instruction, especially in the art of landscape studies.
Part NINE | REFRAMING AN EMPIRE
Contemporary Artists Spotlight
For decades audiences have been familiarized with the fathers of the Hudson River School and their landscape Art. Now the Thomas Cole National Historic Site is looking forward with a show of contemporary practices entitled “Women Reframe American Landscape”
Part TEN | REFRAMING AN EMPIRE
Reframing an Empire has reflected on historic interpretation and representation throughout this series. We check in with historians and curators on why it is important to take into account a critical lens and students of our history.