Herman Fuechse.l Hudson River Scene, 1875.
Oil on canvas
Jordan Matter. Vista, 2011.
Digital photograph on aluminum; printed in 2016
Walks with Artists presents over 35 paintings and prints from the Museum’s permanent collection which invite viewers on a journey to sites in the Hudson Valley and Connecticut countryside made famous by 19th and 20th-century Hudson River School artists.
The paintings show areas along the Hudson River that range from the Palisades to the Catskill Mountains to waterfalls above Albany, and depict pastoral scenes and working communities. The spectacular scenery of the Hudson Valley was often painted nostalgically as a romantic environment of natural beauty, just as Americans fearfully saw this environment give way before oncoming industrialization. The exhibition is organized according to classic elements of scenic views and the building blocks of landscape painting: terrain, water, trees, and sky. The paintings often include figures, alone or grouped, to entice the viewer to imagine themselves in the scene.
Among the 24 artists whose works are represented are traditional landscapes by Herman Fuechsel (Hudson River Scene, 1876), Aaron Draper Shattuck (American Landscape, 1864), William Guy Wall (Baker’s Falls, Hudson River Portfolio, 1821-25), Gifford Beal (Storm King, c. 1920-30), and Chauncey Foster Ryder (Pastoral Scene, c. 1920-30s). Newer artwork shows the region’s history, such as Richard Haas’s drawing Gateway to the Waterfront depicting Henry Hudson’s ship the Half Moon against the backdrop of the Palisades, or the region as a hospitable environment, seen in Holly Sears’s Songbirds (2012). Jack Stuppin interprets a Hudson Valley farm today in Tatashu Farm, Catskills (2016), while Jordan Matter’s photograph Vista (2011), poises a dancer over a classic Hudson River panorama.
From the limited edition series Hudson River ExplorersThe exhibition presents recent gifts and purchases to the Museum that enhance its mission to interpret American landscape art, as well as paintings that were part of the Museum’s conservation initiative in 2015 - 2016. Some of the newly conserved paintings are on view for the first time, and provide new points of entry to the Museum’s exhibitions and education programs.