Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Camminando | Pilgrimage at the Hudson River Art Trail :: 2. Cedar Grove

On Sunday I crossed the Hudson River at Rip Van Winkle Bridge for the second stop of my pilgrimage: Cedar Grove, Thomas Cole's home in the village of Catskill. Of a lesser spectacular tone than Olana, Cedar Grove presents a more intimate landscape and architectural design. The house and the garden were quite simple, in contrast with the extravagance of Frederic Church's estate.
I learned that Thomas Cole was born in 1801 in Northwestern England and emigrated with his family to the United States in 1818. Cole discovered the wilderness and beauty of the Catskill while hunting (he was 24 year old). He was primarily self-taught, but often worked with members of the Philadelphia Academy, and later became a fellow.
Cole painted The Course of Empire a five-part series of paintings in the years 1833-36, symbolizing how urbanesism will destroy the bucolic beauty and in Cole became Church's mentor.

Cole died on February 1848 in the west bedroom of Cedar Grove.

And a few photos from my pilgrimage...