William Louis Sonntag (1822-1900), Morning in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Va., ca. 1858. Oil on canvas, 36 x 56 in., New-York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart, S-107.

Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School Landscapes from the New-York Historical Society

January 23 – May 2, 2021

The Hudson River School rose to eminence in New York during the first half of the 19th century. This loosely knit group of artists, together with like-minded poets and writers, forged a self-consciously “American” landscape vision and literary voice. Both were grounded in the exploration of the natural world as a resource for spiritual renewal and as an expression of cultural and national identity. The Hudson River and the varied scenery along its banks, along with the Catskill, Adirondack, and White Mountains and beyond, provided the subjects for many of their landscape paintings.

Poetry of Nature, comprised of some 40 paintings by 25 artists ranging in date from 1818 to 1886, offers a varied survey of important paintings conceived in the style of the Hudson River School and further enriched by each artist’s personal vision. The exhibition also offers an opportunity to explore the exchanges of influence among a group of artists whose social and professional networks in New York City and at their favored sketching grounds established an artistic vision that we now recognize as the Hudson River School. 

The exhibition has been organized by the New-York Historical Society.