Hudson River School Landscapes

Albert Bierstadt, San Rafael

The Hudson River School collection has been temporarily stored while we share exhibits of contemporary pastels and ceramics in the Art Gallery. Join us on September 19, 2015 when we open an exhibit called Hidden Hudson that will highlight many rarely seen Hudson River landscapes from our collection. The exhibit will run through November 8.

Among Fruitlands extensive collection of Hudson River School landscapes, the Art Gallery features two works by Albert Bierstadt. The Hudson River School is a nineteenth century American art movement which focused on depicting a romanticized vision of an unexplored American landscape.

In reaction to the rational logic of Neoclassicism in art at the turn of the nineteenth century, Hudson River School artists replaced logical aesthetics with the expressive and idealized aesthetics of Romanticism. Artists like Thomas Cole, George Inness, Asher Brown Durand, and Alvin Fisher began painting idealized images of the Hudson River Valley region. Towards the mid-nineteenth century a second generation of Hudson River School artists began to focus on the inspirational and transcendent qualities of nature and painted images of an idealized and sublime American landscape.

 Interested in purchasing a print from our Hudson River collection? We work with 1000Museums.com to offer a selection of our painting on archival paper, matted or beautifully framed. Click here for details.

The Story... 

With roots in European Romanticism, the Hudson River painters set about to define a distinct vision for American art. These serene and awe-inspiring vistas, in which a small figure often communes with nature, were intended to evoke elevated thoughts and feelings. The artists active during the years of egalitarian Jacksonian democracy and expansion translated this ideology into an aesthetic that was sweeping and spontaneous.  The development of the Hudson River school signaled a transition from a frontier mentality to a rapidly developing cultural consciousness.  Through their art they celebrated the awe inspiring natural resources and a feeling of optimism present in the America. 

Visit and Discover... 


Landscape paintings played a seminal role in the development of the American identity, the foundation of America as a community, as well as the development of the tourism market in mid19th century America. New exhibitions of landscape paintings in New York drew thousands eager to see what this great big new country looked like. The landscape paintings capture the aspirations of a new nation.

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