The Thomas Cole National Historic Site announced that it has been awarded two federal grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA). The highly competitive national awards support two new projects developed by the Thomas Cole National Historic Site that build on the organization’s history of programmatic excellence. The Thomas Cole Historic Site is located in Catskill, New York, and serves as both an international cultural destination and community cornerstone. The organization would like to recognize Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer for his support of its work and these two projects in particular.
The NEH awarded a “Digital Projects for the Public: Discovery Grant” in the amount of $30,000 for the initial phase of the project titled “A New Digital Game Engaging Students with American History through American Art.” The project will address an urgent need to support students in grades 4 to 8 in developing an understanding of the history of the United States from multiple viewpoints so they may better understand current events and the choices that impact our future. As part of the NEH’s “A More Perfect Union” initiative, the digital game will use art as an entry point for young learners to explore the history of the United States, specifically between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, when the artist Thomas Cole (1801-1848) was active. Additional support for the project is provided by The Jack Warner Foundation.
The NEA awarded a “Grants for Arts Projects” in the Museums discipline in the amount of $35,000 to support a new exhibition and publication entitled “Thomas Cole’s Studio: Memory and Inspiration” that is now scheduled for 2022 at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. The project will explore the final phase of the artist Thomas Cole’s career by reassembling the major works of art that were in Cole's studio at the time of his death in 1848 and the important influence that the studio - which was preserved intact after his death by his family - had on the many American artists who visited to learn as much as possible about the late master. The exhibition is curated by Franklin Kelly, the Christiane Ellis Valone Curator of American Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, assisted by Annette Blaugrund, Consulting Curator and Former director of the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Art, NYC, and Kate Menconeri, the Thomas Cole Site’s Curator and Director of Collections & Exhibitions. The exhibition catalogue will be published by Hirmer Publishers, Munich. The project will be presented in the Thomas Cole’s Site’s reconstructed 1846 New Studio building in conjunction with a site-specific artist installation by Marc Swanson in the adjacent historic Main House created in conversation with Swanson’s solo exhibition at MASS MoCA. Swanson’s installation at the Thomas Cole Site will explore similar themes of memorial and loss.
ONGOING EXHIBITION at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site
+ The Pollinator Pavilion: A walk-in public artwork created by Mark Dion and Dana Sherwood offers visitors an opportunity to encounter local pollinators. The outdoor sculpture is free and open daily year-round from dawn to dusk.
THE THOMAS COLE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE is an international destination presenting the original home and studios of Thomas Cole (1801-1848), founder of the Hudson River School of painting, the nation’s first major art movement. Located on six acres in the Hudson Valley, the site includes the 1815 Main House; Cole’s 1839 Old Studio; the reconstructed 1846 New Studio building; and panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains. It is a National Historic Landmark and an affiliated area of the National Park System. The Thomas Cole Site’s activities include guided and self-guided tours, special exhibitions of both 19th-century and contemporary art, print publications, extensive online programs, activities for school groups, free community events, lectures, and innovative public programs such as the Hudson River School Art Trail—a map and website that enable the public to visit the places that Cole and others painted. The goal of all programs at the Thomas Cole Site is to enable visitors to find meaning and inspiration in Thomas Cole’s life and work. The themes that Cole explored in his art and writings—such as landscape preservation, the need for public art museums, and our conception of nature as a restorative power—are historic and timely, providing the opportunity to connect to audiences with insights that are highly relevant to their own lives.
Support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.