The Hudson River School | American History Teaching Resources

The Hudson River School | American History Teaching Resources

The Hudson River School was America’s first and most influential school of landscape painting. Thomas Cole initiated the style early in the nineteenth century. What became known as the Hudson movement was a loose group of artists and disciples brought together by a common philosophy and style.

Dave Raymond covers the Hudson River movement, revivalism, and 19th century American authors in Lesson 19 of his American History curriculum. Please use the resources below to provide additional context for your homeschool students as they are studying this uniquely American art.

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The Hudson River School —The MET provides a beautiful slideshow combined with an essay and further reading recommendations.

Online Art Exhibit —The Albany Institute of History and Art provides an authoritative history with primary documents. You can even take an amazing 3D tour of their Hudson River Exhibition.

Hudson River Art —An easy-to-navigate slideshow tour from Google Arts & Culture. 

Thomas Cole

Discover Thomas Cole —Thomas Cole’s national historic site boasts an excellent virtual gallery, interactive tour, biography (with a thoughtful version for children), and more. If you live in New York State, check out the many things to do onsite.

Thomas Cole Interactive Tour —Explore the artist’s life through his own words and art.

Galleries & History

Hudson River School —An informative timeline and gallery from The Art Story.

American Art Gallery —View any of some 300 paintings and read about the artists.

WikiArt: Hudson River —WikiArt contains a number of photographs of the artists themselves.

Nature and the American Vision — Historian and museum director at the New-York Historical Society explains the perennial draw of the Hudson River paintings in a brief video below the synopsis [3:17].

Masters of the Hudson River School —The renowned auction site Sotheby’s has large images—learn the worth of each of these paintings!

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum —An easy-to-browse gallery of 65 works.

American Landscape Painting —Although an older Web site, it presents useful characteristics of the movement.

A Natural Connection

Art Trail —Step into the locations that inspired Hudson River School paintings.

Olana Landscape Tour —Discover the preserved historic home, and landscape that inspired Frederic Church [10 part video series]

Learn more about Thomas Cole’s art and the Hudson River School in our story-driven series.
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