Thomas Cole by Annette Blaugrund
The Artist as Architect

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At the height of his career as the leader of the Hudson River School of American landscape painting, Thomas Cole listed himself in the New York City Directory as an architect. Why would this renowned painter, who had never before designed a building, advertise himself as such?
The importance of Cole’s paintings and the significance of his essays, poems, and philosophy are well established, yet an analysis of his architectural endeavors and their impact on his painting has not been undertaken—until now. In celebration of the recreation of the artist’s self-designed Italianate studio at Cedar Grove in Catskill, New York, now the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, this book focuses on Cole’s architectural interests through architectural elements found in his paintings and drawings as well as in his realized and visionary projects, expanding our understanding of the breadth of his talents and interests.
An essay by noted art historian Annette Blaugrund and a contribution by Franklin Kelly, illustrated with Cole’s famous works, sketches, and architectural renderings, reveal an unexplored, yet fascinating, aspect of the career of this beloved artist—and thus, a crucial moment in the development of the Hudson River School and American art.
Published to coincide with the exhibition “Thomas Cole: The Artist as Architect” at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and travelling to the Columbus Art Museum, the book adds a new dimension to scholarship on the artist.

About Annette Blaugrund

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Annette Blaugrund, an independent scholar, curator, and museum consultant, is the former Director of the National Academy Museum. She is the author of Charting New Waters: Redefining Marine Painting (2013), Albert Bierstadt in New York and New England (2013), and The Tenth Street Studio Building: Artist Entrepreneurs from the Hudson River School to the American Impressionists (1997) as well as the biography Dispensing Beauty: The Triumphs and Tragedies of Harriet Hubbard Ayer (2011).Franklin Kelly is Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and a Distinguished Affiliate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland, College Park. His publications include books on Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, and Winslow Homer and articles and essays on a wide range of American and British artists.Barbara Novak, Helen Goodhart Altschul Professor of Art History Emerita at Barnard College and Columbia University, has for forty years inspired generations of students to pursue careers in academic and museum life. An artist, playwright, and novelist, she is well known for her groundbreaking books on American art.
Author Residence: New York
Published April 19, 2016 by The Monacelli Press. 120 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Thomas Cole

Thomas Cole (1801–48) is best known as the founder of the Hudson River School of painting—his popular landscapes often featured realistic American scenes—but the artist and writer also designed several buildings. Cole spent his early life in England, then immigrated to Ohio before settling in New...

Jul 22 2016 | Read Full Review of Thomas Cole: The Artist as Ar...