The new season’s underway up at Cedar Grove, the Thomas Cole home in Catskill that has become a treasure-trove of the Valley’s academic art world.
More than just a museum of one celebrated painter’s life and times, or another catchall for what the region once was, the Cole House has become a home for far-reaching academic appreciation of the Hudson River School’s role as America’s first cultural awakening. Its annual art exhibits – seen in the redolent rooms of the historic house itself – reach beyond the expected into other areas of art from the 19th century, commenting on all that we already know about our native artistic heritage and expanding our sense of a national cultural tradition along the way. Its lectures similarly draw from the best of the academic and museum worlds, as well as modern artists working in Luminist and other landscape traditions, to draw appreciative crowds to Catskill for the venue’s afternoon soirées.
The new show for Cedar Grove’s 2012 season is titled “Worlds Between: Landscapes of Louis Rémy Mignot.” It’s an intimate look into the work and world of a young, Charleston-born artist who painted in the style of the Hudson River School and was considered to be on track to achieve greatness on par with his friend and peer Frederic Church before his untimely death at the age of 39.
Curated by Katherine E. Manthorne, the exhibition offers a rare chance to see a full range of Mignot’s fascinating work: “paintings that move between worlds and ports, and that remain full of complexity, enigma and beauty unsurpassed,” in the curator’s words, that represent the first major solo show of the artist’s work anywhere in over two decades.
A special symposium, “The Cultured Canvas,” takes place this Saturday, May 5, around themes presented by and in the newly released book titled The Cultured Canvas: New Perspectives on American Landscape Painting, a collection of essays on 19th-century American art. Presented in partnership with Olana, Frederic Church’s state-owned home across the river in Hudson, and Bard College, the full afternoon program starts at 12:30 p.m.
For further information, visit Cedar Grove, just west of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in Catskill at 218 Spring Street (Route 375), call (518) 943-7465 or log on to www.thomascole.org.