Sunday Salons series begins at Thomas Cole site in Catskill

(Peter Aaron/OTTO)

Ever fantasize about living in times and places when art salons were legendary haunts for the great minds of the era, such as Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas’ flat at 27 rue de Fleurus in Paris during the 1920s? For 16 years now, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site has been hosting monthly Sunday Salons in late winter and early spring that invite art experts of national prominence to Catskill to share their knowledge about the Hudson River School of painting, its milieu, practitioners, influences and legacy, and about American landscape painting in general. Audience discussions follow each talk. The afternoon series starts up again this Sunday, January 20. (Update: This event has been cancelled due to weather.)

This first lecture for 2019 brings design historian and historic interiors expert Jean Dunbar of Historic Design, Inc. for the unveiling of a new discovery (its exact nature undivulged) at Thomas Cole’s home inspired by his first love, English design. Living and earning on the cusp between manufacturing and art, Cole acquired the skills to become a painter. His home in Catskill illustrates his virtuosity as a designer and the unquenchable passion for decoration that permeated his life as an artist. “Sunday Salon: Thomas Cole and Industrial Design” gets underway, like all the events in this series, at 2 p.m. Admission costs $12 for the general public, $10 for members.

The series continues on February 10 with Dr. Sylvia Yount, Lawrence A. Fleischman curator in Charge of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, speaking on “Evolving Visions and Voices in the Met’s American Wing.” Founded in 1924 for the display and study of historical American decorative arts, the American Wing is expanding its collecting focus and gallery narratives to create a more pluralistic experience for 21st-century audiences.


On March 3, Alan C. Braddock of the College of William & Mary will give a talk titled “Directionality in the Art of Thomas Cole: An Ecocritical Perspective.” And on April 7, Jeanne Haffner, associate curator of the “Hudson Rising” exhibition at the New-York Historical Society, will discuss “Catskill Creek and the Science of Landscape.”

Presentations are held in the New Studio at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, located at 218 Spring Street in Catskill. To learn more, visit

Sunday, Jan. 20, 2-3:30 p.m.

$12/$10, Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 218 Spring Street, Catskill