Hudson River Museum
Yonkers, New York
Where Land Meets River
June 24 through September 20, 1998
In Where Land Meets River, the viewer is invited to experience the grandeur of nature especially the Hudson River and examine the human impact upon it. The exhibit chronicles both the Hudson River's natural beauty and its evolution as a center of transportation, industry and human habitation. On view will be a selection of 25 works from the Museum's Permanent Collection including oils, engravings and watercolors dating from 1820 through 1915. The works in Where Land Meets River include the Hudson River School Style, Realism, American Barbizon, Tonalism and Modernism. Among the highlights are selections from the 1821-25 Hudson River Portfolio (aquatints by John Hill from the watercolors of William Guy Wall); two oils by master ship painter James Bard; Hudson River School artist Jasper Cropsey's large rendering of the village of Hastings-on-Hudson -- his home for the last 15 years of his life.
Where Land Meets River is divided into four sections: The Vista, The Human Presence, Boating on the River and The Palisades. Several Hudson River landscapes on long term display in the Museum's Glenview Mansion (1876) supplement the exhibition. The theme of ship transport on the River is developed by oil painter James Bard in his work The Hudson River Steamboat "Francis Skiddy." The work provides an excellent example of Bard's compositional motifs, from the shining white steamboat in simple profile with its captain, fire stoker, workers and passengers aboard to the glorious sunset above the Palisades.
The Hudson River has been a shaping element of the region for centuries. Its awesome presence covers a distance of 315 miles from the Adirondack Mountains to New York Harbor, and ranges in width from a mere stream to 3 1/2 miles. As a tremendous natural resource, the Hudson has fostered community growth, recreation and industrial development. With its open vistas, varied shoreline, towns and cities, the Hudson has remained one of the favorite subjects of painters for over three centuries, having assumed special importance in the 19th century art scene. Contemporary critics felt that all the elemental qualities admired in landscape -- grandeur, sublime beauty, the Picturesque, and repose -- could be encountered along its banks.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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