This May, The Thomas Cole National Historic Site and The Olana Partnership/Olana State Historic Site will co-host a landmark exhibition that will bring contemporary art by world-renowned artists back to the homes where distinctly American Art was born.
The exhibition – "River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home" – will open on May 3rd and run through November 1st and will feature works from 30 artists. The exhibition highlights the pivotal role that the two historic properties – and the artists who lived and worked there – played in shaping America’s culture of contemporary art, and will provide an unprecedented opportunity for visitors to consider these historic spaces from a completely new vantage point – that of experiencing contemporary art in these iconic settings.
"River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home" will take place in the residences and surrounding landscapes of the Thomas Cole Historic Site – home of Thomas Cole (1801-1848), founder of the Hudson River School of art, the first distinctly American art movement – and Olana, the 250-acre home and landscape created by Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), Cole’s student, who became world-renowned as the School’s leading practitioner. The properties lie two miles apart, directly across the Hudson River from each other and connected by a bridge.
The artists whose work is included in the exhibition are Romare Bearden, Elijah Burgher, Chuck Close, Will Cotton, Gregory Crewdson, Lynn Davis, Jerry Gretzinger, Don Gummer, Duncan Hannah, Stephen Hannock, Valerie Hegarty, Angie Keefer with Kara Hamilton and Kianja Strobert, Charles LeDray, Maya Lin, Frank Moore, Elizabeth Murray, Rashaad Newsome, Thomas Nozkowski, Stephen Petegorsky, Martin Puryear, Cindy Sherman, Sienna Shields, Kiki Smith, Joel Sternfeld, Letha Wilson, and Elyn Zimmerman, in addition to selected complementary work by Thomas Cole and Frederic Church from the permanent collections.
The exhibition is curated by Stephen Hannock, the celebrated painter, and Jason Rosenfeld, PhD, the art historian who recently curated two enormously popular exhibitions at Tate Britain in London and the National Gallery in Washington, DC. A fully-illustrated companion book will be published by The Artist Book Foundation and will include entries by Rosenfeld on all the artists and works, and reflections by such preeminent writers and historians as Maurice Berger, Ken Burns, Adam Gopnik, and Marvin Heiferman.