From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic

Delve into the important and underexplored tradition of landscape painting in Philadelphia.

From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic will delve into the important and underexplored tradition of landscape representation in Philadelphia from the Early American Republic to the Centennial Exhibition (1876) and how that corpus shaped the better-known Hudson River School. Philadelphia's key role in the growth of American landscape painting has never been the subject of a major museum exhibition. PAFA's exhibition, along with the accompanying catalog, will illuminate the growth of the genre from its roots, through its rise into the public consciousness. 

Thomas Cole, who is widely regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, began his career as a landscape painter after living and training in Philadelphia. During the time he spent in the city in the 1820s, he was influenced by the work of Thomas Doughty and Thomas Birch, whose American landscapes were on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Doughty and Birch were only two of many landscape painters living and exhibiting their work in Philadelphia at the time, including Charles Willson Peale, James Peale, William Russell Birch, John Lewis Krimmel, Joshua Shaw, Jacob Eichholtz, and Russell SmithFrom the Schuylkill to the Hudson will place special emphasis on representations of local waterways in order to showcase the manner in which these Philadelphia water views, whether of the Schuylkill, the Wissahickon, or Delaware, constituted some of the earliest and most influential sites within American visual culture.

In addition to exhibiting fine art paintings and prints, From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic will share with visitors the broader story of landscape representation in Philadelphia by including decorative ceramics produced both locally and globally. A highlight of the exhibition will be a group of major Hudson River School paintings acquired by PAFA over the last 10 years, including works by Cole, Albert Bierstadt, David Johnson, Frederic Church, and Thomas Moran.

The works in the exhibition will be drawn primarily from PAFA's superlative permanent collection—along with select public and private local collections—underlining the key role Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Academy itself played in the development of landscape painting in America. The accompanying catalog will include reproductions of works from the show, an essay on landscape painting and decorative arts by Anna O. Marley, and an essay on reproductive landscapes by Ramey Mize. 


Related Programming

June 28: Member Preview Mornings | From the Schuylkill to the Hudson

June 29: Member Preview Mornings | From the Schuylkill to the Hudson

August 7: Behind the Scenes with Conservation: From the Schuylkill to the Hudson

September 11: Art at Noon: The Most Perfect Manner, Paul Weber’s American Landscapes

September 17: Points of View Speaker Series: Rebecca Rutstein

September 21: Educator's Workshop: Teaching with Landscape Paintings

September 25: Art at Noon: The Fluid Line: Waterscapes by American Painter-Etchers

September 28: Learning to Look (Special Tour)

September 28: Points of View Speaker Series: Talk and Book Signing The Landscapes of a New Nation

October 5: Points of View Speaker Series: Andrea Wulf

October 10: Curator Conversation: From the Schuylkill to the Hudson

October 19: Transfer What? Transferware! A Hands-On Workshop

October 26: Points of View Speaker Series: City Water, City Life

November 2: We Drink the River (Special Tour)

November 6: Art at Noon: Mapping a Nation: Shaping the Early American Republic

November 9: Points of View Speaker Series: Stories of the River with Beth Kephart

November 23: We Are the Seeds: Panel and Performance

December 7: Public Dialogues: Landscapes Are Not Neutral

December 14: Director’s Tour of the American Landscape

 


Related Stories

In preparation for the exhibition From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic Russell Smith's 1840 painting Mahanoy Mountain underwent a comprehensive conservation process. PAFA painting conservator Mary McGinn stabilized and flattened paint cracks, in addition to removing overpaint, old adhesive, and more.

Before the Hudson River School There Was the Schuylkill

Celebrating Philadelphia's Water Technology Through Art

Showcasing Philadelphia’s Place in the History of American Landscapes

Catalog

This exhibition catalog features essays by PAFA's curator of Historical of American Art, Dr. Anna O. Marley, and Ramey Mize, with a foreword by Brooke Davis Anderson (Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum).

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