The Hudson River School of Painting

Landscape painting is a primary dimension of the Athenaeum's art collection. Landscape was also the first genre of painting in which American artists were recognized for making a distinctive contribution to the history of art. Early American landscape painters, later dubbed the Hudson River School for their frequent depictions of upstate New York, portrayed the countryside with an eye toward its future settlement. The country was perceived by its citizens as a new beginning for Western civilization, which had become corrupt in Europe. America offered new opportunities to explore the landscape and live close to the earth, free from the temptations and vice of urban areas. Appropriately, the first identifiably American school of art was devoted to the celebration of the nation's unique scenery.

The gallery of images below highlights the Hudson River School paintings at the Athenaeum. For a more detailed look at specific works of art, visit This Week from the Gallery Archives.To view the slide show, click the first image and then use the arrows to move forward and backward.

To view complete details about any of the artwork in our collection, click here.

Visit other galleries of images: American artists , European artists , and other artists.

Worthington Whittredge Fishing around 1868-1870
OIL ON CANVASWorthington Whittredge
Fishing, around 1868-1870
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Worthington Whittredge
Fishing, around 1868-1870
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James Hart Under the Elms
Fishing, 1872
OIL ON CANVASJames Hart
Under the Elms 1872
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James Hart
Under the Elms 1872
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Sanford R. Gifford
The View from South Mountain, in the Catskills
OIL ON CANVASSanford R. Gifford
The View from South Mountain, in the Catskills
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Sanford R. Gifford
The View from South Mountain, in the Catskills
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Albert Bierstadt
The Domes of the Yosemite, 1867
OIL ON CANVASAlbert Bierstadt
The Domes of the Yosemite, 1867
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Albert Bierstadt
The Domes of the Yosemite, 1867
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James M. Hart
Landscape with Cattle, 1872
OIL ON CANVASJames M. Hart
Landscape with Cattle, 1872
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James M. Hart
Landscape with Cattle, 1872
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Samuel Colman
The Emigrant Train, Colorado, 1872
OIL ON CANVASSamuel Colman
The Emigrant Train, Colorado, 1872
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Samuel Colman
The Emigrant Train, Colorado, 1872
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James M. Hart
Marine and Cattle, 1884
OIL ON CANVASJames M. Hart
Marine and Cattle, 1884
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James M. Hart
Marine and Cattle, 1884
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Jervis McEntee
The Woods of Asshockan, Catskills, 1871
OIL ON CANVASJervis McEntee
The Woods of Asshockan, Catskills, 1871
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Jervis McEntee
The Woods of Asshockan, Catskills, 1871
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Worthington Whittredge
On the Plains, Colorado, 1872
OIL ON CANVASWorthington Whittredge
On the Plains, Colorado, 1872
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Worthington Whittredge
On the Plains, Colorado, 1872
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Asher B. Durand
Landscape with Rocks, 1859
OIL ON CANVASAsher B. Durand
Landscape with Rocks, 1859
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Asher B. Durand
Landscape with Rocks, 1859
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William HartAutumn Morning, 1876
OIL ON CANVASWilliam HartAutumn Morning, 1876
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William Hart
Autumn Morning, 1876
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William HartSummer, The Passing Shower, 1873
OIL ON CANVASWilliam HartSummer, The Passing Shower, 1873
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William Hart
Summer, The Passing Shower, 1873
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William HartAn Autumn Day, 1865
OIL ON CANVASWilliam HartAn Autumn Day, 1865
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William Hart
An Autumn Day, 1865
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Thomas Waterman Wood
Plowing in the Nivernais, undated copy
OIL ON CANVASThomas Waterman Wood
Plowing in the Nivernais, undated copy
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Thomas Waterman Wood
Plowing in the Nivernais, undated copy
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Jasper CropseyAutumn on the Ramapo River, Erie Railway, 1879
OIL ON CANVASJasper CropseyAutumn on the Ramapo River, Erie Railway, 1879
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Jasper Cropsey
Autumn on the Ramapo River, Erie Railway, 1879
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