ABOUT THE EVENT
Virtual Key-Note Lecture | Re-Thinking the Hudson River School: From Proto-environmentalism to Manifest Destiny with Betsy Kornhauser
By the mid-nineteenth century, a fraternity of painters working in New York City, together with like-minded poets and writers, developed a distinctly American vision of landscape art. Their depictions of American wilderness and cultivated scenery would later be dubbed the Hudson River School, helping to shape both the national and cultural identity of the United States.
This talk will re-examine the works of Thomas Cole, who launched the Hudson River School, and who is thought to be the first proto-environmental artist in the United States, his student Frederic E. Church, who created national imagery during the Civil War era, and artists such as Albert Bierstadt, who celebrated Manifest destiny, encouraging white settlement in the American West, disrupting the homelands of Indigenous communities.
Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser earned an MA from the Cooperstown Graduate Programs in American folk culture and received her PhD from Boston University with a specialty in American paintings. She has curated, published, and lectured widely on the subject of American paintings. She served for over two decades in various roles at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, including deputy director, chief curator, and Krieble Curator of American paintings, where she organized and authored catalogues for major exhibitions ranging from Ralph Earl: The Face of the Young Republic, aspects of the Hudson River School, to Marsden Hartley. She was appointed the Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010, and oversees the American paintings collection, participating in its 2012 reinstallation. At The Met, she co-curated the exhibition Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today Mural Rediscovered (2014), The Met’s 2015 presentations of Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends and George Caleb Bingham and the River, and more recently, Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings (2018,) which also traveled to the National Gallery, London., and finally, The Met’s 2021 exhibition, Jules Tavernier and the Elem Pomo. She serves on a number of professional advisory Boards and panels, including the Thomas Cole Homestead and The Olana Partnership.
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