They’re here! Thanks to a generous donation by the Newington-Cropsey Foundation, the 19th-century Hudson River painters are taking up residence at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison in the form of a permanent art installation consisting of cast-bronze busts mounted on pedestals. Each bust features a sculptured portrait of one of the artists and, on the back, an informative plaque about that artist.
The Hudson River School Artists Garden, as the project is called, is a work in progress. Thus far Phase 1 is in place with the first four busts, appropriately, of the four best-known artists of the Hudson River School: Thomas Cole (1801-1848), the founder of the Hudson River School; Asher B. Durand (1796-1886), who influenced American art through his editorship of the important journal The Crayon as well as through his own paintings; Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), Cole’s pupil, whose magnificent estate, Olana, perches on the heights above the Hudson on the east side of the river, from which he was able to look across to Cole’s house in Catskill; and Jasper Cropsey (1823-1900), a gifted architect as well as painter, who, during his European tour, famously sent back to the States a request for some autumn leaves in order to prove that the fall foliage really is that colorful.
Creator of the installation is sculptor Greg Wyatt, a Hudson Valley native with an international reputation for his work.
When the project is completed, Cole, Durand, Church, and Cropsey (you can tell that they began with the most prominent artists) will be joined by six more, for a total of ten.
In the above photo you can see how the project thus far completed looks in situ. Below are photos of the individual busts. Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the Comments. My personal favorite is Durand; I like the way Greg Wyatt has captured the strength of his personality.
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Asher B. Durand