Why The Hudson River School Of Art Is Significant

Why The Hudson River School Of Art Is Significant

The Hudson River School of Art was America's entrance into the field to challenge Europe.

The Hudson River School of Art offers a look at America's first artistic movement. Its 19th-century pastoral landscape style and appreciation of the environment is important in today's digital age and climate concerns.

English immigrant Thomas Cole has received the honor of founding the movement, which begins upon his 1825 New York City arrival. Literature, often a precursor to subjects of art, had a dedicated interest in nature at this time. Naturally, Cole had aspired to paint landscapes and used previous American artists for reference from time spent in other states. Cole did not abandon his national origin, and it is visible in his style. Celebrating Romanticism's hazy lustful colors and the British tendency to intensify nature are evident.

By this time, Europe was dominating the art world. It was a hub for movements, techniques, and academics. Creatives flocked to its bustling cities, hoping to get work and fame. America had idled by and was more of a gracious consumer and observer. This shows what immigrants bring: a diverse and different approach. Producing art was natural to his home country, where the likes of J.W. Turner hang on walls today and was an idol to Cole.

Most of its 25 to 50 artists belonged to the National Academy, where they attended the same organizations and worked in proxemics. They have been likened to the first art fraternity. The Hudson River would come into play when most choose to relocate there. Like its namesake, these artists did depict the Hudson River in their work. However, the name itself is rather unfitting. This movement is far more than that. Areas and subjects were quite diverse, including the Catskills and Adirondacks mountains.

Running in sync, the Erie Canal had just opened to the public, allowing for travel into new territories. Passing through the grounds had impacted some new to the entire country. Paint tubes did not exist yet, which meant artists worked from recollection in their studios. The resulting creations explore the peace nature offers, life without humans present.

Solitude and serene landscapes track dancing animals playing amongst themselves. It is an ode to our roots, retreating from the increasing industrial age of machines and pollution. There is immense simplicity, staying within the realm of realism. This counteracts with art breaking at the seams, seeking to elevate art as more than documentation.

Works were made by venturing out into lands of grass and flowing trees and keenly observing what awaits them. Nature was the model. The delight from readings of others' journeys into an unknown land and the spiritual connection with Earth's boundless and neutrality fueled these artists. It was very much a soul search to them and the act of seeing played in just as much as the painting itself.

Not all scenes, however, actually existed. Again, this was done to wish away mankind and reimagine lands desecrated by human expansion or litter. Landscapes had been known to artists for ages, yet it remained an under-explored topic. From Ancient Greeks depicting Olympian Gods to the Renaissance painters humanizing religious texts, the narrative was prized. Here, a subject is clear but there is no typical action.

Forest and mountains in everyday life were seen as prime land to build houses on and domesticate. Having a philosophy that untouched nature was majestic, beautiful and not to be feared countered American society. Trees were something to gaze upon and hear sway, not be chopped down for new paper. The Hudson River School of Art would be credited with validating wilderness to Americans.

Women would find time to shine here. Art was a profession only to men, and academic teaching on the likes of shading and tone mostly rejected women. To the schools, admitting women would be wasting a seat since they had no career potential. Furthermore, nude figure drawing classes did not allow females, causing those lucky enough to be educated to miss out on important anatomical knowledge.

This certainly did not dissuade some women, who managed to get under the wings of Cole and educator Fitz Henry Lane. Painting was an act of presence for these women and as close as they could get to being artists. Their works, however, have been left out of major tellings of The Hudson River School of Art until recent decades.

As usual, this movement would end. Its ending would follow the Civil War, a shift from British to French cultural admiration, and figures again dominating subject. Attention to The Hudson River School of Art has fallen in and out of flavor. A resurgence, however, has been found in the 21st century. Passion to preserve what is seen and admiring nature's fragile existence is attributed to growing environmental concerns.

Cover Image Credit: Richard Howe / Flickr

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I Inherited Blue Eyes And I Fell In Love With Them

Those blue doors sparkle / Those blue doors shine / Once in a lifetime / Yes, they are mine.


Those Blue Doors

Those blue doors sparkle

Those blue doors shine

Once in a lifetime

Yes, they are mine.

Those blue doors

Give me a peace

A sense a treasure

This sense of mist.

To me an angel

To you is nothing

Together the blue doors

Give us more something.

That calm stare, ravishing

I felt my heart go

Beating at such pace

No one will know.

Those blue doors opened

Letting silent words speak

Reading thy loving thoughts

Matchable to my heartbeat.

I hear your love

As blue doors blink

Hands on the chest

Myself incapable to think.

Is this love worthy?

Blue doors speak, please

My questions are blank

Not sure I'll breathe.

Those blue doors

Those blue doors

I beg don't stop

Stare through my wounds

The beat may stop.

Those blue doors.

Yes, those blue doors

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