Press Release

Hinchey, Gillibrand Introduce Resolutions Honoring the Hudson River School Painters

Sep 22, 2009

Washington, DC — Congressman
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this week
introduced identical resolutions in the House and Senate, recognizing
and honoring the painters of the Hudson River School — a mid-19th
century American art movement led by a group of landscape painters,
whose aesthetic vision was influenced by the romantic movement.

Hudson River School painters helped share the natural beauty of the
Hudson River Valley with the rest of the country and the world,”
Hinchey said. “The magnificence of this art is so powerful that it
helped inspire the environmental movement in the United States and is
credited with helping to encourage the development of the national park
system.  Given the school’s national significance, it’s only fitting
that we honor the painters of this extraordinary movement in both the
House and Senate.  Passage of this resolution will appropriately honor
the contributions they made to our country and help gain even more
attention for these remarkable pieces of art.”

artists of the Hudson River School used their skills and vision to
highlight the natural beauty and breathtaking scenery of the Hudson
River,” said Gillibrand. “The paintings inspired by the waters and
peaks of the Hudson are among the finest produced by American painters
which continue to inspire new generations of artists and draw thousands
of visitors to the region.  The resolution recognizes the artistic
contribution of the region to the arts in America.”

as the first school of American Art, the Hudson River School paintings
are renowned for their striking naturalistic landscape and sweeping
beauty of the Hudson River Valley and the surrounding New York areas,
including the Catskill, Adirondack, and the White Mountains.  The
paintings of those landscapes helped influence the environmental
conservation movement and the establishment of the national park system
under President Theodore Roosevelt.

major Hudson River School painters included: Thomas Cole, Frederic
Edwin Church, Asher Brown Durand, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sanford
Robinson Gifford, Albert Bierstadt, John Frederick Kensett, George
Inness, Worthington Whittredge, and Thomas Moran.

addition to natural landscapes, the painters depicted the Hudson River
Valley during the opening of the Erie Canal which linked the Hudson
River with the Great Lakes, and created a main trade route from New
York that fostered the city’s central place in the American economy. 
The painters helped celebrate the ideals of American democracy,
individuality, and progress while illustrating themes such as nature,
conservation, civility, unity, education, family, chivalry, and

recently secured $143,449 in funding from Congress for the Samuel
Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz to host a Hudson River School
exhibit that includes a large educational component for area schools, a
symposium that brings in national scholars, and a publication.  Funds
are also being used for the conservation of the paintings.  Prior to
the exhibit opening in July, the museum had approximately 20 visitors
each day.  The museum now has 80-100 visitors per day.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is an original cosponsor of the bill in
the Senate.  U.S. Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY), John Hall (D-NY),
Eric Massa (D-NY), Scott Murphy (D-NY), and José Serrano (D-NY) are original cosponsors in the House.