Cole's Circle


Wadsworth, Daniel (1771-1848)

Son of a wealthy merchant, Wadsworth used his sizable inheritance to support charities and the arts. In 1844, he founded the Wadsworth Atheneum, a vast repository of artwork in Hartford, Connecticut, which includes many of Thomas Cole's paintings. See E.B. and E.C. Kellogg, Wadsworth Atheneum, Main Street, Hartford (c. 1842-6). Wadsworth met Cole through his uncle-in-law, John Trumbull, in 1826, and the two men quickly become friends, maintaining correspondence for many years. Wadsworth was a kind and beneficent patron of Cole throughout his career, and Mount Etna from Taormina (1843) was acquired by his newly established museum in 1844. See Thomas Sully, Daniel Wadsworth.

Wall, William Guy (1792-1864)

Irish-born landscapist who moved to New York in 1818 and painted the Hudson River Valley during the summer of 1820. Engravings after Wall's topographical watercolors were featured in John Hill's Hudson River Portfolio, one of the first collections of American landscape views. After the book's publication, Wall continued to split his time between Ireland and New York and was one of the founding members of the National Academy of Design.

Ward, Samuel (1786-1839)

Successful New York banker and member of the Federalist aristocracy. Ward, an Evangelical Christian and the first president of the New York Temperance Society, shared religious convictions with Cole, a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Catskill. Ward was deeply concerned about the evils of society and commissioned Cole to create his great series The Voyage of Life (1839-40) for his personal art gallery in New York City, with the hopes that the paintings would instruct his children and his guests in Christian morals. See Abraham Hosier, The Residence of Samuel Ward, Sr.