Cole's Circle


Church, Frederic Edwin (1826-1900)

Hudson River School painter and student of Thomas Cole. In 1844, Daniel Wadsworth wrote to Cole, asking him to take the promising Church as a pupil. Church proved his worthiness, and within a year he was exhibiting landscapes at the National Academy of Design alongside his teacher. Church became famous for his monumental paintings of South America, exhibited to much excitement and acclaim in 1855. In 1860, Church bought a tract of land overlooking the Hudson River not far from Cedar Grove. He began building Olana, a "Persian"-style home that he largely designed himself. Olana is now a National Historic Landmark and open to the public. Church was devastated by Cole's sudden death in 1848; that year he painted To The Memory of Cole and taught Theodore Cole to farm and maintain Cedar Grove so that he could provide an income for Cole's widow, Maria Bartow, and their family. See Frederic E. Church.

Cooper, James Fenimore (1789-1851)

New York novelist and founder of the Bread and Cheese Club, Cooper was a contemporary of Cole's and a prominent figure in the development of an original American literary tradition. His series of Leatherstocking novels, such as The Pioneers (1823), included some of the first descriptions of the wild Catskill scenery and encouraged tourism to the area. In 1827, Cole created a series of paintings illustrating scenes from one of Cooper's most famous novels, The Last of the Mohicans (1826). See John Wesley Jarvis, Portrait of James Fenimore Cooper.

Cropsey, Jasper Francis (1823-1900)

Hudson River School painter and architect, who studied at the National Academy of Design in the 1840s. The work of Cole and Durand had a great impact on Cropsey, who often painted similar locations in New York, such as in Catskill Mountain House (1855) and Autumn on the Hudson River (1860). Like Frederic Church, Cropsey designed and built his own house and studio, named Aladdin, located in Warwick, New York. The house proved too costly to maintain, and Cropsey moved to Ever Rest in Hastings-on-Hudson where he adapted the Aladdin design into a studio addition. Ever Rest, like Cedar Grove and Olana, is now open to the public. See Jasper F. Cropsey.