Hudson River School& Knickerbockers
Julia Giordano and Sarah VanLoh
Stop 1: Catskill, New York
Catskill, NY, situated in the heart of the Hudson River Valley, is the location which caused the founding of the Hudson River Group. In 1825, Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River Group, visited Catskill a painted the beautiful scenery which he saw there. The three paintings Cole painted in Catskill sold almost instantly.
The reason his landscape paintings were so popular among Americans was because they captured the essence and beauty of America. During this era, American's sense of national pride was beginning to grow, and America's unique and beautiful landscape was at the forefront of this pride. Americans were proud of their landscapes because the scenery was so uniquely American; they believed no other country had such magnificent nature. Therefore, in order to show off their growing sense of national pride, Americans began purchasing paintings which exemplified America's beautiful scenery. These increased purchases eventually led to the founding of the Hudson River Group, a collection of landscape painters who captured and manifested America's unique landscapes in their paintings.
Catskill Creek by Thomas Cole
The View on Catskill by Thomas Cole
Scene on Catskill Creek, New York by Frederic Church (another Hudson River Group artist; mentored by Cole)
Stop 2: Connecticut River, Massachusetts
Stop 3: Niagara Falls
Stop 4: Rocky Mountains
Stop 5: Tarrytown, New York
Irving's house was extremely important to him, and in order to finance his expensive house and grounds, Irving was a main contributor to the Knickerbockers. Sunnyside's atmosphere additionally influenced Irving's romantic style, to write stories such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Irving's romantic stories steered away from traditional European horror stories and instead were greatly influenced by American nature and landscapes. After the War of 1812, Americans began feeling more proud of their country and began celebrating unique American beliefs, traditions, and especially landscape and nature. This is reflected in Irving's stories which exemplify the beauty and uniqueness of American nature, and helped foster the growth of American nationalism. The stories caused Americans to be proud of their magnificent landscapes, which they believed no other country could match. Therefore, Irving's writings helped create a growing sense of American nationalism.