The Hudson at Piermont, 1852
Jasper F. Cropsey
SLAM, Saint Louis
I’ve never taken a shine to American art pre-1900, though I’m not exactly sure why. I think I’ve unfairly grouped all American art into Americana or the Wild West. I would always breeze through the American art galleries at SLAM. My “European Sensibilities” clouded my eyes when it came to looking at early American Art.
As I started discovering Hubert Robert this past year, the name Hudson River School kept popping up in the back of my head. I knew a little about that group of artists, mainly that they did a lot of landscape painting. I was so deeply enamored with appreciating European landscape painting however, I’ve never really given in to finding out what that name truly represented.
Fast forward to last weekend. Maria and I went to SLAM so I could see the Roberts on view (most accommodating girlfriend ever). While we were there, I was reminded I hadn’t been upstairs since they opened the new modern wing and switched everything around. I had no idea that’s where they had hung the American art.
Nestled toward the back, in the galleries that once held Abstract Expressionism, were some of the best landscapes I’ve seen in a long time. Honestly, aside from Robert, they were some of the best landscapes SLAM had to offer, and they were from the Hudson River School.
So now I’m obsessed with finding out more about the artists of the Hudson River School. Like I said, I don’t know much about the group, so I’m looking forward to catching up on what made them famous. The pieces on display at SLAM couldn’t have been a better spark to finally get me to look into this nagging I’ve had for quite some time.