In January the Musée du Louvre in Paris opened “New Frontier: Thomas Cole and the Birth of Landscape Painting in America.” The exhibition is the first of a four-year collaboration devoted to American Art, with the Louvre, the High Museum of Art (Atlanta), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Arkansas), and the Terra Foundation for American Art. On Sunday, March 11 the Thomas Cole National Historic Site will welcome Guillaume Faroult, curator of the Department of Paintings, Musée du Louvre, and Dr. Bourguignon, associate curator from the Terra Foundation for American Art Europe, who will give a talk about the exhibition and groundbreaking collaboration. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is located in Catskill, New York.
In 1975 the Louvre acquired “The Cross in the Wilderness” one of only four paintings by an American Artist in the Louvre, and their only painting by Thomas Cole. The painting represents the culmination of the Cole’s reflection on the representation of a certain type of American landscape, both untouched and grandiose. Inspired by the sentiments expressed in contemporary American literature by writers such as James Fenimore Cooper and William Cullen Bryant, the works of Cole and those of his compatriot Asher B. Durand initiated a particularly new and fertile genre in the young school of American painting. In addition to the painting from the Louvre, five works drawn from the collections of the partner institutions have been selected for “New Frontier: Thomas Cole and the Birth of Landscape Painting in America.” These include the “Landscape with Figures: A Scene from The Last of the Mohicans” (Terra Foundation for American Art) painted by Cole in 1826 and considered one of the artist’s first masterpieces.