November 9, 2011 – January 6, 2012
Closed: November 24 – 27; December 24 – January 2, 2012 

Wild Land

“Nature has spread for us a rich and delightful banquet. Shall we turn from it?” Thomas Cole 

Wild Land, Thomas Cole, and the Birth of American Landscape Painting explores the story of Thomas Cole’s role as an artistic and cultural pioneer who helped give rise to the emerging concept of the American nation. This young Englishman saw something in the American wilderness that many Americans themselves did not yet see. 

Using a combination of large-scale banner graphics, immersive environments, media features, and other interactive strategies, Wild Land takes audiences on a journey with Cole through the story of his creative process. From an itinerant portrait artist to the founder of the Hudson River School, this landscape artist transformed sketches from nature into a new vision of the wilderness. This exhibition examines how the meaning of nature has changed over time into a source for creative and intellectual inspiration and how societies come to value the concept of preservation and live in balance with natural resources. 

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