Palenville, Clove Valley, Catskill Mountains

Thomas Cole (1801-1848)
Date: c. 1835
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Dimensions: 7 H x 11 1/4 W

Inscribed in pencil lower center: Palensville Clove Valley Cattskill Mountains

Provenance: Descended in the Cole Family to Mrs. Florence H.Cole Vincent, the artist's granddaughter.
Credit: Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase
Accession Number: 1948.20.2

Palenville is a village at the foot of the Catskill (or Kaaterskill) Clove. The Kaaterskill Creek flows through the town, and several waterfalls are nearby. At the time Cole drew this, Palenville was home to the Barton Turning Mill, an early major industry. While European landscapes contained ancient ruins steeped in history and tradition, Cole felt that the newer American architecture had merit too. He wrote of mills as American castles, adding, "in future ages they shall tell the tale of the enterprises and industry of the present generation" [standing as] monuments of the triumphs of peace and liberty."