The Hudson River School: Landscape Paintings from the Albany Institute


The Albany Institute houses one of the largest collections of nineteenth-century American landscape paintings, works often associated with the term “Hudson River School.”

In 2017, eighty-three Hudson River School paintings were installed in the Christine and George R. Hearst III Gallery on the museum’s third floor. These landscapes, painted by renowned artists like Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey, Asher Durand, Sarah Cole, capture America’s scenic grandeur in all its magnificence from rugged coastal scenery to imposing mountains and rivers.

Many paintings in the Institute’s collection depict the nation during decades of transformation from a country of small towns and farms to one of industrial works and sprawling urban centers. The nation was also in the midst of rapid westward expansion and political conflict that reshaped its social identity and cultural outlook. Developments in transportation allowed artists to travel more widely, frequently beyond the nation’s borders, to Europe and more distant corners of the globe, and return to their home country with sketchbooks full of inspiration and new ideas. The paintings on view reveal a visual history of the United States during the nineteenth century, including its aspirations and growing nostalgia for a simpler and more harmonious past.

Gallery Guide

If you are visiting our galleries and interested in learning more about the paintings click here for a PDF of our exhibition labels.

Virtual Visit: 3D Tour of Hudson River School Exhibition

Unable to visit? Explore our collection of Hudson River School landscape paintings from home! Click on the project below or click here to explore in a new window.

3D Tour generously donated by Tom Nardacci.

Learn More About The Hudson River School

To learn more about the Hudson River School and how landscape art influenced American culture, visit our online exhibition The Making of the Hudson River School.

Exhibition Sponsors

The Albany Institute thanks the more than 225 donors who contributed to this exhibition. Major funding has been provided by Christine and George R. Hearst III, Lois and David Swawite and Omni Development Company, with additional support from Fenimore Asset Management, Inc., Keeler Motor Car Company, Herzog's Home and Paint Centers, Mrs. Arlen Westbrook, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Baldwin, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. James C. Goodfellow, Mr. William M. Harris and Ms. Holly A. Katz, Paul and Alane Hohenberg, Mr. Charles M. Liddle III, Robert and Doris Malesardi, Mr. and Mrs. Peter J. Maloy, Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence R. Marwill, Mr. George McNamee, Martha Waddell Olson, Professor and Mrs. Nicholas Robinson, Stuyvesant Plaza, Inc., and Mr. and Mrs. Bart Trudeau.

Programmatic and exhibition support is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.