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Exhibition shows new ways of seeing two iconic rivers: The Hudson and England's ancient Thames
Robert Havell, Jr. (1793-1878), Hudson River North to Croton Point, 1851. Oil on canvas, 37 x 51 inches. Collection of the Ossining Historical Society.
NEW YORK, NY.- In the late 18th century, British artists developed the large-scale panorama, all-encompassing bird’s-eye views of the rivers and their lands that made humans seem the center of the universe. Popular planetarium visions for the 19th century audience, they are the roots of today’s big screen immersive film experiences.

By the early 19th century, painters such as Robert Havell Jr., who emigrated from London to New York, exemplify the influx of English artists who influenced a shared Anglo-American panoramic vocabulary as well as the evolution of American landscape painting. Havell’s work, (who also created many of the landscapes for Audubon’s famous birds) includes panoramic publications and paintings of the Hudson River and the Thames like other artists in this exhibition such as Thomas Cole (Father of the Hudson River School), and noted artists Jasper Cropsey and John Kensett, who favored the chain of cities, suburbs, and countryside along these two rivers, where horizontal planes and historical associations gave form to both artistic and cultural expression.

The Panoramic River features major loans from more than two dozen museums, galleries, and private collections. Museums lending paintings include: The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The New-York Historical Society; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Baltimore Museum of Art; Yale Center for British Art; The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College; Maryland State Archives; Morgan Library & Museum, Williams College Museum of Art; and Princeton University Art Museum.

The Panoramic River, organized by Hudson River Museum, is co-curated by Bartholomew Bland, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Laura Vookles, Chief Curator of Collections. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with additional essays by Pat Hardy, Curator of Paintings, Prints and Drawings, Museum of London and Geoff Snell, Doctoral Student, University of Sussex and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England.



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