All in Art

An Immigrant, an Artist and an American Mythmaker

Two hundred years ago 17-year-old Thomas Cole emigrated from England to the United States, where he would revolutionize painting in his new country by creating “wild landscapes that were unmistakably American.” Born at the onset of the industrial revolution, Cole discovered in the American wilderness an antidote to the polluted rivers, poisoned air, and exploited working people that he had witnessed in the land of his birth.

It’s worth thinking about these days, especially today, which honors a man who dedicated his life to protesting laws – of segregation and Jim Crow, of intimidation and all-white juries – that brutally contradicted the principles on which this country was supposedly founded.