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Where Art Meets Music: Wilderness, Civilization, and the Hudson River School

December 9, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

$5 – $15

The NBMAA is excited to present a new series that looks at the unique intersection of the visual arts and music. Using our permanent collection as inspiration, musicians and scholars will interpret select periods of artistic and musical innovation in America and abroad.

In November of 1825, Thomas Cole exhibited three landscapes that marked the beginning of the Hudson River School. Cole’s works stood in stark contrast to the gentle, pastoral images created by his predecessors, as they portrayed the wildness and beauty inherent in the untouched, American landscape. Cole attracted a group of followers, and over the next 50 years, these Hudson River School artists explored the magnificence of the native scenery, depicting America’s enormous expanses of unexploited land as one of the nation’s greatest treasures. In the end, the Hudson River School helped to fundamentally shift how Americans viewed “wilderness” and “nature.”

During this time period, American composers such as Anthony Philip Heinrich found inspiration in America’s great natural landscape, much like the Hudson River School artists. Following lengthy journeys throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky, Heinrich composed program music reflective of his journeys and surroundings. Similar to Cole’s groundbreaking depiction of landscapes, Heinrich’s compositions were innovative through his exploration of new forms, such as theme and variation, and usage of Native American themes.

Join Dr. Henry Adams, The Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University of Cleveland, as he tracks how these paintings helped reshape our concepts of American wilderness, and are paralleled in other forms of musical expression in this period. Piano and vocal performance led by Dr. Neely Bruce, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, composer, performer, and scholar of American Music.

Funding for Where Art Meets Music is generously provided by the Richard P. Garmany Fund, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.


December 9, 2018
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
$5 – $15
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New Britain Museum of American Art
(860) 229-0257


New Britain Museum of American Art
56 Lexington St.
New Britain, CT 06052 United States
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(860) 229-0257