American Arcadia: Thomas Cole at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sam Ben-Meir – April 24, English-born Thomas Cole (1801-1848) is arguably America’s first great landscape painter – the founder of the Hudson River School, the painter who brought a romantic sensibility to the American landscape, and sought to preserve the rapidly disappearing scenery with panoramas that invoke the divinity in nature. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Thomas Cole: Atlantic Crossings” is an astounding exhibition featuring a painter of extraordinary power and vision, underscoring his environmentalism and the deep sense of loss that pervades many works as he reflects on deforestation, the intrusion of the railroad, and the vanishing beauty of the untrammeled wilderness.

Like J. M. W. Turner, whose

Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at