Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Nature and The Smith-Telfer Photography Collection

By John Hart, Assistant Curator of Collections

I had a pleasant surprise during NYSHA’s Annual Meeting recently involving the work I used to do for Rights and Reproductions for Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum. David Stradling, author of The Nature of New York: An Environmental History of the Empire State, was the keynote presenter this year and discussed the examination of the idealized landscapes of the Hudson River School artists.

It was a fascinating presentation and before he even began, he took a moment to thank me for the images I provided him from the Smith-Telfer Photography Collection for his book! I would get thank you notes once in a while, but have never been thanked, let alone acknowledged, in a university professor’s presentation before. It was certainly unexpected, greatly appreciated, and a privilege to help him with his book project.

If you have an interest in environmental history, The Nature of New York: An Environmental History of the Empire State, is certainly a book you should consider reading. And since the weather is starting to cooperate (maybe I should knock on wood now…), go out and enjoy the nature that David writes about. There’s nothing like a nice hike up a mountain to see what the great artists of the Hudson River School admired so greatly.

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