Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Mount Tremper in Ulster County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Inspiring the American Imagination

The Catskill Mountains

 
 
Inspiring the American Imagination Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 3, 2019
1. Inspiring the American Imagination Marker
(left panel)
Inscription.  The imposing presence of the Catskills beside the Hudson River inspired America's first creative expressions in writing and painting.

In 1825, Thomas Cole (1801 -1848) first painted and sketched the romantic and sublime mountains, cloves and creeks of the Catskill Mountains.

Asher B. Durand (1796-1886) was among many artists who followed Cole into the Catskill Mountains. Their paintings were imbued with a spiritual sense of wonder celebrating nature and are recognized as the Hudson River School of painting, active through the 1800s.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1848) wrote that a house he visited atop Kaaterskill Clove… seemed high placed, airy, and perfumed, fit to entertain a traveling god… It was the very light and atmosphere in which works of Grecian art were composed, and in which they rest.

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site at Cedar Grove in Catskill offers the Hudson River School Art Trail with an online brochure matching paintings and present views. Visit www.thomascole.org.

Catskill Region Art Colonies:
Drawn by
Inspiring the American Imagination Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 3, 2019
2. Inspiring the American Imagination Marker
(right panel)
the beauty of the Catskill Mountains, artists arrived and communities formed in favored locations: Palenville in the 1830s, at Cragsmoor near Ellenville, Pakataken in Arkville, Onteora Park and Twilight Park near Haines Falls in the 1880s, Byrdcliffe in Woodstock in 1903, and the Maverick in West Hurley in 1904.

Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead’s Byrdcliffe opened in 1903 with the Byrdcliffe School of Art in the present Byrdcliffe Theater building. It was the first art school in the Hudson Valley and is today a National Register site with 30 unique picturesque buildings on 300 wooded acres.

John Burroughs, a Catskills Naturalist
The celebration of nature is felt in the writings of John Burroughs (1827-1921), born in Roxbury in Delaware County. The Catskills helped inspire him to become one of America's great naturalists who helped lead the conservation movement at a critical time in the nation's history. He visited all the Catskill Art Colonies.

Hervey White, a Catskills Character
In 1902 artist Bolton Brown brought Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead and Hervey White to Woodstock. In 1904 Hervey White, writer, social reformer and iconoclast, left staid Byrdcliffe to establish The Maverick Art Colony in nearby West Hurley, along what is now Maverick Road.

Beginning in 1916 raucous festivals to raise funds for the Maverick Colony presaged
Marker detail: Thomas Cole, <i>The Clove</i>, oil, c. 1826 image. Click for full size.
Courtesy New Britain Museum of Art, Charles F. Smith Fund
3. Marker detail: Thomas Cole, The Clove, oil, c. 1826
the ebullient spirit of the Woodstock Festival.

Paintings of the Woodstock School
With the establishment of Byrdcliffe and the opening of the Art Students League summer school in 1906, the 20th century Woodstock School style of landscape painting — more modern than the 19th-century Hudson River School style became influential.

Music in the Catskills: Folk, Rock and Roots
Camp Woodland brought city children to Phoenicia from 1939 to 1962. The progressive, integrated camp stressed folkways and folk music, with annual visitor Pete Seeger teaching, performing and leading songs. Camp Director Norman Studer compiled Folk Songs of the Catskills and Catskill Mountain Songbook.

While the "Borscht Belt" of the southern Catskills was known for entertainment at hotels like Grossinger's and the Concord in Sullivan County, in the late 1960s, young musicians flocked to the Woodstock area in Ulster County. In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair which was staged at Max Yasgur's farm at White Lake in Sullivan County took its inspiration from the cultural energy in Woodstock.

Artists, musicians, writers and actors continue to live and work in the Catskills.
The Woodstock Artists Association and Museum dates from the 1920s and has hundreds of active members. Many galleries and arts organizations in the region
Marker detail: Asher B. Durand, <i>High Point: View of the Shandaken Mountains</i> oil, 1853 image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resources NY
4. Marker detail: Asher B. Durand, High Point: View of the Shandaken Mountains oil, 1853
The ridge of the Catskills from High Point up the Esopus Valley was known as the Shandaken Mountains. Durand's view of High Point depicts the area of the valley now the site of the Ashokan Reservoir.
feature artists of all types, with communities supporting fine and performing arts presented at the Catskill Mountain Foundation in Hunter, the Roxbury Arts Group in Roxbury, the Erpf Gallery in Arkville, Arts Upstairs in Phoenicia, and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in Woodstock. The Woodstock School of Art now operates at the historic Art Students League campus.


 
Erected by Catskill Interpretive Center.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment.
 
Location. 42° 1.724′ N, 74° 16.353′ W. Marker is in Mount Tremper, New York, in Ulster County. Marker is on New York State Route 28 ¾ mile south of New York State Route 212, on the left when traveling south. Marker is located at the west corner of the Catskills Visitor Center interpretive kiosk. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5096 New York 28, Mount Tremper NY 12457, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Catskill Communities (here, next to this marker); Firetowers (here, next to this marker); Catskill History (here, next to this marker); Fort Shandaken (approx. 0.3 miles away); Catskill Mountains - Shandaken Area (approx. 1.9 miles away); Phoenicia Station Centennial
Marker detail: <i>Rip van Winkle</i> by Thomas Locker image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: Rip van Winkle by Thomas Locker
Washington Irving (1783-1859) wrote in Rip Van Winkle that "Rip looked down into a deep mountain glen, wild, lonely, and shagged…" describing Kaaterskill Clove, scene of Cole's The Clove.
(approx. 4 miles away); Shandaken Eagle (approx. 4.3 miles away); Mount Tremper Fire Tower (approx. 4.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mount Tremper.
 
Marker detail: John Burroughs at Woodchuck Lodge, Roxbury image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Woodchuck Lodge, Inc.
6. Marker detail: John Burroughs at Woodchuck Lodge, Roxbury
In Locusts and Wild Honey (1874) he wrote of a Catskill Stream: My eyes had never before beheld such beauty in a mountain stream. The water was almost as transparent as air — was, indeed, like liquid air; and as it lay in these wells and pits enveloped in shadow, or lit up by a chance ray of the vertical sun, it was a perpetual feast to the eye — so cool, so deep, so pure; every reach and pool like a vast spring.
Marker detail: Paintings of the Woodstock School image. Click for full size.
7. Marker detail: Paintings of the Woodstock School
Trees, Milton Avery, 1956, watercolor
November, Zulma Steele, c. 1916, oil
Ashokan Dam, Arnold Wiltz, 1930, oil
Wintry Glen, John F. Carlson, c. 1922, oil
Ashokan Scarlet, Robert Selkowitz, 1997, pastel
Marker detail: Eric Weissberg image. Click for full size.
By Robert Selkowitz
8. Marker detail: Eric Weissberg
Eric Weissberg in 2010 at his Woodstock home with the old Camp Woodstock sign he recovered from a roadside ditch in the early 1970s. His lessons with Pete Seeger paid off. Eric is best known for his platinum recording of Dueling Banjos, featured on the “Deliverance” soundtrack.
Marker detail: Jay Ungar image. Click for full size.
9. Marker detail: Jay Ungar
Jay Ungar’s Ashokan Farewell has become an anthem for the Catskill Mountains. The Ashokan Center is an environmental education campus near the Ashokan reservoir and the site of Jay and Molly's Fiddle and Dance workshops.
Marker detail: The Band in Bearsville in 1968 image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Elliott Landy
10. Marker detail: The Band in Bearsville in 1968
(left to right) Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson. The Band played at the 1969 Woodstock Festival Art and Music Fair. Levon Helm remains a long-time Woodstock resident.
Marker detail: Bob Dylan, <i>Nashville Skyline</i> album cover, 1969, Byrdcliffe image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Elliott Landy
11. Marker detail: Bob Dylan, Nashville Skyline album cover, 1969, Byrdcliffe
Dylan resided in Woodstock in the late 1960s, living at Byrdcliffe and later on Ohayo Mountain. Elliott Landy had a series of playful photo sessions with Dylan in 1968 and 1969.
Inspiring the American Imagination Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 3, 2019
12. Inspiring the American Imagination Marker
(New York State Route 28 in background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 24, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on March 24, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on March 25, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Paid Advertisement
Apr. 7, 2020