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detail from Asher B. Durand's landscape painting

Photo Credit: The Metropolitan Museum

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The Hudson River Valley has a rich history of art, dating back to the colonial era. Blessed with a beauty that rivals the English countryside, colonists seeking creative glory took inspiration from the grandiose landscape and flocked to the area. Writers, poets, painters, architects, composers, and more all resided within the region; developing culture in the arts. The artists even created a distinct style and content that evolved into what could be considered America's only school of art, proving that the country was more than an untamed colony.

There is much to explore about the arts in the Hudson River Valley. The goal of these pages is to provide helpful images, essays, articles, and links to regional resources encompassing all eras and areas of artistic expression. Discover the various estates, museums, organizations, theaters, and more on the art page. Examine painters like Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and Jasper F. Cropsey and their contributions to creating a unique art style on the Hudson River School page. Read about authors like Edgar Allan Poe, who spent time at West Point, Poets such as John Ashbery, and publishing houses still inhabiting the area on the Literature page. Look through the different architectural styles that provide the area with a unique and enchanting character on the Architecture page. Even learn about composers, ensambles, and venues on our music page. With so much history there is much to absorb about the Hudson River Valley's contribution to America's artistic culture.

Today, the arts are just as important to the region as they were at its inception. Due to a close proximity to New York City, many artists still enjoy the beauty of the Hudson River Valley's wilderness. Many creative types choose to remain within the area as well. With studios, photographers, sculptors, dancers, and actors all throughout the 150 mile long valley, the area has not lost its cultural roots. This page is meant to celebrate those roots, and support the next generation of Hudson River Valley artists.

- Lauren Brinckerhoff Glick, Marist ‘19


Read about a local WPA project,  Murals In The Hyde Park Post Office By Olin Dows, and take a Virtual Tour of Murals at Hyde Park Post Office.


In 2009, Julia D'Angelo, an intern at the Hudson River Valley Institute, undertook a survey of all the post office murals in our region that were done as a part of the WPA. She compiled a field report of these trips and then created one updated mural image for each of the post offices visited (Beacon, Ellenville, Hyde Park, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, and Wappingers).


In 2017, Gabi Perpignand, the Frank T. Bumpus Intern at the Hudson River Valley Institute visited the Francis Lehman Loeb Art Gallery at Vassar College with the intent to learn more about the paintings exhibited that were submitted as part of the WPA. She wrote a blog post about her interview with curator, Patricia Phagan, and created a photo slideshow of the paintings.