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Autumn Issue of The Review

Issue 36.1 is out now

Oct 08, 2019

detail of 1976 USMA yearbook photo of black cadets posed formally

Autumn Issue of The Review

Certainly everyone in the Hudson River Valley is aware that 2019 is the fiftieth anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival. In June, The Hudson River Valley Institute held a conference commemorating the festival, and our cover article was presented there as part of a panel on Civil Rights and Black Power in the 1960s. Ty Seidule presents an episode of empowerment for black cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, illustrating both the result of the progressive thinking of the 1960s and the ongoing nature of our struggle to evolve as a society.

While the Woodstock Festival eventually landed in the town of Bethel, the organizers named it after the town that had been home to artist colonies since 1902. The Woodstock Artists Association was founded by a diverse group of artists in 1919 and is celebrating its centennial this year. Karen Quinn’s article on the Arthur C. Anderson Collection is a useful introduction for anyone unfamiliar with that original cast of artists and colonies; Bruce Weber’s discussion of their “quest for harmony” reminds us that even intentional communities have to work at it.

The artists of the original Woodstock colonies and the musicians and artists who attended the Woodstock Festival had a common love of nature, whether it was plein air painting in the Catskills or dancing in the mud on a Bethel farm. Years before either of them, Alfred B. Street roamed the woods of Sullivan County and wrote about their wonders; Andrew Higgins introduces us to this now-obscure champion of the Catskills and Adirondacks. Likewise, Jeanne Haffner introduces Edith Gifford and the role that she and the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs played in saving the forests of
the Palisades and creating the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) in 1900. The PIPC went on to create many more parks throughout New York, establishing Highland Lakes State Park in 1970; Spencer Hogan attests to the silent history that remains there under field, forest, and trail.

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