Course code:



A - Advanced

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • ADS - Arts & Design Studio

Lab fee:


Typically offered:

Upon occasion

This course will explore artist materials, ideology, and techniques of the Hudson River School Painters alongside contemporary post-studio practice that critiques and expands our notions of the accomplishments of the Hudson River School artists. In this mixed media course, students’ subjects and methods will be inspired by the traditions of the Hudson River School but can be approached with broader contemporary concerns that support, complicate, or interrogate the ideals held by this uniquely original group of American artists. Students will create and prepare painting supports, paper, etching plates, and other base media in weeks zero and one so that they will be ready to work upon return from each field trip expedition. In the field students will employ the documentary methods of the Hudson River painters that includes journals, drawing, watercolor, pastel and oil sketches. We will also use photography as a source medium. On campus students will learn about historical pigments and binders to mix their own paint. They will develop their field sketches in ways similar to the Hudson River School—where close observation in the field will mingle with ambitious imaginative interpretations of the landscape as a metaphor. We will discuss the visual compositional strategies of using atmospheric light, symbolism, allegory, representation of particular natural specimens, scale, meteorological phenomena, color psychology, chiaroscuro, and active compositions. In the field we will meet with internationally known and highly regarded contemporary artists that work within the milieu of the Hudson River School these may include Mark Dion, Walton Ford, Alexis Rockman, Fred Tomaselli, and Hope Ginsburg. They will discuss the issues that arise for the students and expand our critical understanding of this iconic American period of artistic production to provide even more creative models and strategies for students’ work. Evaluations will be based on the degree to which students are able to coherently articulate their ideas concerning their process, technique, work, vision, and context for their work.  This course requires concurrent registration with AF5029 The Range of Sublimity in the Artist Mind (Clinger) and AD5031 Journey into Substance (Foley/Clinger).


An intermediate drawing or painting class, and permission of instructor.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.