Huntsville, Ala. – The Huntsville Museum of Art (HMA) is proud to announce the opening of the latest traveling exhibition, Painting a Nation: Hudson River School Landscapes from the Higdon CollectionPainting a Nation will be on view at HMA now through January 7, 2018.

Painting a Nation: Hudson River School Landscapes from the Higdon Collection features significant American artists from the Hudson River School style of painting, including Albert Bierstadt, William Bradford, Jasper Francis Cropsey, William Hart, William Trost Richards and many others. The majority of the works depict scenes of New York State and include paintings of the Hudson River, Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains region.  However, the second generation of Hudson River School painters extended their visual reach into areas along the Atlantic Coast and Far West, reflecting the expansion of the United States during the mid-nineteenth century.  Together, these paintings celebrate the picturesque beauty of our nation and reflect the collective desire of the Hudson River painters to develop a uniquely American visual language, independent of European schools of painting.

“The Huntsville Museum of Art is thrilled to host Painting a Nation, which includes beautiful examples of Hudson River School paintings,” said Christopher Madkour, Executive Director of HMA.  “We hope the community takes advantage of this opportunity to view such an impressive and historic collection of paintings while it is in Huntsville.”

Natives of New York, Ann and Lee Higdon developed an interest in art during their teenage years. They often visited museums and found themselves drawn to paintings of the Hudson River School. After marrying and purchasing a nineteenth-century home overlooking the Hudson, they began to collect paintings of the Hudson River School in the 1980s. For nearly forty years, their interest in this artistic period has endured, resulting in the collection of works on view in this exhibition.

The Museum hosted a Lecture and Reception to celebrate the opening of Painting a Nation on October 19th.  UAH’s Dr. David Stewart discussed the Hudson River School and the American Dream to a sold-out crowd. Following the lecture, guests enjoyed light hors d’oeuvres hosted by the Huntsville Museum of Art Guild.

The next event for Painting a Nation will be a Highlight Tour on Sunday, January 7th at 2 p.m.  This guided tour will be free to Museum members and included in the price of admission for non-members.

For more information about Painting a Nation and to view other exhibitions that are on display at HMA, visit or call 256.535.4350.


About Hudson River School

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, American artists looked to Europe for both aesthetic themes and painterly methods of depicting the world around them. This began to change in the early decades of the nineteenth century as artists adapted European aesthetics to develop a distinctly American landscape narrative.  The name Hudson River School, originally intended to be disparaging, was coined to identify a group of landscape artists living in New York City, several of whom built homes on the Hudson River. The term has evolved beyond regional expression and is now generally accepted to describe nineteenth-century American landscape painting. Hudson River School is the first native school of painting in the United States.

 About the Huntsville Museum of Art

The Huntsville Museum of Art is a non-profit municipal corporation established by the City of Huntsville, Alabama, and governed by a city-appointed Museum Board.  The Museum seeks to foster understanding of the visual arts and appreciation of artistic achievement.  In addition to its galleries and exhibitions, the Museum offers art classes for children and adults along with special programs, lectures and musical presentations.  Rental space is also available for weddings, meetings and other events. The views and opinions expressed by Voices of Our Times speakers do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Huntsville Museum of Art or its sponsors.