Early Life • Thomas Cole was born in 1801 at Bolton, Lancashire in Northwestern England. • Cole came with his family to the United States in the early 1818. They settled in Ohio. • Starting in portraiture, he shifted to landscapes. • In 1825 he moves to New York City.
He discovers the Valley • 1825- He discovered the beauty of the Catskills. • His collection of small paintings of the Catskills began to take notice in the NYC art scene. http://www.thomascole.org/thomas-cole-film
He Leaves for Europe • From 1829-1832, Cole returned to Europe for studies and business. • He met a large number of wealthy Americans, receiving many commissions. • His reputation and stature were slowly increasing • Cole returned to NYC in 1832 and mounted his collection of European paintings.
Catskill Studio • Afterwards, he established his first studio in Catskill, NY • While there, Cole met Luman Reed. He would make Cole his patron. • For Reed, Cole produced his best-known series of paintings- “The Course of Empire” (1836) • From 1835-1836, Cole stayed in Catskill to work on “The Course of Empire” • At this time, he began to express his concern for the impact of industrialization on the valley.
Family Life at Cedar Grove -On November 22, 1836, Cole married Maria Bartow in the West Cedar Grove, which became his come. -He and his wife would have five children.
Later Career… • In 1839, Cole began to produce 4 paintings called “The Voyage of Life” for Samuel Ward. • In 1841, Cole voyaged to Europe and he painted a second “Voyage of Life” in Italy.
Late life • Upon his return, Cole decided to become a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Catskill • He later designed a new church building for St. Luke’s and his friend Reverend Louis L. Noble • Around 1843, Cole began to worry about selling his paintings • He then turned to publishing a number of his letters and poems in NY papers and magazines
Late life • Around 1844, Cole began to accept students in his studio • In 1846, Cole began another series of paintings called “The Cross and the World” • Cole established a second studio. • Cole suffered an attack of pleurisy and congestion of his lungs and died on February 11, 1848