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The Hudson River School emerges
One of the first American art movements, the New York City-based Hudson River School focused on capturing the natural grandeur of the national landscape. Under the influence of the English immigrant Thomas Cole (1801–1848), painters such as Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902), Frederic E. Church (1826–1900), and later Asher B. Durand (1796–1886) incorporated a philosophy that viewed natural wilderness as reflective of a national spirit. Motives depicted, among others, the Yosemite Valley or the Grand Canyon. Though the earliest references to the term Hudson River School in the 1870s were used disparagingly, the label nonetheless characterized the artistic work, its New York base, its landscape subject matter, and, often literally, its subject. Some of the depictions influenced the Congressional creation of the world's first national park in 1872, Yellowstone, in an effort to preserve the school's inspiration and subject matter.
- Wilton, Andrew, and Tim Barringer. American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1820–1880. London: Tate, 2002.