Features December 2019
Landscapes, Quaker & otherwise
On “From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic,” at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
One can enjoy an exhibition while rejecting its central premise, as one must when the art on the walls does not support that premise. “From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic,” at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, postulates a Philadelphia-centered “Schuylkill River School” that “gave birth to the better-known Hudson River School.”1 The exhibition strives mightily to show the continuity between the two, in the process revealing a fundamental discontinuity. As it happens, that discontinuity is itself fascinating.
The Hudson River School is the wildly popular school of landscape painting that flourished in antebellum...
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