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“Excellent tour of Thomas Cole house and studio” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Thomas Cole National Historic Site
218 Spring Street, Catskill, NY 12414
+1 518-943-7465
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Ranked #1 of 8 Attractions in Catskill
Type: Historic Sites, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: Thomas Cole (1801-1848) founded the Hudson River School as one of America's premier landscape painters. Cedar Grove, his home in the historic Catskill region, was named a National Historic Site in 1999 and is open to the public today. Visitors can tour the grounds, see rotating exhibitions of Hudson River School art, and learn about the life of Thomas Cole.
Kutztown, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
1,619 reviews 1,619 reviews
895 attraction reviews
Reviews in 454 cities Reviews in 454 cities
1,529 helpful votes 1,529 helpful votes
“Excellent tour of Thomas Cole house and studio”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Thomas Cole was an Englishman who painted dramatic pictures of the Hudson Valley in New York. He lived in this house, called Cedar Grove, until he died at age 47 in 1848. Looking out from the front porch of house are great views of the beautiful mountains and the Hudson Valley. There is a 15 minute film of his life and work in the visitor center and 50 minute tours of the house every hour. We took the 3 PM tour and it was only the two of us--Samantha, the tour guide, was excellent--she talked about Cole's life, marriage, art work. There are original Cole paintings in the house, as well as a gallery with changing exhibits--the present one was paintings of Albert Bierstadt, who was famous for painting American landscapes. The tour also included time in Cole's studio in a separate building.

Admisssion is $10, $9 for seniors. If you have a National Park Service pass (Senior, Golden Eagle, etc.) the entrance fee is $5.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brattleboro, Vermont
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“An artist at home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

What a lovely home and such an interesting man. The house was beautifully preserved and the tour guide was very knowledgeable about the family and the artist. I particularly loved the parlor where he sold his pictures, and the devotion of his uncle-in-law to the talent of Cole, evidenced in his narrowing the staircase in the front hall to enable more customers to wait to be admitted to the parlor. The views from the house are stunning, although hard to see on the hazy day we were there, but even though the surrounding area is built up now, you can still get a small sense of what it might have been like when Cole and his family lived there.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tyringham
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Another glorious day visiting museums in the Hudson River Valley”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School of Art had his home Cedar Grove here in Catskill, NY. Beautiful home, wonderful views, small garden. had looked forward to this one in particular having been across the river to Olana (Frederick Church's wonderful house museum which is a marvel not to be missed. By comparison Cedar Grove is a big disappointment in that there were far more artists works exhibited than Thomas Cole's which is what we came for. The guide although well informed hurried us through telling us in no uncertain terms that we had to stay on schedule as another group would be following us. We were more interested in seeing Cole's work that hearing great detail of the furnishings. The house is well maintained but rather small. the tour is scheduled for 50 minutes. The gift shop although nice was rather pricey. The senior citizen entrance fee $9.00 We then drove on to see Clermont which is ten times nicer, and absolutely beautiful with a lot more history. Would more than just highly recommend that one. Also on the Hudson River. Elegant and brimming with history.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betsy218, Manager at Thomas Cole National Historic Site, responded to this review, November 1, 2013
We are so sorry that you felt rushed through the house when you visited the Thomas Cole Historic Site. We try to be sure that everyone has a truly wonderful experience here and we are so disappointed that yours was not the very best that it could be. It is true that we have many artworks by artists other than Thomas Cole, and we have done this because visitors have told us that they want to learn about the entire art movement that Cole founded, the Hudson River School. Each year we have a changing exhibition of 19th-century landscape paintings and we hope that you have an opportunity to come back one day.
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Poughkeepsie, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great Artist”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

The tour guide was wonderful. Extremely knowledgable and gave wonderful information about this brilliant artist and the life of the times.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“This is a winner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

My wife and I visited and took an informative tour of the house and grounds. In the same trip we also visited the Gen. Schuyler mansion in Albany and the Martin van Buren farm in Kinderhook. We had visited Olana on a previous trip. It's interesting to see the differences between an artist's residence and that of a politician or military man. There are a good number of paintings by Cole and others, particularly Bierstadt, on display. The view of the Catskills in the distance is remarkable.

Bring the kids? You know your children better than I do. You be the judge.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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