Sanford R. Gifford in the Catskills is the name of an intimate, beautifully curated exhibition on view at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, New York. But the show could also have been subtitled Local Boy Makes Good.
Among members of the Hudson River School of painting, Sanford Robinson Gifford has long been considered one of the most brilliant painters of light and air.
The English-born artist Thomas Cole (1801–1848) tolerated no ill comparisons to his adopted home in upstate New York. As he wrote to a friend in 1842: “Must I tell you that neither the Alps nor the Apennines, no, nor even Aetna itself, have dimmed, in my eyes, the beauty of our own Catskills?”