Telephone Lecture series

Thursday, January 13, 2011
7 p.m. EST

Randall Griffey

"New Thoughts on Old Favorites: Thomas Cole's Past and Present"

Randall Griffey, Curator of American Art, Mead Art Museum

This presentation reveals new research on two of the Mead’s most popular and well-known works, Past and Present (1838) by Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole.  Curator of American Art Randy Griffey discusses these memorable paintings in context of historical events of the day that may have shaped the artist’s vision, including the great New York fire of 1835 and the financial crash of 1837.

Randall R. Griffey is Curator of American Art at the Mead Art Museum, where he oversees one of the strongest collections of historical American art held by an academic institution.  He was previously Associate Curator of American Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, Missouri).  His publications and research have focused on American modernism and on the art of Marsden Hartley particularly.  His recent article, “Marsden Hartley’s Aryanism: Eugenics in a Finnish-Yankee SaunaAmerican Art 22:2 (Summer 2008), 64–84, received the prize "Outstanding Article, Catalogue Essay, or Extended Catalogue Entry of 2008" from the Association of Art Museum Curators.  Griffey is also contributing author of The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: American Paintings to 1945 (2007), among other scholarly works.

View Powerpoint Presentation >>


Supplemental Reading Materials

  1. William H. Truettner and Alan Wallach, eds., Thomas Cole:  Landscape into History, exh. cat. (New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1994).
  2. Alan Wallach, “Thomas Cole and the Aristocracy,” in Marianne Doezema and Elizabeth Milroy, eds., Reading American Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), 79-108.