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‘The Harlem River School: Funky Cousin of the Hudson River School’ Webinar

May 12 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Can’t make it live? Register and get access to the full replay for one week!
New York Adventure Club | www.AdventureClub.com

While artists in the Hudson River School gravitated toward the stunning natural landscapes of the Hudson River Valley, the Harlem River School preferred the opposite — runaway urbanism with its gritty waterside factories, power plants, marine activity, and bridges. Who were these artists and what attracted them to the working class charm of a small waterway on the east side of Manhattan? It’s time to explore the untold story of a rogue bunch of artists who were inspired by bustle over bucolic.

Join New York Adventure Club as we take a soulful dive into the Harlem River School — an unofficial group of renown artists who were attracted to the urban hustle and bustle on New York’s Harlem River rather than the bucolic setting of the revered Hudson River Valley.

Led by uptown historian and best–selling author Cole Thompson, our artistic journey surrounding the Hudson River School’s funky cousin will include:

  • A brief history of urbanization on both side of the Harlem River, and what made it an attractive location for budding artists
  • A look at the works of Depression era artists Harold Faye, H.A. Weiss, and Saul Kovner, who captured riverfront life for the Works Progress Administration
  • Familiar sites along the Harlem River through the eyes of impressionists, cubists, print-makers, and folk artists — like the still-standing High Bridge and Dyckman Farmhouse
  • A discussion of the Harlem River School’s best known artists including an 18-year-old Norman Rockwell, Ludwig Bemelman (author of the beloved children’s series, Madeline), and Polish artist Wladslaw Brzosko (best known for his portrayals of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising)
  • Scenes from old New York, such as the Con Edison Power Generating Station on Sherman Creek captured by Harlem Renaissance painter Aaron Douglass

Afterward, we’ll have a Q&A with Cole — any and all questions about the Harlem River School are welcomed and encouraged!

Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, you’ll have access to the full replay for one week!

See you there, virtually!

*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar

**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you’re using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.

***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week

About Cole

An award winning former television producer and best-selling author, Cole has hosted the popular uptown history blog MyInwood.net for nearly fifteen years. Cole has been profiled in the New Yorker in connection with his knowledge of Uptown history. In 2019 Cole co-authored a history of his neighborhood titled, Lost Inwood, with colleague Don Rice.


“Introduction to artists and geography of Harlem River that I never knew about. Super interesting!” -Patricia

“Clear visual presentations, knowledgeable lecturer.” -Jose

“Didn’t know there were so many artists who did that specific area. He even knew something about them.” -Julia

“Cole Thompson put together a wonderfully structured story with excellent visual support. I learned about the geography of the neighborhoods as well as the amazing variety of artists who interpreted the beauty of the existing nature and man made creations.” -Nicole

“Just fantastic detail in terms of history and the photos. I knew nothing about this era or that part of the city. Great presentation.” -Sharon

“Cole had a great command of his subject, fabulous photographs and excellent commentary.” -Anne

“The range of paintings was amazing. He related the works to the physical place where the painter stood. His presentations of the relationships between the ‘place’ and the work of art was a significant contribution to our understanding of both.” -Gail

“Distinguished each artist; located site of each painting; Mr. Thompson clearly is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic!” -Iris


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Categories: Virtual, Moments in History