Schumer at­tends un­veil­ing of frieze at Cole Site

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - Staff and wire re­ports

A long-lost frieze by Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hud­son River School of paint­ing, was re­vealed Wed­nes­day at the artist’s one-time home in the vil­lage.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was on hand for the un­veil­ing, ap­prox­i­mately 18 months af­ter the mu­seum an­nounced part of the frieze had been dis­cov­ered un­der paint long ago used to coat one of the walls in the his­toric home.

“This dis­cov­ery was a his­toric mo­ment for Upstate New York and all Amer­i­can cul­ture,” Schumer said in a state­ment, “and I was proud to help de­liver the fed­eral fund­ing needed to make this re­cov­ery and restora­tion project pos­si­ble. Af­ter 18 months of hard work, I am be­yond thrilled to be here to­day as the Thomas Cole His­toric Site reveals what trea­sures it has dis­cov­ered and shares them with the world.”

Schumer steered roughly $600,000 to­ward restora­tion of the frieze and rooms in the home to Cole’s orig­i­nal de­sign.

Schumer said he was push­ing for an ad­di­tional $500,000 to help the mu­seum in­stall a fire sup­pres­sion sys­tem to keep the art safe. “With­out the ini­tial fed­eral grant last year, who knows how long these beau­ti­ful painted bor­ders would have re­mained undis­cov­ered,” Schumer added. “These kinds of fed­eral in­vest­ments have helped pro­pel dis­cov­ery and preser­va­tion right here in Greene County, and we need to build on that success.”

Cole, who lived and worked at the Greene County home from the 1830s un­til his death in 1848, cre­ated the friezes around 1836. They were painted over around 1900, prob­a­bly by Cole fam­ily mem­bers try­ing to spruce up the house. They re­mained hid­den un­til a paint an­a­lyst hired by the site dis­cov­ered Cole’s orig­i­nal hand­i­work in Jan­uary.

At a news event on July 2, Betsy Jacks, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Thomas Cole His­toric Site, said they hoped to un­cover and pre­serve a rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of the frieze, then recre­ate the pat­tern else­where around the walls of both rooms.

On­line: A video and a photo gallery are posted with this story at DAI­LYFREE­MAN.COM.


U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, right, with Betsy Jacks, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Thomas Cole His­toric Site, dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s un­veil­ing of a frieze painted by Cole.

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