Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment

Welcome to the audio guide for Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment, on view at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Olana State Historic Site June 12 - October 31, 2021.

Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church and our Contemporary Moment is a national collaborative exhibition exploring the theme of cross pollination in art and the environment from the 19th century to today. The project stems from the artist Martin Johnson Heade’s 19th-century series of hummingbird and habitat paintings, The Gems Of Brazil, and their unique relationship to the epic landscapes of Hudson River School artists Thomas Cole And Frederic Church, as well as their continued significance to major contemporary artists working today.

For the first time in over two decades, 16 paintings from the influential series of hummingbirds and habitats, The Gems of Brazil (1863-64), by Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904) will be on tour in New York for public audiences. The project uses the metaphor of “cross-pollination” inspired by Heade’s paintings to explore interconnections in art and science, between artists, and across the 19th and 21st centuries. Paintings, sketches, sculpture and natural history specimens will be displayed in provocative juxtapositions within the historic spaces.

The artists featured in the exhibition are Martin Johnson Heade, Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Emily Cole, Isabel Charlotte Church, Rachel Berwick, Nick Cave, Mark Dion, Richard Estes, Juan Fontanive, Jeffrey Gibson, Paula Hayes, Patrick Jacobs, Maya Lin, Flora C. Mace, Vik Muniz, Portia Munson, Lisa Sanditz, Sayler/Morris, Dana Sherwood, Jean Shin, Rachel Sussman, and Jeff Whetstone.

The exhibition was created by The Olana Partnership at Olana State Historic Site, Thomas Cole National Historic Site, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. The exhibition tour is organized by Crystal Bridges. The project will subsequently travel to The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville, FL, Reynolda House Museum of American Art in WinstonSalem, NC, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR.

The exhibition is curated by Kate Menconeri, Curator & Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Thomas Cole National Historic Site; Julia B. Rosenbaum, Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Culture, Bard College; former Director of Research and Publications, The Olana Partnership; William L. Coleman, Director of Collections & Exhibitions, The Olana Partnership; and Mindy N. Besaw, Curator, American Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  

The audio guide is made possible in part with public funds from the Greene County Legislature through the Greene County Cultural Fund, administered in Greene County by CREATE Council on the Arts and by the Bank of Greene County.

For more information about "Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment", visit: