Published: May 4, 2004
On exhibition at the Albany Institute of History & Art (AIHA) through June 20, “Hudson, The Story of a River: Paintings by Thomas Locker” showcases the majestic history and timeless beauty of the Hudson River as told in the newly published book, Hudson, The Story of a River, by Robert Barron, illustrated by Thomas Locker (Fulcrum, 2004).
“Thomas Locker’s paintings have a lyrical quality that transcend the pages of a book,” said Tammis K. Groft, AIHA chief curator. “To be able to see 30 of his canvases in one room allows a visitor to appreciate the depth of his understanding, appreciation and ability to capture nature at its best.”
This exhibition, featuring the original oil paintings by Locker, follows the history of the Hudson River, a river that today most people think of as a highway of commerce, flowing from factories and cities to the sea. But as Baron describes, it was once a wild river, a river that from its earliest days was beautiful, sacred to the first Americans and one of the country’s natural wonders.
Locker’s lyrical paintings capture the majesty of a river whose passage through time mirrors that of its sister rivers, the Mississippi, the Columbia and the Rio Grande, to name only a few. The story itself weaves a fascinating history of the Hudson, a history witnessed by everyone from prehistoric Storm King Mountain to the native tribes of New York, to farms, factories and development and on to today’s conservationists, who have fought to preserve both the mountain and the river.
Locker is the illustrator of more than 30 books for children, many of which he also wrote, including John Muir: America’s Naturalist, Walking with Henry and Rachel Carson: Preserving a Sense of Wonder. His books have received many awards, including the John Burroughs Award, NCTE Notable Trade Books in Language Arts, NSTA-CBS Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children, The Christopher Award and the Knickerbockers Lifetime Achievement Award. He makes his home in a small village at the edge of the Hudson River.
The Albany Institute of History & Art is at 125 Washington Avenue. For information, www.albanyinstitute.org or 518-463-4478.
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