The Hudson River School of painting is as historic, and as captivating, as the Hotel Fauchère itself. And in fact, the hotel’s history intertwines with this fascinating artistic movement, which features aesthetic landscapes heavily influenced by romanticism – a fitting metaphor for the Hotel Fauchère.
Throughout the hotel, you’ll spot notable examples of the Hudson River School and other landscapes on display.
So, what is the Hudson River School?
The Hudson River School is a term used to describe a wave of American landscape painting that began early in the 19th century. As the young American nation began looking westward to expansion, the New World paradise had already begun to develop and change.
From these historic conditions the Hudson River School painters emerged, initially inspired by the uncultivated regions of the Hudson and Delaware River Valleys and the Catskill Mountains in New York state. They documented the unspoiled perfection of the wilderness, as well as the encroachment of progress, which was often depicted by stumps or forests – a style that recorded panoramic views in a romantic semi-realistic style, with an underlying mood of serenity and contemplation.
Many of the best-known Hudson River School painters – Worthington Whittredge, Jervis McEntee, John Weir, Thomas Hill and Sanford Gifford (who was Gifford Pinchot’s godfather), among others – spent time in and around Milford. Sanford Robinson Gifford’s most famous work, Hunter Mountain Twilight (1866), was once owned by the Pinchot family. It depicts the famous mountain at sunset, partially denuded of its trees, a barren expanse of stumps, a double entendre of its title.
The Hilton Brothers is a collaboration between photographers Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg, two artists who explore architecture, nature and contemporary culture through photography. A collection of their horse and flower collaboration dress the walls of Bar Louis.
A student of architecture and a former apprentice to Man Ray, Christopher Makos, thanks to his incredible talent, was once dubbed “the most modern photographer in America” by Andy Warhol.
Working in a bold and graphic photojournalistic style, Makos’ images of people, places and architecture have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and have appeared in countless magazines and newspapers worldwide.
Makos has been a seminal figure in the American contemporary art scene, including being responsible for introducing the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring to Andy Warhol. Though most notably recognized for his photographs, Makos’ attention has also gravitated to painting, silkscreens and serigraphs.
Paul Solberg was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, studied anthropology in Cape Town, South Africa and moved to NYC in 1996.
His books include Bloom (2005), Puppies Behind Bars (2006), Tyrants + Lederhosen (2010), and Tattoos, Hornets & Fire (2012); the last three publications were a collaboration with Christopher Makos. Additionally, Solberg’s photographs have been published in Publisher’s Weekly, Le Figaro, La Lettre, Ocean Drive, WSJ International Edition, and Conde Nast Traveler.
Solberg’s work has been shown at numerous exhibits in the U.S. and internationally, including major museums and galleries, among them La Casa Encendida (Madrid), Galeria Moriarty (Madrid), Christopher Henry Gallery (New York), Karl Hutter Fine Art (LA), and Galerie Catherine Houard (Paris).
Juan H. Espino was born in Mexico, where he received a law degree and worked as an attorney for more than 20 years before moving to Hawley, Pennsylvania. Internationally known as a leader in the “naïf art” movement, his work has an innate charm, conveying the best values of small town life and culture. His painting of the Hotel Fauchère and Pâtisserie Fauchère hangs in the hotel’s Conservatory.
He and his wife, Millie, own and operate the Looking Glass Art Gallery at the Hawley Silk Mill, where they feature paintings and prints by Juan as well as a number of other local fine artists.
Bruce Dehnert’s ceramic art has been featured in more than 100 exhibitions around the world and is included in permanent collections at The New Museum (New York), Crocker Museum (Sacramento, CA), The White House (Washington, DC), Dowse Museum of Art (Wellington, New Zealand), Yixing Museum of Ceramic Art (Yixing, China), Wyoming State Museum (Cheyenne, WY) and the Nicolaysen Museum (Casper, WY).
He heads the ceramics department at Peters Valley Fine Craft Center in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Currently using various media to explore notions of ‘witness’ and ‘melancholia,’ Kulvinder is drawn to examining near-to-almost-epic events from an emotive point of view, rather than a simply descriptive one. Interested in the distance[s] between landscape, personal context, drawing, painting, image and response, Ms. Kaur Dhew attempts to engage the viewer through memories of their own paths into or out of the natural environment. ‘Nature’ in this case, is utilized metaphorically for any number of contemporary concerns.
Kulvinder Kaur Dhew was born and raised in England. Since receiving her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in London, she has taught at universities in New Zealand, Borneo, and the United States. Kulvinder’s work is included in collections as diverse Kazuo Ishiguru and MTV Europe.
Jimmy Sheehan was born and raised in upstate New York and moved to New York City at the age of 20 to study at the School of Visual Arts. He currently lives in Godeffroy, New York, where he is an art director and designer; he also teaches at the School of Visual Arts. He recently has been the subject of a documentary, Trusting the Struggle produced and directed by Libba Marrian.
Sheehan’s painting combines elements of gestural abstraction, drawing, and iconography in a very personal expression. Simultaneously epic and intimate, his work is infused with references from his personal life as well as aspects of ancient Egyptian and Mayan civilizations. The undefined setting, in a traditional sense, is surpassed by a unique element of a pronounced outline within the figures creating a provoking source of tension. In the vein of Twombly and Basquiat, Sheehan’s lexicon of various signs and marks read on a metaphorical/archetypal level rather than according to any form of traditional iconography.
John Luckett was born and raised in the deep South, is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco.
He has exhibited his painting and mixed media work in numerous group shows in Los Angeles, New York, and Joshua Tree, and in solo exhibitions in Los Angeles and San Francisco. His work has been included in private and corporate collections in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, Rome, and London.
For his extensive work in graphic design and art direction, he is the recipient of the Clio Award, and numerous awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Luckett’s work has also been included in the permanent library of the Smithsonian Institution.
He lives and works in the High Desert near Joshua Tree.
In addition to his work as a painter, Alastair Gordon is an award-winning author, critic, curator and filmmaker who has written about environmental design issues for many other publications including The New York Times, T Magazine, Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, Interior Design, ID Magazine, Town & Country, Le Monde, The New York Observer, The Architect’s Newspaper, Newsday Magazine, and The East Hampton Star. He has lectured at universities and museums and is the author of numerous critically-acclaimed books on architecture, art and urbanism including Weekend Utopia; Naked Airport; Spaced Out; Beach Houses, Romantic Modernist; Convergence; and Long Island Modern. He has been awarded research fellowships from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, as well as being cited for Excellence in Architectural Criticism by the American Institute of Architects.
Born 1975, in Manhattan, NY. Jed Miner received his BFA in Fine Art from the California Institute of the Arts where he specialized in Synaestesia and its relationship to Electronic Music. While at CalArts, Jed studied psychoacoustics with James Tenney and performed in the 20th anniversary of David Tudor’s Rainforest lV. Since graduating CalArts, he has worked with many Internationally known Artists and Composers as an Assistant. He has studied Classical Indian Vocal music with LaMonte Young and Western Classical Music Composition Theory with Henry Threadgill and Microtonal Tuning Systems with Ben Johnston.
Currently, Jed is developing Graphic Notation and Mixed Media Painting Techniques, combining Encaustics with Tempera and Spirit Varnish.
Jennifer Doherty is an artist with a camera. And as an artist, she is compelled by how this small “piece of machinery can capture a moment in time and display it to us.” Doherty says that her vision of photography is simple. “I’m not too much of a Photoshopper, even though I’ve experimented with it. I have a very less-is-more aesthetic. Whatever nature gives me, it’s a real pleasure to display that through the lens.”
When asked about what she loves to photograph, Doherty responded without hesitation, “I love nature. Nature, she will never disappoint you. She always gives you something beautiful to work with.” Interestingly, Doherty says that she enjoys the nature that she finds right in her back yard, even talking about a wasp’s next that she found and photographed on her property. “The construction of this thing was incredible and I had to capture that. Because a few days later, the rain fell and it melted away. Hence, the moment was captured.”
Elisa Ferracane is a Milford-based artist who works with etched glass and created the entry door to Bar Louis, inspired by the wood grain on the front of the bar.