CATWALK Historical Legacy

The Catwalk property has a documented timeline back to 1684 when a Dutchman Gysbert ut den Bogert traded hides and beads with the Leni Lenape Indians in purchase of the land. By the mid 19th century Thomas Cole had made his home in Catskill, the birthplace of the American artistic movement now known as the Hudson River School, which focused on the American landscape. In 1861 Charles Herbert Moore, a very successful second generation Hudson River School painter, was drawn to the area along with other admiring painters including Frederick Church. Moore bought the land directly west of Church’s Olana property. In 1865 Moore built the first structure, a stone and timber cottage capturing both river and Catskill Mountain views. Ultimately Moore fell under the spell of John Ruskin’s treatise on the Truth in Art. He was a founder of the “New Path,” the American Pre-Raphaelite movement exploring the bond between man and nature and the way to moral vision, which he pursued as first director of the Fogg Museum at Harvard influencing generations of landscape painters who studied under Harvard’s Ruskinian platform. The magic of landscape that inspired the Hudson River School movement continues to attract painters and grow the rich artistic legacy of the region today.

Read more about Catskill’s cultural and historic legacy and the founding of the Catwalk Art Residency here.

Charles Herbert Moore
Winter Landscape, Valley of the Catskill, 1866
Oil on canvas, 18.0 x 26.0 cm. (7 1/16 x 10 1/4 in.)
Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Frank Jewett Mather Jr.
photo: Bruce M. White

Charles Herbert Moore
Hudson River, Above Catskill
1865, Oil on canvas, 16 x 10 1/8 inches
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas 2003.9
Note: This work is believed to have been created on the riverfront beach of Catwalk