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Newly discovered painting unveiled at Thomas Cole home





What was first believed to be a piece of wall paper turned into the discovery of a hidden masterpiece from one of the founders of the Hudson River School of painters. Last week, Sen. Chuck Schumer visited the Thomas Cole Historic Site in Hudson to announce the newly discovered decorative painting by Cole under the walls of the East and West Parlors of the 1815 Main House.

Internationally-renowned paint analyst Matthew Mosca, under the direction of historic interiors specialist Jean Dunbar, discovered the hand-painted details as part of a comprehensive paint analysis at the house. By tediously removing small fragments of paint, Mosca uncovered intricate details such as folds of drapery, a thorny branch and geometric elements such as Greek key – all hand painted by Cole himself. The painting is believed to be a frieze and continue around the entire perimeter of each room.

The site hopes to have the exposed friezes framed and exhibited, but visitors can see the pieces as they were discovered. In addition to the $460,000 granted to site, Schumer announced during his visit that he has asked the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services for grants to specifically restore the friezes.

Hudson Valley News is published weekly on Wednesdays.

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