Hudson Rising

March 1 – August 4, 2019

Hudson Rising explores 200 years of ecological change and environmental activism along “the most interesting river in America” through artifacts, media, and celebrated Hudson River School paintings. The exhibition reflects on how human activity has impacted the river and, in turn, how the river environment has shaped industrial development, commerce, tourism, and environmental awareness. The exhibition also explores how experts in various fields are currently creating ways to restore and re-engineer areas of the river in response to climate change.

Much more than a body of water, the Hudson and its surroundings have been the home for humans and hundreds of species of fish, birds, and plants; offered an escape for city-dwellers; and witnessed battles over the uses of the river valley and its resources. For over 200 years, writers and artists have captured the river in paintings, drawings, literature, and photographs, and surveyors and scientists have mapped and measured its every parcel.

Shop now at the NYHistory Store! Embrace the lessons of the Hudson River, and browse for gifts that promote sustainable living and eco-friendly, natural alternatives.

Generous support for this exhibition provided by First Republic Bank,  the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, William T. Morris Foundation, Inc., Shaiza Rizavi and Jonathan Friedland, The Hart Charitable Trust, and Dr. Charlotte K. Frank in memory of Pete Seeger.

Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Seymour Neuman Endowed Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.



Media sponsor:

"Hudson Rising" Virtual Exhibition

New-York Historical is proud to present a virtual tour of its 2019 exhibition Hudson Rising. Enter here to explore. Click here to download a Family Guide (7 years +) originally created for the museum installation. The Hudson Rising virtual exhibition was photographed and developed by Ardon Bar-Hama, courtesy of George S. Blumenthal.  

"Hudson Rising" Poster Set

New-York Historical Society has partnered with New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to offer a beautiful 8-piece poster set of Hudson Rising. The posters celebrate over 200 years of Hudson River history, including industry, art, and activism. 

Bring this story to your classroom, museum, or organization free of charge! We'll send you the digital files—you decide how to print and where to mount them. To receive your free digital poster files, contact us at historyexhibits@nyhistory.org



"Hudson Rising" Curriculum


Hudson Rising, based on the 2019 exhibition of the same name, examines the evolution of environmental thinking through the lens of the Hudson River. Understandings about human relationships to the natural world began shifting in the mid-19th century as awareness of the connections between industrialization, innovation, the environment, and the economy grew. Spanning two centuries of industrial development, activism, and artistic imagination, this curriculum brings together paintings, artifacts, and life stories that illuminate how the Hudson can serve as a case study for the development of American environmentalism.

TOPICS: citizen activism, public vs. private land, environmental preservation, industrialization, pollution, climate change, the Adirondacks, logging, watersheds, the Palisades, Storm King, energy demands, the Environmental Movement, Pete Seeger, PCB contamination, breakwaters, Hudson River School

STRUCTURE: Five chronological and thematic units—The Adirondacks: 1870s-1890s; The Palisades: 1890s-1950s; Storm King: 1960s-1980s; The Environmental Movement: 1960s-1980s; A Rising Tide: Today

Click here to download the curriculum.



Hudson Resources



Bear Mountain State Park Bear Mountain, NY
Bear Mountain State Park is situated in rugged mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River. The park features a large play field, shaded picnic groves, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool, Trailside Museums and Zoo, hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails.

Hudson River Park New York, NY
Hudson River Park is a nearly 550-acre riverside park and estuarine sanctuary located on the west side of Manhattan between Chambers St. and W.59th Street. The Park encourages and expands public access to the river, promotes water-based recreation, and enhances the natural, cultural and historic aspects of the Hudson River.

Long Dock Park Beacon, NY
Created to ferry rail cars across the Hudson, this man-made park now includes a kayak pavilion and beach for launching boats, rehabilitated wetlands and meadows that attract wildlife, a river overlook deck and a shaded plaza. The historic red barn, restored as Scenic Hudson's River Center, hosts arts and environmental-education activities.

Palisades Interstate Park Commission
The Palisades Interstate Park Commission, formed in 1900, operates the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey and the State Parks and Historic Sites in New York’s Palisades Region.

Palisades Interstate Park, NJ Alpine, NJ
The Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey is about twelve miles long and half a mile wide, containing 2,500 acres of wild Hudson River shorefront, uplands, and cliffs.

Palisades Parks Conservancy New York, NY
The Palisades Parks Conservancy's mission is to support and protect the natural and cultural resources of the parks and historic sites of the Palisades Interstate Park system, while raising public awareness and supporting educational opportunities about the parks' national heritage.



The Adirondack Experience Blue Mountain Lake, NY
The Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake explores people’s connections to the Adirondacks through interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and culturally rich collections.

American Museum of Natural History New York, NY
Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education, and exhibition.

Chapman Historical Museum Glens Falls, NY
The Chapman Historical Museum presents the history of the Glens Falls - Queensbury community and its connection to the Adirondack region.

D & H Canal Museum High Falls, NY
The D&H Canal Historical Society maintains a Canal Museum and Five Locks Walk trail to preserve canal-era artifacts, and document the canal’s creation, operation, and importance as an engine of economic development in the region and beyond.

Dia:Beacon Beacon, NY
Occupying a former Nabisco box printing factory on the banks of the Hudson River, Dia:Beacon presents Dia’s collection of art from the 1960s to the present as well as special exhibitions, new commissions, and public and education programs.

Greene County Historical Society/Bronck Museum Coxsackie, NY
The Bronck Museum, the oldest home in upstate New York and headquarters of the Greene County Historical Society, is open for tours annually May - October. The archives and special collections of the Greene County Historical Society, including early indentures for land, books, ancient manuscripts and correspondence, and genealogies of founding families, are open year round to researchers and the general public.

Historic Richmond Town/Staten Island Historical Society
The Staten Island Historical Society at Historic Richmond Town works to preserve and present centuries of American life by celebrating the ordinary people, from every background, who have worked together to build an extraordinary country.

Hudson River Maritime Museum Kingston, NY
Located on the historic Rondout waterfront, the Hudson River Maritime Museum is the only museum in New York State exclusively dedicated to the maritime heritage of the Hudson River and its tributaries.

Merchant’s House Museum New York, NY
Through public programs and exhibitions, restoration of its landmark building, and conservation of its original collections, the Museum educates the public about the domestic life of a wealthy merchant family and their four Irish servants, 1835-1865, when the mercantile seaport of New York City emerged as a growing metropolis and the commercial emporium of America.

Montgomery Place Annandale, NY
Montgomery Place illustrates Americans’ changing relationship with nature and landscape over time. It is now part of the integrated campus of Bard College.

New York State Museum Albany, NY
The New York State Museum is a center of art, science, and history dedicated to exploring the human and natural history of the state. Established in 1836, it is the oldest and largest state museum in the country.

Olana State Historic Site Hudson, NY
Olana State Historic Site tells the story of Olana, Frederic Church’s artistic masterpiece, as a work of art, architecture and landscape design, and as a home for Frederic Church and his family.

Putnam History Museum Cold Spring, NY
The Putnam History Museum collects, preserves, interprets, and presents the history of Putnam County, Philipstown, the West Point Foundry, and the Hudson Highlands.

Storm King Art Center Cornwall, NY
Storm King Art Center is a 500-acre outdoor museum located in New York’s Hudson Valley, where visitors experience large-scale sculpture and site-specific commissions under open sky. Since 1960, Storm King has been dedicated to stewarding the hills, meadows, and forests of its site and surrounding landscape.

Thomas Cole National Historic Site Catskill, NY
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, NY
marks the birthplace of American art, where the Hudson River School of landscape painting began. The nationally recognized historic site is an affiliate of the National Park Service.

United States Military Academy West Point
Since 1843, the West Point Museum has collected, preserved, exhibited, and interpreted historically significant artifacts of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Army and the Profession of Arms.

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside Irvington, NY
America’s “Founding Father of Literature” created a romantic, picturesque estate nestled along the Hudson riverbank. Visitors today hear about Washington Irving’s storied past and how he came to be America’s first internationally famous author.

Wave Hill Bronx, NY
Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.



Hastings Historical Society Hastings-on-Hudson, NY
The Hastings Historical Society was founded in 1971 as part of a grassroots movement to identify and protect the historic treasures of Hastings.

Marist College Library Archives Poughkeepsie, NY
The Marist College Archives and Special Collections located in the James A. Cannavino Library, holds research and primary resource materials, focused in areas that reflect and support the teaching and research needs of students, faculty, staff, and researchers in the Marist Community, including the extensive Hudson River Environmental History Collections.

New Jersey State Archives Trenton, NJ
The State Archives is New Jersey's official research center for public records of enduring historical value, including vital records, land documents, probate records and military service papers. Records date from the founding of New Jersey as a British colony in 1664 up to the present.

New Netherland Institute Albany, NY
For more than three decades, the New Netherland Institute (NNI) has helped cast light on America’s long-neglected Dutch roots. Created in 1986 as the Friends of the New Netherland Project, it has supported the transcription, translation, and publication of the 17th-century Dutch colonial records held by the New York State Archives and State Library.

New York State Archives Albany, NY
The New York State Archives preserves and makes accessible over 250 million records of New York’s State and colonial governments dating from 1630 to the present.

Westchester County Historical Society Elmsford, NY
Westchester's largest collection of local history and genealogy covers the county's development from the first Dutch settlers in Yonkers to corporate settlers on the White Plains corridor.



Billion Oyster Project New York, NY
Billion Oyster Project is restoring oyster reefs to New York Harbor in collaboration with New York Metro communities. Oyster reefs provide habitat for thousands of species, and can also help to protect New York City from storm damage—softening the blow of large waves, reducing flooding, and preventing erosion along the shorelines.

Cary Institute Millbrook, NY
Founded in 1983, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is one of the world’s leading independent environmental research organizations. Areas of expertise include disease ecology, forest and freshwater health, climate change, urban ecology, and invasive species.

Center for the Urban River at Beczak Yonkers, NY
The Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB) is an alliance of Sarah Lawrence College and the Beczak Environmental Education Center. The mission of CURB is to advance environmental knowledge and stewardship by providing K-12 environmental education for the local community, establishing a regional hub for research and monitoring focused on Hudson River estuary and urban watershed issues, and serving as an open community space for civic and cultural activities.

Climate Museum New York, NY 
The Climate Museum's mission is to employ the sciences, art, and design to inspire dialogue and innovation that address the challenges of climate change, in the process creating broad community engagement and bringing solutions to the center of shared public life.

Environmental Protection Agency Region 2, Hudson River Field Office
The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment. To accomplish this mission, the Agency develops and enforces regulations, gives grants, studies environmental issues, sponsors partnerships, teaches people about the environment, and publishes information.

Governor's Office of Storm Recovery New York, NY
An agency established in 2013 by Governor Andrew Cuomo to centralize recovery and rebuilding efforts in areas of New York State impacted by occurrences of extreme weather. One project is Rebuild by Design, featured in the Hudson Rising exhibition.

Hudson River Foundation New York, NY
The purpose of the Hudson River Foundation is to make science integral to decision-making with regard to the Hudson River, its estuary and its watershed, and to support competent stewardship of this extraordinary resource.

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Beacon, NY
Clearwater works to provide innovative environmental education programs, advocacy, and celebrations designed to expand people’s experience, awareness and stewardship of the Hudson River.

Hudson River Valley Greenway Albany, NY
The Hudson River Valley Greenway is a unique state agency created to assist with the development of a voluntary regional strategy for preserving scenic, natural, historic, cultural and recreational resources while encouraging compatible economic development.

Hudson Valley Initiative, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
The Hudson Valley Initiative (HVI) facilitates applied research into the spatial, ecological, and economic opportunities of the Hudson Valley region. HVI takes research and scholarship beyond the classroom, providing community leaders and citizens with tools, techniques and knowledge to help build resilient communities.

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory New York, NY
The Center for River and Estuaries, housed within the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, is an association of scientists that study various aspects of rivers and estuaries world-wide including the distribution of sediments, the transport and flux of sediments, contaminants, carbon, nutrients, organic material, and aerosols, the evolution and linkage of marshes and wetlands. Much of the research of this center is done in the Hudson River.

Natural Resources Defense Council New York, NY
NRDC works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. More than three million members and online activists combine with the expertise of some 600 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.

The Nature Conservancy New York, NY
The Nature Conservancy was born with the purchase of Mianus River Gorge Preserve in New York, in 1955. Since then, the Nature Conservancy has protected more than 815,000 acres across the state, establishing programs to make waters cleaner, oceans healthier and cities thriving.

New York-New Jersey Baykeeper Matawan, NJ
New York-New Jersey Baykeeper's mission is to protect, preserve, and restore the ecological integrity and productivity of the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary.

New York-New Jersey Harbor and Estuary Program New York, NY
The New York - New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program (HEP) brings the benefits of the Clean Water Act to the people who live, work, and recreate on the shared waterways. Created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the request of the governors of New York and New Jersey, HEP is an ongoing effort to develop and implement a consensus-driven plan to protect, conserve and restore the estuary.

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Hudson River Estuary Program New Paltz, NY
The Hudson River Estuary Program helps people enjoy, protect, and revitalize the Hudson River and its valley. Created in 1987 through the Hudson River Estuary Management Act, the program focuses on the tidal Hudson and adjacent watershed from the federal dam at Troy to the Verrazano Narrows in New York City.

River Project New York, NY
The River Project works to protect and restore the ecosystem of the Hudson River Estuary and New York Harbor through scientific research, hands-on environmental education, habitat improvement, and innovative waterfront programs.

Riverkeeper Ossining, NY
Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect the environmental, recreational and commercial integrity of the Hudson River and its tributaries, and safeguard the drinking water of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.

Scenic Hudson Poughkeepsie, NY
Scenic Hudson preserves land and farms and creates parks that connect people with the inspirational power of the Hudson River, while fighting threats to the river and natural resources that are the foundation of the valley’s prosperity.

SS Columbia Project New York, NY
The SS Columbia Project is a non-profit organization that aims to restore the oldest surviving excursion steamboat in the U.S., built in 1902. The project’s goal is to restore and renovate the steamboat as she prepares to go back into service to connect as many as 1,500 passengers per trip between New York City and the Hudson Valley.

Waterfront Alliance New York, NY
The Waterfront Alliance’s crucial, long-term focus is on increasing waterfront accessibility for all, with more than 1,000 Alliance Partners committed to bringing real change to how the New York metropolitan region views and uses its harbor and the region’s 700+ miles of coastline. In 2018 the Waterfront Alliance stepped into a new leadership role to define New York Harbor’s response to sea level rise and coastal storms.



Center for Land Use Interpretation
The Center for Land Use Interpretation is a research and education organization interested in understanding the nature and extent of human interaction with the surface of the earth, and in finding new meanings in the intentional and incidental forms that are created.

In the early 1970s, just after the birth of Environmental Protection Agency and the environmental movement, the EPA hired freelance photographers to record the state of the environment and efforts to improve it. Documerica ultimately collected tens of thousands of photos that serve the agency and the public as a visual baseline for comparing how our environment looked then with how it looks now and in the future.

Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda
The Estuary Program helps people enjoy, protect and revitalize the Hudson River and its valley. The program was created in 1987 and extends from the Troy dam to upper New York harbor, guided by an action agenda, which is updated periodically. This is the new Action Agenda for 2015-2020.

Hudson River Estuary Habitat Restoration Plan
This Habitat Restoration Plan provides the foundation for achieving the estuary’s management goals of restoring tidal wetlands, natural shorelines, and shallows, and of facilitating fish passage up the Hudson’s tributaries.

Nature Conservancy Rising Waters
The Rising Waters project aims to strengthen the preparedness and adaptive capacity of the Hudson River Estuary Watershed (HREW) to meet the impacts of future climate change.

NYS 2100 Commission Report
The NYS 2100 Commission reviewed the vulnerabilities faced by the State’s infrastructure systems, and developed specific recommendations that can be implemented to increase New York’s resilience in five main areas: transportation, energy, land use, insurance, and infrastructure finance.

NYS Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program
Any village, town, or city located along the State's coast or designated inland waterway can propose a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. Municipalities are encouraged to address local revitalization issues in a broader context, aligned with regional economic development strategies and regional resource protection and management programs.

State of the Hudson Report
The Hudson River Estuary Program produced The State of the Hudson 2015. In layperson's language, this illustrated report concisely describes progress and identifies ongoing problems. It looks at water quality, habitat, biodiversity, and fish and wildlife in the estuary and its watershed as well as climate change challenges and stewardship initiatives.

Creative: Tronvig Group