A Palimpsest of Time and Place

Thomas Cole
Painter, Poet, Prophet

Earth Elegies III

CoLabART - Lynn Small + Dennis Paul

{Under Development}


Cole’s creative process at the end of a day’s outing comprised his ordering of the impressions and settings that he came upon written down in verse, concept and/or drawings. It was his belief that -

“To walk with nature as a poet is the necessary condition of a perfect artist.

Below are links to various examples of Thomas Cole's writings, as well as that of his contemporaries thus making a pathway for viewers to make discoveries on their own.

To view Cole's essays, poems, notations and drawings done at the end of a day's walk with Nature creates a window into his creative process. Reading the writings of his contemporaries builds a bridge to cross-disciplinary learning.

It also provides an opportunity for the immediate delivery of related interpretive content when paintings, curatorial or literary commentaries appear.
These features will be further built into the project as it develops further.

This enriches the visitor experience and allows them to be an active participate
in their learning experiences.


Voice Of The Landscape

The installation takes its title from this quote from one of Cole's notebooks



The waterfall…
at once presents to the mind the beautiful,
but apparently incongruous idea,
of fixedness and motion - a single existence
in which we perceive unceasing change
and everlasting duration.
The waterfall may be called
the voice of the landscape,
for, unlike the rocks and woods
which offer sounds as the passive instruments
played upon by the elements,
the waterfall strikes its own chords,
and rocks and mountains re-echo in rich unison…




On American Scenery

This significant essay it is one of Americas earliest writings on the landscape.

The NYS Library's archives file folder contained a number of early ideas
as well as a 1st & 2nd draft
in addition to a 3rd, perfect finished copy.
This final version may have been used for publication
and/or to read from.


On American Scenery




WebClip [42 seconds]


Lecture On Art

Thomas Cole's Writings

On American Scenery

The Lament of the Forest

The Wild

The Storm

The Ice Cone

Thomas Cole's 1827 Sketchbook
A Look Inside


Writings of his Contemporaries

William Cullen Bryant

Washington Irving


Additional Readings

Related Links

Audio Clips


"It is a subject that to every American ought to be of surpassing interest; ... in the midst of American scenery -- it is his own land; its beauty, its magnificence, its sublimity -- all are his; and how undeserving of such a birthright, if he can turn towards it an unobserving eye, an unaffected heart!"
Thomas Cole, An Essay On American Scenery

CoLabART invites you to co-create with us in fashioning your own poem

Our poem, The Tapestry Of Hope, placed on the web in 1994 is one of the earliest pieces of interactive literature
and you use its phrases to fabricate your own unique statement.

Your poem will be emailed to us and added to an ongoing archive.



Multimedia Installation



Power Point Presentation

Larger File - Long Download - Has Effects/Transitions

PDF Presentation

On Site - Faster - No Download - Without Effects/Transitions


Please don't forget to sign our guest book.

D. Paul/Small

  ©1993-2023 - CoLabART - Lynn Small + Dennis Paul  All Rights Reserved