Discover the Hudson Anew: James McElhinney and the Art of Seeing

Big ideas often come in small packages. James McElhinney (American, born 1952) has journeyed around the world with a pocket-size sketchbook and watercolor tin, communing with nature, and stopping to observe and record the glorious views around him. Fourteen years ago, during a period of convalescence, he used a sketchbook and watercolor to paint views from his hospital windows. That pragmatic decision was pivotal for the artist. He fell in love with the mobility and intimacy of this small-format media, which can be packed into the lining of a hiking vest, as he follows in the footsteps of historical expeditionary artists. Since then, he has engaged in pictorial conversation with the Hudson River, always with materials on hand. The artist was the recipient of a prestigious 2017 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for his work.

This exhibition presents artist James McElhinney’s sketch books and prints related to the Hudson River in a comprehensive showing for the first time. A video program, animating turning pages, will allow visitors to see additional sketchbook paintings. These will be exhibited alongside 19th-century pieces from the Museum’s collection by William Guy Wall (Irish, 1792–1864), Jacques-Gérard Milbert (French, 1766–1840), and Samuel Colman (American, 1832–1920), all of whom also depicted the river as part of travels or over a period of time.

Image caption: James L. McElhinney, Looking Southeast toward Yonkers: From the Palisades at State Line Park, August 4, 2016. Watercolor and colored archival pen on paper (in Moleskine watercolor journal). Courtesy of the artist.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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Hudson River Museum
YONKERS, New York 10701
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Thursday, December 26, 2019 - Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Times: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Ticket pricing:

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$4 - Adults
$5 - Youth (3-18)
Free - Senior, Students, Veterans
- Children under 3

Presenter: Hudson River Museum
Presenter Phone: 9149634550
Presenter Website:

Sponsor Message

This exhibition was made possible in part by Andrew Drabkin, Robert Lyons, and Janet Wilson Smith.