You may feel the urge to pick up a paintbrush as you take in the Catskill Mountain views from the front porch of the yellow-brick Federal house of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Well, at least you can understand what inspired Thomas Cole (1801–48), the painter credited with starting the Hudson River School of Art. Cole came to know the 1815 house, called Cedar Grove, when he set up a studio in an outbuilding he rented on the property; he settled down
here after marrying a niece of the owner. James Fenimore Cooper and Asher B. Durand are among the 19th-century luminaries who visited Cedar Grove, 13 miles north of Saugerties.