Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Thomas Cole, American (Lancashire, England 1801 - 1848 Catskill, NY)
House, Mount Desert, Maine
Other Titles
Former Title: Deserted House on Mount Desert Island
Work Type
Creation Place: North America, United States
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Oil on canvas
47.1 x 61.3 cm (18 9/16 x 24 1/8 in.)
framed: 69.9 x 83.8 x 8.9 cm (27 1/2 x 33 x 3 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.r.: Th Cole
  • label: Labels on back of work: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Nassau County Museum of Art.
Purchased from the artist, American Art-Union, 1845; transferred to Nathanial Silsbee, Salem, MA, from the American Art-Union annual lottery, 1845; Edward Charles Pickering; his bequest to Harvard University, 1919; transferred to the Fogg Art Museum, 1956.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Transfer from Harvard University, Bequest of Edward Charles Pickering, 1919
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Mary Bartlett Cowdrey, American Academy of Fine Arts and American Art-Union: Exhibition Record, 1816-1852, New York Historical Society (New York, NY, 1953), p. 81

Gertrud Mellon, ed., Maine and its Role in American Art 1740-1963, Viking Books (New York, NY, 1963), ill. p. 65, p. 74

An Exhibition of Paintings by Thomas Cole, N.A., from the Artist’s Studio, Catskill, New York, exh. cat., Kennedy Galleries, Inc. (New York, 1964), p. 7

Louis Legrand Noble, The Life and Works of Thomas Cole, Belknap Press (Cambridge, MA, 1964), p. 270

Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, 1967)

Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, Peter G. Huenink, Earl A. Powell III, Harry Z. Rand, and Nanette C. Sexton, American Art at Harvard, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), cat. 44, ill.

Ellwood C. Parry, The Art of Thomas Cole: Ambition and Imagination, University of Delaware Press (Newark, 1988), p. 313

John Wilmerding, "Thomas Cole in Maine", Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ, 1990), vol. XLIX, no. 1, pp. 13-15, fig. 11

John Wilmerding, American Views: Essays on American Art, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ, 1991), p. 25

Constance Schwartz, Landscape of America: The Hudson River School to Abstract Expressionism, exh. cat., Nassau County Museum of Art (Roslyn Harbor, NY, 1991), ill. p. 11, p. 74

Timothy Anglin Burgard, American Art at Harvard: Cultures and Contexts, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1994), pp. 8, 12, fig. 11, cat. 69

John Wilmerding, The Artist's Mount Desert: American Painters on the Maine Coast, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ, 1994), ill. p. 36, fig. 31

Pamela J. Belanger, Inventing Acadia: Artists and Tourists at Mount Desert, exh. cat., Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland, ME, 1999), ill. p. 43

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. and Melissa Renn, American Paintings at Harvard, Volume One: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born before 1826, Yale University Press (U.S.) and Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge and New Haven, 2014), pp. 123-124, cat. 76, ill.

Exhibition History

Maine and its Artists, 1710 - 1963, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, 05/04/1963 - 08/31/1963; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 12/12/1963 - 01/31/1964; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 02/01/1964 - 03/22/1964

An Exhibition of Paintings by Thomas Cole, Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York, 11/24/1964 - 12/31/1964

Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 10/12/1967 - 12/03/1967

American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972

Landscape of America: The Hudson River School to Abstract Expressionism, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, 11/10/1991 - 02/09/1992

American Art at Harvard: Cultures and Contexts, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/01/1994 - 12/30/1994

The Persistence of Memory: Continuity and Change in American Cultures, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/29/1995 - 05/13/2001

Inventing Acadia: Artists and Tourists at Mount Desert, Farnsworth Art Museum, 06/13/1999 - 10/24/1999

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at