The photographs of "Upstate" explore the community, culture, landscape and architecture of one of the oldest regions in the country. Located on the shores of the upper Hudson River, the city of Hudson was the first city chartered in the United States in 1785 and it developed rapidly as a thriving whaling and merchant seaport. After an economic downturn in the early 19th century, Hudson’s economy rose again during the mid-century through heavy industries such as iron factories and mills. The Hudson River School, a mid-19th century art movement embodied a group of landscape painters such as Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church, portrayed the natural beauty of pastoral landscape in the Hudson Valley and themes of discovery, exploration, and settlement. During the 20th century, Hudson’s economy suffered with effects of the Great Depression and the closing of its factories and loss of manufacturing jobs. In recent decades, Hudson has experienced new economic growth, revitalization and transformation through a migration of newcomers from larger cities. In many ways, the ups and downs of Hudson’s cultural and economic landscape reflect the experiences of industrial cities across America.
Essay by Alison Nordstrom