Tonight I went to a lecture (get ready for lots of credits): sponsored by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America (ICACA), the 2009 Fellows' Summer Lecture Series: The Hudson River Valley -- An Allegory of its Architecture, Landscape, and Artistic Legacy 400 Years after the Voyage of the Half Moon. Tonight's lecture was "The Sanctified Landscape: Memory, Place, and the Mid-Hudson Valley in the 19th Century" given by David Schuyler, professor of American Studies at Franklin & Marshall College (full disclosure), one of my alma maters.
David was, as usual, brilliant and entertaining. Making most forcefully the point that the Hudson Valley is unique in American history for its pioneering role in creating Nature/cultural tourism, combined with its astonishing ability to inspire art (Cole, et al.) and literature (Cooper, Irving, et al.)and being probably the first focus of conservation/preservation. The only fault I could find in the lecture, is that it didn't end with a nod/audio-credit to Pete Seeger.
In any case, my evening ended with great conversation with David and Paul Gunther, president of ICACA, at the Century Club (just where an evening after this sort of lecture should end.) Check out www.classicist.org