H. Daniel Peck, professor of English at Vassar, directed a summer institute “to study the national importance of an area that has produced great writers and painters and ultimately produced one of the first visions of a national culture for a fledgling America.” Professors from universities across the nation attended the institute, called “Hudson River Valley Images and Texts,” studying such artists as painters Thomas Cole, Asher Durand and Frederick E. Church and writers of the stature of Washington Irving and John Burroughs.

“’We really did prove to ourselves through the course of our study that the Hudson River Valley provided a paradigm for national culture,’ Dr. Peck said. ‘It was an extraordinary experience that left everyone feeling rewarded.’”     The New York Times