Second Story

Thomas Cole National Historic SiteStepping Inside an Artist's Mind

At the former home of a legendary American painter, immersive media experiences emerge from the architecture.

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site wanted to introduce its visitors to the extraordinary man behind the masterpieces of the Hudson River School. Our team brought Cole to life with a pair of digital activations in the house’s parlors.

Drawing from Cole’s letters, journals, and paintings, we crafted an immersive audio-visual presentation projected across seven giant canvases. The East Parlor experience envelops visitors in Cole’s art while offering them a window into his innermost thoughts, voiced by acclaimed actor Jamie Bell (“Billy Elliot”).

In the West Parlor, responsive technology embedded in the house’s furnishings lets visitors eavesdrop on conversations between Cole and his patrons. The effect is magical: ordinary furniture comes to life as visitors approach, illuminating true stories drawn directly from the artist’s correspondence.

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