Volunteer Your Expertise

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site encourages you to learn more about our volunteer program! Our volunteers are wonderful people who contribute their time and skills for an array of enriching and vital aspects of our operation. The volunteer program offers a rich and fulfilling experience with special programs and events just for volunteers throughout the year. Become a Thomas Cole volunteer!

Recruitment is on-going 

Now is the time to join the fun and fascinating group of people who give tours of the historic site, conduct programs for visiting children, or lead hikes into the beautiful surrounding landscape. All training is provided; no special knowledge or experience is required except a passion for learning. While some volunteers have a public role, others work behind the scenes. Applications are now being accepted for the following:

  • Docents to conduct tours of the house, studio, and gardens 
  • School Program Docents to conduct programs for children
  • Art Trail Docents to lead groups on hikes on the Hudson River School Art Trail
  • Gardeners to work on the new Kitchen Garden

For more information please call Melissa at 518-943-7465 extension 5.



Seeking Volunteers to Lead School Programs

Enjoy working with children? The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is currently seeking volunteer docents to lead school programs at the historic site for visiting school groups. Our School Programs Docents inspire young people with meaningful information about the life, relationships and works of the 19th-century artist Thomas Cole through hands-on activities that are designed for each grade level and subject area. Want to get involved? Please contact Melissa Gavilanes at 518-943-7465 ext. 105 for more information.


  All volunteers have the opportunity to:

  • Learn from some of the most prominent scholars in the field
  • Work in a beautiful and historic atmosphere
  • Share your love of art, history, and historic preservation
  • Attend educational programs such as Sunday Salons for free
  • Meet diverse visitors from all over the world
  • Visit other museums, historic sites, artists’ studios and galleries
  • Build long-lasting friendships


Hear What Our Volunteers Have to Say:

I love the friends I've met at the Thomas Cole House. It was a great way to get involved in the community.
- Ethel

My heart is with Thomas Cole!
- Patti

I feel like I am making a contribution to keeping this important historic site open.
- Ann

Volunteer Benefits

  • Free training and ongoing education and enrichment
  • Invitations to all Cedar Grove events, some of which are free to volunteers
  • Use of volunteer lending library
  • Free membership at the $50 level after 10 hours of recorded volunteering
  • Trips to museums, galleries and other destinations
  • Volunteer-led hikes along the Hudson River School Art Trail
  • Discount on merchandise in the Old Studio Bookstore
  • Volunteer thank-you parties
  • Academic credits for student interns




Fellowship & Internship opportunities 

The Thomas Cole Historic Site also offers Fellowship and Internship opportunities. Please see the Fellowship and Internship Program section of our website for more information.