Church's work assumes greater importance beyond it's artistic excellence when studied with the history of the U.S. Its grandeur echoes the century's collection belief in the new nation's manifest destiny, and Church eschewed European influence and study for that of the new hemisphere. He saw drama and heroism in the landscapes of the Americas.
Church died in 1900. Soon his work tended to disappear from the public's consciousness, despite a memorial exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1900. It took until 1945 for interest in Church and his fellow landscape painters to revive; today, his acknowledged mastery is as universal as it was during the 1860's, and his place in U.S. art history is secure.