Church: A Painter’s Pilgrimage
Detroit Institute of Arts
October 22, 2017 – January 15, 2018
Frederic E. Church, Syria by the Sea, 1873, oil on canvas 56×85 in., 10.11. Gift of Mrs. James F. Joy, Collection Detroit Institute of Arts.
Artist Frederic Church was the most popular and financially successful painter in mid-19th-century America, best known for his large paintings of wild places in North and South America, the North Atlantic and the Caribbean. But from the late 1860s until the late 1870s, many of his most important paintings represented ancient cities or buildings from his trip to the Middle East and the Mediterranean. While Church’s paintings of the New World subjects focused on nature, his Old World subjects explore human history. This exhibition brings together nearly all of Church’s most important paintings of the Middle East, Athens and Rome to explore what motivated this major shift in his artistic work. Read more.
Traveling Talks: Church & Cut Outs, Sketches, and Studies
Perhaps the process of assembling a 21st century installation art piece and a 19th century panoramic landscape painting share more than we realize. Join Caroline O’Connell from the Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design Department at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum for a close reading of Frederic Church’s trips to Maine in the 1850s as illustrative of the common ground. O’Connell will show work from storage at the Cooper Hewitt as well as share interesting facts about the Hewitt sisters’ acquisition of over 2,000 works by Church in 1917. Illustrated lecture followed by Q&A and an abridged tour of the main house. Refreshments will be served.
Saturday, April 22 | 4PM | Member: $15, Non-Member: $20 | Ages 12+
Image Credit: Frederic Edwin Church, Mount Katahdin Rising over Katahdin Lake, ca. 1878, Brush and oil, graphite on paperboard, 30.6 x 50.8 cm (12 1/16 x 20 in.), Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Gift of Louis P. Church, 1917-4-626
Teresita Fernández confronts Frederic Church at Olana
A collaboration with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
May 14-November 5, 2017
Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery
Olana State Historic Site
The 2017 featured exhibition, “OVERLOOK” a groundbreaking installation by Artist Teresita Fernández, worked with Guest Curator Sara Meadows. Fernández drew from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) and the Olana Collection to reexamine Frederic Church and his contemporaries’ response to the cultures and landscapes experienced during their Latin American travels. “OVERLOOK” featured The Olana Partnership’s largest loan exhibition with 55 works from CPPC including “Penetrable” by Jesus Rafael Soto which was sited within Olana’s designed historic landscape and 18 site specific works by Fernández. Visitors had the opportunity to explore Fernández’s response and draw their own conclusions through this thought provoking site-specific installation.
Lead support for OVERLOOK: Teresita Fernández Confronts Frederic Church at Olana has been provided by: Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros; John Ashbery and David Kermani; Renee and Stephen Clearman; The Gubelmann Family; Meredith J. Kane and Richard T. Sharp; Thomas A. and Georgina T. Russo; Kelly Williams and Andrew Forsyth; Susan Winokur and Paul Leach.
Additional support has been provided by Columbia Memorial Health; Anne Heller and David de Weese; Valerie Balint and Brock Ganeles; Ed Herrington, Inc.; Belinda and Stephen Kaye; Ricky Lark, Ph.D. and Rickey Shaum; Lehmann Maupin Gallery; Chas A. Miller III and Birch Coffey / Lois H. and Charles A. Miller Foundation; and Theodora and Albert Simons.
October 8, 2016 – November 2017
Wayfinding: Imaging History with (Our)story, a socially engaged artwork attempting to bridge ancient history with the 21st century. Wayfinding is a form of plein air project, with paint and canvas replaced by cell phones and computer tablets. The Wayfinding project, designed and developed by Germantown artist Dawn Breeze is funded by Decentralization Funds from NYSCA and by The Olana Partnership. The general public is invited to create images and words on the carriage roads at Olana and post their art into an online gallery that will be in development from October 2016 – October 2017.
To find out more or add to this online exhibition click here.
Visit the Wayfinding launch point at Olana’s Wagon House Education Center to pick up a brochure and map and start your walk to Crown Hill
Ordrupgaard Museum, Denmark.
March 10-July 2, 2017
Fritz Melbye, Walled Town on a Hill Above the Sea, date unknown, oil on canvas, 10 x 10 5/8 in., OL.1982.652, Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
Is there a link between Danish Golden Age painting and French Impressionism? On the occasion of the centenary of the sale of the Danish West Indies, Ordrupgaard is highlighting the encounter between the Danish Golden Age painter Fritz Melbye and the later ‘father’ of French Impressionism, Camille Pissarro, on the island of St. Thomas. The exhibition Pissarro. A Meeting on St. Thomas presents new historical material that will radically challenge most people’s ideas of the birth of Impressionism. For more information click here.
Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World
Brooklyn Museum of Art
October 2, 2015–January 3, 2016
Fritz Siegfried Georg Melbye (1826-1869), Entrance to the City of St. Domingo, Columbus “Tower,” 1864, oil on canvas, 8 1/2 x 14 1/4 in., OL.1980.1907, Collection Olana State Historic Site
Charles de Wolf Brownell (1822-1909), Royal Palm, 1862, oil on canvas, 14 3/8 x 10 3/8 in., OL.1981.30, Collection Olana State Historic Site
Olana has loaned two works from its collection to Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World on view at the Brooklyn Museum of Art October 2, 2015–January 3, 2016. This exhibition explores the painter Francisco Oller, who contributed greatly to the development of modern art in both Europe and the Caribbean and revolutionized the school of painting in his native Puerto Rico. Olana has loaned Entrance to the City of St. Domingo, Columbus “Tower,”(1864), a work by Fritz Melbye, who accompanied Frederic and Isabel Church on their 1865 trip to Jamaica. Charles de Wolf Brownell’s Royal Palm (1862), given to Frederic Church as a gift, has also been loaned to the exhibit.
Included in the exhibition is Frederic Church’s lovely painting Jamaica (1871), on loan from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford, CT). For more information about the exhibition and accompanying catalogue click here.
Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery
May 1-November 1, 2015
Erastus Dow Palmer (1817–1904), Imogen, 1874, Cast bronze by F. Barbédienne, founder, Paris, France, OL.1981.642, Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
Thomas Cole (1801–1848), View of the Protestant Burying Ground, Rome, c. 1833–34, oil on canvas, OL.1981.17, Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900), Cayambe, 1853, oil on paper mounted on canvas, OL.1981.22, Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
This season the Sharp Family Gallery features a range of the artwork and objects transferred from the first floor of the main house to accommodate the installation of Olana’s 2015 exhibition River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home, guest curated by Stephen Hannock and Jason Rosenfeld. These highlights from collections deinstalled for River Crossings will be on display in the Sharp Gallery from May 3 –November 1, 2015.
The gallery provides visitors with the opportunity to examine closely a selection of paintings, sketches, and decorative arts that may otherwise be somewhat obscured within the historic interiors. Church’s sketch Cayambe from his first trip to Ecuador in 1853 was recently cleaned in the Paintings Lab and then reframed by Eli Wilner & Company. Freshly conserved, the blue highlights in the snow gleam under the heavy cloud. At 18,996 feet Cayambe and the “grand snow peaks” as Church called them, were often shrouded by weather of their own. Church’s ability to render weather and light is also demonstrated in The Hudson Valley in Winter from Olana, a brilliant winter day with lofty white clouds, and Twilight, A Sketch, a vibrant sunset study for Church’s masterpiece Twilight in the Wilderness (Cleveland Museum of Art).
Church was an avid collector and the array of decorative arts he placed in the Court Hall is almost overwhelming; a few of the most interesting objects are displayed in the Sharp Gallery. One of a set of eight chairs with a carved back inspired by Chinese design is a perfect example of Aesthetic Movement furniture. Imogen, a sculpture by Church’s great friend Erastus Dow Palmer (1817–1904), is one of many works by Church’s fellow artists in the house. A Spanish maiolica plate with luster decoration normally brings sparkle to the darker areas of the Court Hall, and the tabouret table would have provided both shimmer and geometric pattern.
The Olana Partnership and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation work in strong collaboration to preserve and conserve the Olana collection at the highest museum-level standards. Many of the collections on display have been cleaned and preserved with the support of The Olana Partnership, and other works removed for River Crossings are currently in the New York State Conservation Labs for research and conservation.