Archive : Author

Wayfinding: Imaging History with (Our)story

POSTED ON December 12th  - POSTED IN Past Exhibitions
October 8, 2016 – November 2017

Credit: Dawn Breeze

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

Pissarro: A Meeting on St. Thomas

POSTED ON March 14th  - POSTED IN On The Road

Ordrupgaard Museum, Denmark.
March 10-July 2, 2017

Fritz Melbye, Frederic Church, Hudson River School, FE Church, FEC, Hudson, Catskill, Denmark

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.

Visitor Survey

POSTED ON January 6th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback by taking the Visitor and/or the Historic Landscape Tour Survey. Thank you!

begin.visitor              olana tour survey2


Impressionism and the Caribbean:

POSTED ON October 5th  - POSTED IN On The Road

Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World
Brooklyn Museum of Art
October 2, 2015–January 3, 2016

Royal Palm - CDW BROWNELL - OL1981-30-SCAN

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.

Sharp Family Gallery 2015

POSTED ON April 27th  - POSTED IN Past Exhibitions

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.

River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home

POSTED ON January 20th  - POSTED IN Past Exhibitions

Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Olana State Historic Site

May 3-November 1, 2015


We are excited to announce our 2015 exhibition, River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home, presented in partnership with the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, featuring contemporary art installed directly into the historic spaces and landscapes of the two historic sites. The exhibition is curated by the artist Stephen Hannock and the art historian Jason Rosenfeld, PhD. Artists in the exhibition include Chuck Close, Gregory Crewdson, Lynn Davis, Don Gummer, Jerry Gretzinger, Valerie Hegarty, Angie Keefer, Stephen Hannock, Charles LeDray, Maya Lin, Elizabeth Murray, Thomas Nozkowski, Martin Puryear, Cindy Sherman, Sienna Shields, Kiki Smith, Joel Sternfeld, and Elyn Zimmerman.

Click here to read the River Crossings press release.

Click here to visit the River Crossings website.

Click here for the CBS Sunday Morning segment.

This exhibition is organized by The Thomas Cole National Historic Site, The Olana Partnership and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Major funding for River Crossings was provided by The Moore Charitable Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, New York State’s Empire State Development and the I (HEART) NY Division of Tourism under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative, Tiger and Caroline Williams, Ed Herrington, Inc., The Bay & Paul Foundations with Chairman David Bury, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, the Columbia County Tourism Department, Jennifer Krieger, and Chas Miller. The companion book and related public programs were funded by Tiger and Caroline Williams, Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Trustees and staff of The Olana Partnership wish to recognize the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey; Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation Ruth Pierpont; Regional Director, Taconic Region Linda Cooper; former Director of the Bureau of Historic Sites John Lovell; Acting Director of the Bureau of Historic Sites Mark Peckham; and Olana Site Manager Kimberly Flook.

With additional support provided by public funds from the Museum Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 3.04.07 PMILNYlogo_stakt_webMoore_Charitable_Foundation_logo

Mystery Box: Student Artists At Work

POSTED ON March 20th  - POSTED IN Past Exhibitions

Coachman’s House Gallery

Coachman’s House Gallery June-November 2015


Throughout the 2015 summer and fall season, The Olana Partnership gave nine Bard College students the opportunity to participate in a “research-based” artist residency program. On their first day they were given a box of unknown objects and materials that had been assembled by The Olana Partnership staff; all of these poems, photographs, and historic documents surfaced from Olana’s collections and circled around the theme “Trees, Art, and Tourism”. Throughout the summer, the student artists were on-site creating art, conducting individual research, and were available to visitors for questions and conversations. While the exhibition River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home was taking place in the Main House the Olana staff recognized the Mystery Box: Student Artists at Work exhibition would coincide and reinforce how history can inform contemporary art-making. At the gallery opening on September 5, 2015, ephemeral performances of sound and movement took place – they existed and evaporated within Olana’s centuries old structure. These works were performed in part by the Bard Art Students Collective which encompassed eight of the student artists; Blood and Shit by Ezra San Millan and Cullan Powers, wade weight wait by Serena Caffrey and Susannah Yugler, and Ghost in a Shell by Denis Blumin and Kai Mote. The BASC’s works included a music composition titled Jupiter Falling by Ethan Evans and a creative writing work The Church of Quiet Collaboration by Marion Albers which were installed in the Coachman’s House Gallery. Paris McGarry created a solo exhibition titled Don’t Forget to Send Photos including a moving image piece, mixed media photographs, and a graphic map installation.

This exhibition is organized by The Olana Partnership, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Bard College.








POSTED ON June 1st  - POSTED IN Past Exhibitions

Olana’s Ridge Road-One Day Only

September 19, 2015, 1-5pm

The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM are pleased to co-present a third iteration of their award-winning exhibition event Groundswell. Hundreds will converge at Olana State Historic Site for site-specific performance and works and in sound, installation, broadcast, and movement.

We are delighted to announce the 2015 participating artists who reflect on and react to Olana and its integral viewshed as an ambitious and early environmental work:

John Cage Trust with Seth Chrisman
John Cleater
Brian Dewan
Tyson Hauf
Bernd Klug
Douglas Repetto

Rain date: Sunday, September 20, 2015

For more information and tickets click here.

Volunteers and Interns

POSTED ON February 13th  - POSTED IN Education

Olana welcomes volunteers and interns.

Burnell and Keith Volunteering


Olana values the participation of volunteers, and welcomes individuals who are interested in volunteering. Without the time and various talents of Olana’s volunteers many projects and activities would be impossible. Volunteers at Olana immerse themselves in the lives of Frederic Church, his family and the other artists of the Hudson River School. They become familiar with the architecture and landscape design of Olana and the Victorian past by participating in a variety of interesting and absorbing activities ranging from conducting house tours to gardening to teaching. Olana is pleased to offer volunteers free admission to the house and grounds and to selected lectures and activities. The Olana staff also organizes special trips and social events to show appreciation for giving to our organization. There are many ways that volunteers can participate including giving tours, working with field trips and school groups, helping with special events, and assisting with a range of office related projects. For more information email about upcoming opportunities.

High School Students
Olana can help you fulfill your community service requirements. Opportunities for high school students seeking community service credit are also available. Projects include assistance with special events, program preparation and cleanup, basic research, data entry, etc. For more information email to inquire about upcoming opportunities.

Olana 2014 Intern Andrea Nero assists Peter Aaron - cropped

Curatorial Department Interns

Interns in Olana State Historic Site’s Curatorial Department work on projects related to the collections and the main house at Olana. Projects might include research on a collections item, research related to a future exhibition in the Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery at Olana, helping with the furnishing of the second floor, collections management, changing the displays on the tour floor, writing an article for the news letter and other curatorial tasks. The intern would receive a good introduction to the daily workings of the Curatorial Department. The Curatorial Department would be happy to supply any documentation necessary for he intern to receive college credit. Applicants must be college students or further along in their academic pursuits and should be prepared to commit a minimum of 60 hours over the course of a semester, 120 preferred. Submit cover letter and resume via email.


Museum Education Intern

Interns in Olana State Historic Site’s Education Department work on special projects relating to Olana’s public or school programs. Most projects focus on an aspect of educational resource development in one or more of a wide variety of media for web and/or print distribution. Possible projects include: development of lesson plans and classroom resources for schools; development of educational materials for use in on-site programs; development of materials for distribution via social media channels, i.e. Facebook, Flickr and YouTube; or development and implementation of hands-on programs. Project assignments will be tailored to intern skills, objectives and availability as much as possible. The Director of Education will work in conjunction with university or college staff to coordinate requirements for credit. Applicants should be prepared to commit a minimum of 60 hours over the course of a semester, 120 preferred. Submit cover letter and resume via email.


Marketing and Development Intern

The Marketing and Development Intern will work closely with development staff to advance marketing and development objectives for the organization which includes upcoming exhibitions, events and programs.  The intern will gain valuable hands-on experience in a nonprofit advocacy organization while improving their communication and organizational skills. Responsibilities will include research, writing, editing and project management for a nonprofit whose mission is to advocate for Olana State Historic Site.  The Development and Marketing Communications Manager will work in conjunction with university or college staff to coordinate requirements for credit. Applicants should be prepared to commit a minimum of 60 hours over the course of a semester, 120 preferred. Submit cover letter and resume via email.

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