Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery
May 15-October 30, 2016
Frederic Edwin Church, “Mount Chimborazo at Sunset” (detail), c. July 1857, oil on academy board mounted to canvas, 12 x 21 7/16in., Collection Olana State Historic Site, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Capturing the Cosmos, the 2016 exhibition in the Sharp Family Gallery, explored the influence of the great German Naturalist Alexander von Humboldt on Frederic Church. Acclaimed and revered during his own lifetime, Humboldt is currently enjoying a renaissance due to the recent award-winning bio The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf. Humboldt’s writings inspired Church’s South American adventures and the resulting masterpieces that made him internationally famous, and informed Church’s later trips to Germany’s Bavarian Lakes and Mexico. Sketches, diaries and artifacts from these trips trace Church’s daring escapades to capture Humboldt’s Cosmos.
This exhibition is organized by The Olana Partnership and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
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; Director of the Bureau of Historic Sites Christopher Flagg; and Olana Site Manager Kimberly Flook.
Coachman’s House Gallery
June 4-July 31, 2016
The Coachman’s House Gallery was transformed into an experimental work space for Bard College undergraduate and MFA students, Scott van der Veen and Lily Prince, who were selected to experiment with research-based art-making practices at Olana. These students were available for questions and conversations throughout the summer weekends and visitors watched their artwork develop over time.
The Center for Architecture – New York City
January 30-April 22, 2017
Coachman’s House Gallery
August 14-November 13, 2016
Frederic Joseph Church, Plan of Olana, September 1886, watercolor on paper, OL. 1984.39. Collection Olana State Historic Site, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
The historic 1886 Plan of Olana is largely accurate, yet it contains one mystery: a structure labeled “Summer House”. Summer houses were common in early American gardens and public landscapes, yet there is no documentary evidence about the style or form of this structure at Olana. Designers will present summer house concept sketches in response to Olana. This exhibition is organized by The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with the New York Chapters of The American Institute of Architects (AIANY) and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA-NY).
For a details and bios 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.
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.
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.
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
Rain date: Sunday, September 20, 2015
For more information and tickets click here.
Painting, Decorating and Collecting at Olana
Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery, Olana
May 11-November 2, 2014
Guest curated by Roberta A. Mayer
Lockwood de Forest carved teak detail photo by Keith Nyhof, 2008
All the Raj – Frederic Church and Lockwood de Forest: Painting, Decorating and Collecting at Olana, an exhibition featuring oil sketches and decorative arts by landscape painter and 19th century tastemaker Lockwood de Forest, is currently on view at Olana, the historic home and studio of Frederic Church. Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) studied painting with his great-uncle the eminent landscape artist Frederic Church in the 1870s; the exhibition begins by highlighting sketches showing that the two artists worked side by side at Olana. At that time, Church was busy designing and building the main house, and the young de Forest watched Church draw inspiration from books on Persian and other exotic architecture. In the 1880s de Forest traveled to India to start a decorative arts business creating beautiful Indian and Kashmiri decorative objects to an American audience. De Forest provided Church with carved teak for fireplace surrounds, exquisite painted furniture from Kashmir, expertly engraved brass trays, and a variety of other lavish Indian objects. The exhibition will be on view from May 11 through November 2, 2014.
Exclusive curatorial tours of the exhibition All the Raj: Frederic Church and Lockwood de Forest- Painting, Decorating and Collecting at Olana are offered every Saturday afternoon, and are conducted by curatorial intern Andrea Nero. The tours begin at quarter past the hour from 12:15pm to 4:15pm, running May 17th through November 1st. This gallery focused tour allows visitors to get up close and personal with the exhibition. Visitors may contemplate works on view privately, or hear the insights of Ms. Nero, who spent five months assisting in the preparation of the exhibit. These tours provide the unique opportunity to closely study a selection of paintings, oil sketches and decorative objects in a gallery space at Olana. For reservations click here.
The organizers of All the Raj acknowledge the generous support received from:
Susan Winokur and Paul Leach
Bindy and Stephen Kaye
Lee Anderson Memorial Fund
Additional support has been provided by
Posy Bass and Henry Taves
Valerie and Brock Ganeles
Frank and Patricia Goss
Sara and Tom Griffen
The Olana Exhibition Fund
Karen Zukowski and David Diamond
The exhibition is greatly enriched by gifts from Frank and Patricia Goss, Kellam de Forest, Mark LaSalle and The Olana Partnership. It is further enhanced by generous loans from private collections of Anonymous, Associated Artists, Posy Bass and Henry Taves, Gerald Peters Gallery, Richard T. Sharp, and Gerold Wunderlich & Co.
The Board 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; and Director of the Bureau of Historic Sites Mark Peckham.
Coachman’s House Gallery at Olana
June 28- November 2, 2014
Attributed to Felix Bonfils, Frederic Edwin Church and His Son, Frederic Joseph in Beirut, 1868, carte-de-visite, photograph, 4 7/8 x 3 3/8 in., OL.1984.446, Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
This documentary installation shines light on the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios (HAHS) program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. HAHS is a consortium of institutions across the United States committed to the conservation, interpretation, and public accessibility of artists’ homes and workspaces. This exhibition features information about the consortium and documentary photographs and personal artists’ quotes from its nearly 40 member sites, including an image of Frederic Church and his son on a camel in Beirut (1868), the trip which inspired the Persian-style house and studio the painter would later build at Olana.
Other photographs range from the paint-splattered barn used by Jackson Pollack and Lee Krasner in East Hampton, Long Island, to the carriage house in which Grant Wood painted American Gothic in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to the hand-crafted woodworking shop of Sam Maloof in Alta Loma, California. In addition to educating audiences about HAHS, the exhibition will place Olana and Church’s studio in a larger discussion about the importance of preserving historically significant places and structures as part of the nation’s cultural heritage.
The Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is supported by a generous grant from the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.
Olana’s Ridge Road
September 13, 2014
September 22, 2013
Photo by Antoine Lutens
Olana’s 250-acre landscape was originally designed in response to its essential and spectacular views–the “Olana Viewshed”–by Hudson River School artist Frederic Church. On September 13, during this one-day exhibition event, audiences will explore the property’s undiscovered roads and naturalistic scenes as they encounter each project site. Picnicking will take place at a breathtaking clearing, which overlooks the Hudson River, the Catskill Mountains and beyond. The event will culminate with a performance by celebrated composer and artist William Basinski.
Groundswell installations and performances will be sited along Olana’s historic Ridge Road. When Church created this road, he famously wrote: “I can make more and better landscapes in this way than by tampering with canvas and paint in the studio.” While passing through native woodlands and recently restored meadows, participants will interact with the artists and Olana’s background elements, which include: the distant mountains of Vermont and the nearby City of Hudson; the Mount Merino hillside which was protected by Scenic Hudson; the site of the regional St. Lawrence Cement battle; the original property of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School and Church’s teacher; high voltage power lines with blinking support towers which cross the Hudson River along a route which might soon be expanded throughout the Hudson Valley; the site of the famed Catskill Mountain House, America’s great wilderness hotel, which disappeared in flames in 1963; and Blue Hill, which Church painted and which has recently been threatened with a larger communications tower along its ridgeline. Since the 1970s, when a massive nuclear power plant was rejected because of Olana’s iconic views, Olana has represented a particularly American mix of art and environmentalism.
Proceeds benefit The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC-FM.
This exhibition is organized by The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC-FM.
Jane Carver’s performance and sound-based works are fueled by an interest in the accumulation and decay of sound, as well as the relationship between melody and memory. At Groundswell, Carver will work in collaboration with conceptual artist Mckendree Key, whose practice centers around architecture and space. Key’s ongoing project The Den Transaction is an experiment in space as a commodity in Brooklyn, NY.
Artist Ellen Driscoll explores history, resource consumption, and material lineage in her sculptures, drawings, and installations. Recent projects imagine a ghostly and chaotic future through sculptural landscapes, constructed out of translucent, plastic bottles. Driscoll serves as Program Director of Studio Arts at Bard College.
Michael Garofalo is a sound artist, musician, and senior producer for the national public media project StoryCorps. At Groundswell, Garofalo will work with Laura Ortman and Bryan Zimmerman. Laura Ortman, a composer, multi-instrumentalist, visual and installation artist, has co-founded and performed in groups including The Dust Dive, Stars Like Fleas, and the all-Native American orchestra, The Coast Orchestra. Sound and visual artist Bryan Zimmerman’s work takes shape in performance, photography, collage, and installation, consistently exploring overlooked and undervalued human geography, land use, and outdoor culture.
Hélène Lesterlin founded Studio Reynard in 2012 for her work as director, performer, artist, curator, and instigator of collaborative projects; current works include a medieval puppet satire, as well as a solo dance disguised as a lecture using the archives of the Woodstock Historical Society. At Groundswell, Lesterlin will work in collaboration with Jack Magai, choreographer, dancer, and founder in 2006 with Lesterlin and Margit Galanter of Emergent Scores Lab (ESL), a weekly meeting of improvising time-based artists. His work deals with the battle for our attention between ideas and sensations. The current idea is “nature revives the tired modern soul.”
Man Forever is a exploratory percussion project helmed by drummer John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions), one of New York’s most critically acclaimed and versatile collaborators. Since its inception in 2010, Man Forever has comprised an exciting roster of guest performers.
Marian Schoettle constructs mobile scenarios with clothing and props that explore the experience of the self in relation to social, political, and physical environments. Her ongoing project ‘post industrial folk wear and commodities’ explores the theme of (dis)integration.