Olana: the 250-acre integrated environment of famed Hudson River School Painter Frederic Edwin Church: Art, Architecture, Landscape, Farm and Views
Learn About Olana


LEARN: School/Educators

General Information

Olana’s programs provide an opportunity to engage the imagination, encourage creativity and explore the tenets of art, architecture, language arts and the environment. Explore the lives of the people who lived at Olana, the history of the 19th century and the Hudson River School.

Arranging Your Visit
On-site and outreach programs are available by advance reservation made at least two weeks prior to the program. Program arrangements can be made by contacting the education department at (518) 828-1872 x 109 or by e-mail. Please have the following information ready when you call to schedule your visit:
      • school's address
      • grade level
      • program desired
      • number of students/adults
      • desired date & two alternates 

Click here for powerpoint classroom teacher resource and click here for corresponding outline. 

The Olana Partnership offers transportation grants for schools. Click here for the application.

House Tours

A Work of Art: The Home of Frederic E. Church
Based on topics covered in our public tours, this tour uses the inquiry method to encourage students to think critically and creatively about their surroundings. (Ages 8 and up, 40 minutes)

Hudson Valley Views Focuses on several paintings of the Hudson Valley that hang in the house, as well as the significance of our region, both to Frederic Church and to us today. This tour can be easily paired with Beyond the Velvet Rope, Paintings at Olana and/or The Cultural Landscape. (Ages 8 and up, 40 minutes)

The Grand Tour:
Highlights objects in the house that illustrate Frederic Church's travels, including the Middle East, Italy, Germany, France, Jamaica, Mexico, South America and the Arctic. (Ages 8 and up, 40 minutes)

Outdoor Activities

The Cultural Landscape:
Frederic Church first came to The Hudson Valley from 1844-1846 to study with Hudson River School founder Thomas Cole. He fell in love with the river and mountains and returned to them in 1860 to choose a place to live for his new wife and the family they would soon have. This program is an outdoor tour of the places and spaces Frederic designed for his family. We’ll pass by Cosy Cottage, the location of the farm, the site of the first studio and finish up with a look at the exterior of the main house. This program involves significant physical activity. (Ages 8-Adult, 1-1 ½ hours)

Catskill Views - A Hike on Ridge Road
A former carriage drive frequented by the Church family and guests, leads visitors to open western views of the Catskill Mountains. On our walk we will talk about the importance of outdoor spaces at Frederic Church’s Olana, and the creation of the carriage roads that weave through the estate. This program involves moderate physical activity. (Ages 8-Adult, 45 minutes; 1 hour)

Ten Fun Things To Do Outdoors
A fun introduction to a historic site for the very young first-time museum visitor. The experience is meant to be an adventure, while at the same time teaching children outdoor etiquette. On our walk we will make several stops to look a little closer at trees, plants, rocks and hopefully a few birds and animals. We will also discuss: "Carry In, Carry Out"; and responsible outdoor behavior. Juice and a snack await the tired, but happy hikers. (Ages 4-8, 1 hour, video optional)

En Plein Air
Spend time outdoors discussing how the artists of the Hudson River School composed and executed their paintings. Sketch the views using the same techniques that made these artists famous. (Ages 4 and up, 30 minutes – 1 hour)

Outreach Programs

Frederic Church: Artist, Architect & More
An introduction to Frederic Church and Olana, dealing with Church the artist, architect, traveler and father, as well as how Olana integrates all of these as his final and greatest creation. This program serves as a wonderful precursor to a site visit. (Ages 4 and up, 45 minutes)

Beyond the Velvet Rope
Have you ever wished you could step into a landscape painting? What would you see, hear, smell and feel? An Olana educator will visit your classroom and invite you on an imaginary journey into the paintings of Frederic Church. (Ages 4-8, 30-45 minutes)

In Retrospect
A classroom discussion helping to synthesize the Olana experience, led by a site educator. This program can be tailored to the needs of your individual group. Call to discuss options. (Ages 4 and up, 30 minutes- 1 hour)

Resource Packets

Frederic Church's Olana
A program designed for classes and groups who are not able to visit Olana or have an Olana Educator visit them. A program package with lesson plans and a reading list accompanies a 20-minute video. The video, recipient of a national award for excellence from the American Association of Museums, is a wonderful orientation to Frederic E. Church, his career as an artist, and the site he chose for his home and studio. The video may be borrowed for two weeks. Borrower is responsible for return shipping cost. (Lessons for Grades 3-5, video suitable for Ages 4 and up)

Paintings at Olana
Based on a student booklet containing images of several Frederic Church paintings of the Hudson Valley, this package contains two digital slide presentations, one with an audio track and another with a script allowing the classroom educator to narrate the slideshow themselves. Essays and questions about the Hudson River School, Frederic Church and Olana are included in the package. 30 copies of the booklet accompany the package. A CD-ROM containing all resources necessary to complete the program accompanies the package.

Teacher Professional Development Programs

Professional development programs offer teachers the opportunity to immerse themselves in Olana’s rich history, artwork and environment through house and landscape tours as well as hands-on workshops to discover new ways to incorporate its resources in the classroom. Programs can be customized to teachers of specific age levels or subjects, and can be a half or full day in length. Call to discuss program options.


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Shopping at Olana

2010 CalendarGlories of the Hudson 2010 Calendar

Our custom made 2010 calendar is filled with nine paintings by Frederic Church, accompanied by Lockwood de Forest, Arthur Parton, and Charles de Wolf Brownell. This calendar is a must have for all Hudson River School fans.

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