June 17-November 25, 2018
The 2018 exhibition will highlight the first time that the historic costumes Church collected on his 1867-68 journey to Beirut, Damascus, Jerusalem, Petra and other Middle Eastern cities will be seen by the public. They will be displayed within the historic rooms of Olana’s main house, whose design was inspired by Churches’ Middle Eastern travels, and Olana’s Sharp Family Gallery will present new research on the collection and its relationship to Church’s work and that of his contemporaries, including Church’s friend and guest at Olana, Mark Twain.
The exhibition will reunite Church’s historic costume collection with both Church’s artwork that it helped to inspire and inform and the rich interiors of his home that he filled with objects and decorative details inspired by his Middle Eastern travels. In one extraordinary case these are one and the same. Within Isabel Church’s Sitting Room hangs Church’s master work “El Khasné, Petra” (1874), whose foreground features figures clothed in the costume pieces Church brought back to his studio and which inspired the decoration of the room, especially the decorative painted pseudo-Arabic inscriptions that run throughout the space.
The wide array of historic costumes, often intricately embroidered, reflects the extraordinary craft and creativity of the Middle Eastern people who created it and speaks as well to the evolution of ideas of gender and cultural identity in the Middle East and beyond. A publication developed in conjunction with this exhibition will include essays by costume historian Lynne Bassett and Palestinian costume expert Hanan Karaman Munayyer on the people who originally wore the clothing collected by Church and on the artist’s use of the historic costume in his home and art.
For information about house and landscape tours, click here.
“Penetrable” by Jesús Rafael Soto
May 2017-November 2018
Jesús Rafael Soto, Penetrable, 1990. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. © 2017 Peter Aaron/OTTO
The installation of Jesús Rafael Soto’s iconic outdoor sculpture, Penetrable, currently on view at Olana State Historic Site has been extended through late 2018. Initially included as part of the exhibition OVERLOOK (May 14-Nov 5, 2017), a collaboration between The Olana Partnership and the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Soto’s Penetrable will remain on view in the landscape at Olana through the fall of 2018. The landscape may be visited daily, 8 am to sunset, and admission is free. For information about house and landscape tours, click here.
This installation is organized by The Olana Partnership, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros .
Support for this installation and The Olana Partnership’s commitment to contemporary art at Olana has been provided by:
The Gubelmann Family
John Ashbery & David Kermani
Additional support provided by Ed Herrington, Inc.
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
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 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.