Digital Tours

NEW! The Churches’ Middle Eastern Adventure

Frederic’s Tour performed by Jim Fragione

Isabel’s Tour performed by Anne Undeland

Time: A two-part series of 1 hour long dramatic readings

As part of a larger digital humanities program in development at Olana, the 2018 audio tour links to themes in the 2018 exhibition, Costume & Custom: Middle Eastern Threads at Olana. This tour is designed to illuminate the travels that inspired the design of Olana and many works of art by Frederic Church for years to come. This audio tour creates access to the voices and experiences of the Churches while traveling through many regions of the Middle East.

Citations for The Churches’ Middles Eastern Adventure Audio Tour
Thank you Wave Farm/WGXC, NY Parks & Trails, and members of The Olana Partnership for making the audio recording possible and for Henri Scars Struck for donating his original score and Illusha Tsinazde & Company for sharing the music for the Middle Eastern tour. Copyright TOP 2018.

Image Credit for Frederic Church’s Tour: Felix Bonfils [attributed], Frederic Edwin Church and His Son, Frederic Joseph, in Beirut, 1868, carte-de-visite, 4 7/8 x 3 3/8 in., Collection of NYSOPRHP Olana State Historic Site

Image Credit for Isabel Church’s Tour: Robert and Emily de Forest, Isabel Charlotte (Downie) Church and her Grandmother, Emma Carnes, October 11, 1884, albumen print, 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. On a pleasure drive with a white Syrian Donkey that Frederic & Isabel Church brought back from their Middle-Eastern journey. Collection of NYSOPRHP Olana State Historic Site

Olana’s Historic Landscape Digital Audio Tour

Self-guided tour of 1.5 miles of historic carriage roads

Time: 45:08 (audio); approximately 1 hour with making stops

Helpful Hint!  There is free guest WiFi available at the Visitor Center/Museum (network name: OlanaGuest) for downloading your tour.  In addition, there is a map + corresponding brochure available for purchase in the Museum Store.

Learn about the history and ongoing restoration of Olana’s artist designed landscape. Imagine walking through a Frederic Church painting. While you learn a myriad of facts, you will be inspired on Church’s many historic carriage roads. The tour can be listened to anywhere, but to follow along with the geography, please start at the historic map sign at the bottom of the parking lot stairway. We suggest wearing good walking shoes. The route travels on Ridge Road, South Road + New Approach Road.

TOP wishes to thank local actors Leigh Strimbeck and Paul Ricciardi for their excellent dramatic readings. Many thanks to Wave Farm/WGXC for making the audio recording possible and for Henri Scars Struck for donating his original score. This tour was written by TOP’s Landscape Curator, Mark Prezorski. Copyright TOP 2016.  This project was funded in part by a grant from the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.
Photo credit: Frederic J. Church, Plan of Olana (detail), 1886, watercolor on paper, OL.1984.39, Collection of Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP

F.E. Church’s Letters & 19th Century Ballads

Performed by Brian Dewan

Time: 57:39 (audio); approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes with breaks

Helpful Hint!  There is free guest WiFi available at the Visitor Center/Museum (network name: OlanaGuest) for downloading your tour.  In addition, there is a map available for purchase in the Museum Store.

This tour can be listened to in any location but we recommend listening as you stroll any of the carriage roads designed by Frederic Church. While you walk you can contemplate the life and words of Church, his family, and his contemporaries; and these are layered with songs from their era. Artist and musician Brian Dewan does a dramatic reading of significant letters in Olana’s collection, and Church’s art-making practice becomes illuminated even further.

Citations for FEChurch letter tour
Thank you Wave Farm/WGXC, NY Parks & Trails, and members of The Olana Partnership for making the audio recording possible.
This project was funded in part by a grant from the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.
Photo credit: Letter from Frederic E. Church to Aaron C. Goodman (detail), 30 January 1848, ink on light blue-gray paper, 9 7/8 x 7 13/16 in., OL.1982.1516 No. 193, Collection of Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
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