Past Exhibitions

Capturing the Cosmos: Frederic Church painting Humboldt’s Vision of Nature

  • 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.

Sponsorship Information

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.

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