Past Exhibitions

Terraforming: Olana’s Historic Photography Collection Unearthed  

Through October 29, 2023 

Olana State Historic Site 

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The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, presents Terraforming: Olana’s Historic Photography Collection Unearthed at Olana State Historic Site. Inspired by Olana’s significant collection of nearly 2,000 19th century international photographic prints, artist and guest curator David Hartt brings Terraforming, a selection of Frederic Church’s little-known photography collection, to reflect on the ways in which human culture and activity shape the land; eroding the boundary between human construction and the natural world just as Frederic Church did while creating the 250-acre earthwork that is Olana. This exhibition will also explore what this global photographic collection tells us about Church’s painting practice, travels, and ways of knowing and collecting the world. 

Terraforming will include historically significant works by photographers including Eadweard Muybridge, William James Stillman, and Claude-Joseph Désiré Charnay, as well as new site-specific work by David Hartt.   

David Hartt (b. 1967, Montréal) lives and works in Philadelphia where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. His work unpacks the social, cultural, and economic complexities of his various subjects. He explores how historic ideas and ideals persist or transform over time. His solo exhibitions include The Histories at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Coloured Garden at The Glass House, Connecticut and the group exhibition, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. His work is in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, The RISD Museum, Providence, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Hartt is represented by Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, David Nolan Gallery, New York and Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin.