Press Releases

Inaugural Winter Exhibition Opens at Olana. Chasing Icebergs: Art and a Disappearing Landscape, Frederic Church’s Historic Art Expedition Shines New Light on Contemporary Climate Challenges The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, presents Chasing Icebergs: Art and a Disappearing Landscape, the first winter exhibition at Olana State Historic Site. The exhibition, shown primarily in the Sharp Family Gallery at Olana, highlights Frederic Church’s iceberg sketches from his 1859 intrepid voyage to the Arctic. Risking his life, Church chartered a ship to the treacherous waters surrounding Newfoundland and Labrador—an area known as Iceberg Alley—on a mission that made him the first American artist to explore the region for the purpose of painting icebergs, a landmark event in the history of art. To read the full press release, click here

Sacred Site at Olana by Artist Diana Wege Highlights Intersection of Art and Environmental History                                                                                                                                Artist and environmentalist Diana Wege studied one of Frederic Church’s masterpieces for a decade. Her impulse was to focus on Church’s traditional representation of Niagara Falls as a way to raise contemporary awareness of the climatic and environmental challenges we face today. The result is Sacred Site, an installation of twelve hand-painted full-scale replicas of Church’s largest painting, Niagara, from the American Side. Placed in the North Meadow at Olana State Historic Site, this installation is accessible and free for all visitors to Olana’s designed historic landscape. To read the full press release, click here.

The Olana Partnership Announces New Chair of Board of Trustees and Elects Three New Trustees
The Olana Partnership (TOP) is pleased to announce the election of Peter Warwick as Chair of the Board of Trustees and of Janet S. Dicke, Elizabeth Graziolo, and Emily Sachar to first terms as trustees. TOP is a not-for-profit educational organization, whose mission is to inspire the public by preserving and interpreting Frederic Church’s Olana, a New York State Historic Site and National Historic Landmark within the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. Trustees provide leadership to realize TOP’s vision to fully restore Olana as the country’s most significant artist-designed environment. To read the full press release, click here.

Assemblymember Barrett Secures $1 million in Assembly Funding for Olana
Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Dutchess/Columbia) joined with NYS Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Erik Kulleseid, to announce that she has secured $1 million to support capital development plans for Olana State Historic Site. This is the largest single grant from the Assembly to a NYS Historic Site. The funds will be allocated towards the construction of The Frederic Church Center, a new visitor entry and orientation facility that will transform the visitor experience. The project is the linchpin of the site’s larger capital development plan being undertaken by the public-private partnership of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and The Olana Partnership. To read the full press release, click here.

Olana and Drawing America Host The First Annual OLANA Plein Air Festival
Drawing America, The Olana Partnership, and Olana State Historic Site announce the Olana Plein Air Festival on Saturday, September 25. Participants of all skill-levels are invited to participate in this exciting all-day festival taking place at Olana State Historic Site. To read the full press release, click here.

Olana Receives Major Grant to Fund Ladder of Lifelong Learning
The Olana Partnership ( received a generous two-year grant directed by Kate Gubelmann to formalize a ladder of lifelong learning and engagement at Olana State Historic Site. This support will sustain four key areas of public programming: K 12 in-person and virtual school visits; Panorama Summer Learning Program for Youth; Young at HeART creative aging program for adults 55+; and a new internship and work development program created in partnership with New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation and Columbia Greene Community College. Supporting programs that serve these broad audience groups will provide new opportunities within local communities for expanded, ongoing public engagement centered on Olana as a public resource. To read the full press release, click here.

Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment Collaborative Exhibition Focuses on Historic and Contemporary Environmentalism at Olana State Historic Site and Thomas Cole National Historic Site
The Olana Partnership, Olana State Historic Site, and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site announced today that Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church, and Our Contemporary Moment” will open on June 12 at the two historic sites – the only opportunity to see the unique presentation of the exhibition in New York, in the landscapes and historic spaces that so dramatically influenced and continue to influence the evolution of art in America. For the first time in over two decades, 16 paintings from the influential series of hummingbirds and habitats – The Gems of Brazil (1863-64) – by Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904) will be on view in New York for public audiences. The project uses the metaphor of cross-pollination inspired by Heade’s paintings to explore interconnections in art and science, between artists, and across the 19th and 21st centuries. Paintings, sketches, sculptures, and natural history specimens will be displayed in provocative juxtapositions. To read the full press release, click here. 

The Olana Partnership Receives Grant for Hudson River Skywalk Trailhead Design
The Olana Partnership is pleased to announce that it was awarded a $14,400 matching grant from the Environmental Protection Fund’s Park and Trail Partnership Grants program administered by Parks & Trails New York. The grant will fund the design of the trailhead for pedestrians entering Olana State Historic Site from the Hudson River Skywalk from State Route 23. To read the full press release, click here.

Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Opening of Hudson River Skywalk for National Trails Day
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the Hudson River Skywalk to commemorate National Trails Day. Following an $11.1 million investment by the State, the completed project extends the historic and scenic walkway along the Rip Van Winkle Bridge to connect the two founding sites of America’s first art movement: the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Olana State Historic Site. The Hudson River Skywalk includes new pedestrian viewing stations on the bridge that allow for stunning views of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains, as well as safe pedestrian access to the two historic sites and a new visitor parking area on the east side of the bridge. To read the full press release click here.

Second Annual Skywalk Arts Festival
The Second Annual Hudson River Skywalk Arts Festival Will Take Place on September 30 at Three Locations: the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, Thomas Cole National Historic Site, and Olana State Historic Site. The Hudson River Skywalk Arts Festival is Presented by Historic Bridges of the Hudson Valley, in Conjunction with the New York State Bridge Authority and the Two Historic Sites, and Celebrates the Art of the Hudson Valley and the Hudson River Skywalk Initiative, Which Will Physically Link the Thomas Cole Site and Frederic Church’s Olana across the Hudson River. The Festival includes free special events at all three locations in the Hudson River Skywalk Region.  To download the full press release in PDF form click here.

The Olana Partnership Awarded $420,000 Environmental Protection Fund Historic Preservation Grant for Historic Farm Landscape Restoration
The Olana Partnership (TOP) has been awarded a $420,000 grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) Historic Preservation Program to help fund the restoration of Frederic Church’s historic farm at Olana State Historic Site. The award announced last month by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is part of the annual Regional Economic Development Council Initiative (REDC) grant process and was the second largest grant made in Columbia County. To download the full press release in PDF form click here.

The Olana Partnership and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site Were Awarded a Collaborative Marketing Grant for $225,000 As Part Of The 2017 Regional Economic Council Awards
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site (TCNHS) and The Olana Partnership (TOP) are excited to announce that they have been awarded $225,000 for a joint marketing grant from New York State through the Regional Economic Development Council Awards, Empire State Development Program. The project will further the transformation of these two historic sites into major economic drivers for the area by working together to promote the Skywalk region as a comprehensive and internationally-significant destination. To download the full press release in PDF form click here.

“OVERLOOK” Exhibition at Olana Features a Groundbreaking Site-Specific Installation by Artist Teresita Fernández
The ground-breaking exhibition “OVERLOOK: Teresita Fernández Confronts Frederic Church at Olana” will open on Sunday, May 14 at Olana State Historic Site. In this exhibition, an innovative collaboration between The Olana Partnership and the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros [CPPC], artist Teresita Fernández examines Frederic Church and his contemporaries’ response to the cultures and landscapes they experienced during their 19th century Latin American travels. To download the full press release in PDF form click here.

Olana State Historic Site Celebrates 50th Anniversary
On Monday morning, June 27, The Olana Partnership and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation will mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of Olana State Historic Site. On June 27, 1966 (also a Monday), Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller arrived by helicopter to sign the Lane-Newcombe Bill into law, which authorized the state to purchase Frederic Church’s Olana, saving America’s most intact and important artist’s home, studio and landscape from destruction. To download the full press release in PDF form click here.

The Olana Partnership Announces New Exhibition: “Follies, Function and Form: Imagining Olana’s Summer House”
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), is pleased to announce a design exhibition at Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, New York. Titled Follies, Function & Form: Imagining Olana’s Summer House, the exhibition unites noted architects and landscape architects and is curated by The Olana Partnership with guest co-­‐curator Jane Smith, AIA, of Spacesmith. The exhibition addresses one of the great mysteries at Olana -­‐-­‐ the Summer House – and it runs from August 14th through November 13th, 2016 in Olana’s Coachman’s House Gallery.   Download the press release.

Olana Opens New Exhibition: “Mystery Box: Student Artists at Work”
The Olana Partnership and Bard College have partnered for a second year to create a student exhibition titled “Mystery Box: Student Artists at Work” in the Coachman’s House Gallery at Olana State Historic Site on view from June 4-July 31.  To download the full press release in PDF format click here.

Historic Landscape Tours Give Visitors a New View of Olana and Celebrate Frederic Church’s Legacy
The Olana Partnership is launching the 2016 season at Olana by introducing regular public tours of Olana’s historic landscape.  This is a dramatic and fundamental expansion of the visitor experience and coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the saving of Olana from the brink of destruction.  Landscape tours will begin on Friday, May 20 and continue through Sunday, November 6.  Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

The Olana Partnership Awarded $24,380 for Historic Landscape Tours this Spring
The Olana Partnership was awarded a $24,380 matching grant from the Environmental Protection Fund’s (EPF) Park and Trail Partnership Program to provide interpretative materials for historic landscape tours launching alongside regular house tours this spring.  The launch of landscape tours is part of the organization’s celebrations around the 50th Anniversary of the saving of Olana from destruction in 1966.  Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

The Olana Partnership Brings Internationally-Acclaimed Author Andrea Wulf to Hudson
The Olana Partnership proudly presents an illustrated lecture and book signing with internationally-acclaimed author Andrea Wulf at Hudson High School on Saturday, April 9 at 4pm. The event will be Wulf’s first East Coast stop on her United States and United Kingdom tour.  Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

Thomas Cole National Historic Site and The Olana Partnership Win National Grant
The National Park Foundation awarded a $9,000 grant to Thomas Cole National
Historic Site and The Olana Partnership to pay for the transportation costs for 4th graders from local public
schools to visit these two historic sites.   Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

The Olana Partnership Announces Appointment of New Vice President for Development
Christine Kane recently joined the staff of The Olana Partnership (TOP) as Vice President for Development. She is responsible for the planning and implementation of all fundraising, marketing and outreach efforts for TOP, the non-profit partner of New York State’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.   Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

Groundswell 2015
The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM are pleased to co-present a third iteration of
their award-winning exhibition event Groundswell. On Saturday September 19, 2015, hundreds will
converge at Olana State Historic Site for site-specific performance and works and in sound, installation,
broadcast, and movement. Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

Creating Landscapes within the Landscape: Fourth Annual Plein Air Paint-out and Festival
Columbia County Council on the Arts (CCCA) and The Olana Partnership will host the 4th annual en plein air event, “Creating Landscapes within the Landscape,” held at Olana State Historic Site from Thursday, July 9 through Sunday, July 12 2015. Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

Artists on Art Tours
The Olana Partnership announces special artist-led tours to illuminate the exhibition “River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home.” Artists on Art Tours are offered at Olana every Saturday from June 13 through October 31, 2015. Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

The Olana Partnership Announces Appointment of New President
Sean E. Sawyer Ph.D. has been appointed as the Washburn and Susan Oberwager President of The Olana Partnership (TOP). He will join Olana on May 18. Mr. Sawyer’s appointment comes as the result of a national search to find a visionary, strategic thinker and operational leader for TOP’s staff, programs, and mission.   Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

“RIVER CROSSINGS” EXHIBITION WILL BRING CONTEMPORARY ART BY WORLDRENOWNED ARTISTS BACK TO THE HOMES WHERE DISTINCTLY AMERICAN ART WAS BORN, CREATING AN UNPRECEDENTED EXPERIENCE 
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site and The Olana Partnership/Olana State Historic Site announced today that they will co-host a landmark exhibition of contemporary art to highlight the pivotal role that the two historic properties – and the artists who lived and
worked there – played in shaping America’s culture of contemporary art.  Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

The Olana Partnership Announces Interim President
David Redden, Vice President, Sotheby’s NYC, and President of The Olana Partnership board of trustees, has confirmed the appointment of Rena Zurofsky as Interim President of The Olana Partnership.  Click here for entire press release in PDF format.

The Olana Partnership Awarded $200,000 ESDC Marketing Grant for River Crossings
The Olana Partnership (TOP) and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site (TCNHS) are partnering to launch a joint exhibition of contemporary art, entitled River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes HomeClick here for entire press release in PDF format.

All the Raj – Frederic Church and Lockwood de Forest; Painting, Decorating and Collecting at Olana, On view at Olana: May 11-November 2, 2014 
All the Raj – Frederic Church and Lockwood de Forest; Painting, Decorating and Collecting at Olana, an exhibition featuring oil sketches and decorative arts by landscape painter and 19th century tastemaker Lockwood de Forest, will open at Olana, the historic home and studio of Frederic Church, on Sunday May 11, 2014. Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) studied painting with the eminent landscape artist Frederic Church in the 1870s; the exhibition will begin by highlighting sketches showing that the two artists worked side by side at Olana. Click here for entire press release in pdf format.

Olana Receives Grant for Programming from Hudson River Bank and Trust Company Foundation
Olana Receives Grant for Programming from Hudson River Bank and Trust Company Foundation
The Olana Partnership announced that it received a grant of $30,000 over the next three years from the Hudson River Bank and Trust Company Foundation (HRBT). The grant will be used to support Olana’s programs and activities in the Wagon House Education Center and at Olana State Historic Site. Click here for entire press release in pdf format.

Birding 101 with Audubon NY at Olana
The Olana Partnership is proud to offer: First Day of Spring Birding Event with Audubon NY education coordinator Larry Federman on Thursday, March 20, from 9-11am at the Wagon House Education Center at Olana State Historic Site. Larry Federman will present about local birds found at Olana and in the Hudson Valley. Following the presentation participants will be led on a guided walk in Olana’s beautiful artist-designed landscape. Click here for entire press release in pdf format.

Expert Report Identifies Solutions That Can Boost Emergency Communications, Minimize Impacts to Historic Site and its Economic Contributions
The Olana Partnership and Scenic Hudson today released a report, prepared by a nationally recognized telecommunications engineer, that supports their continuing efforts to resolve a dispute in order to both enhance emergency communications and preserve the visitor experience at the Olana State Historic Site. Olana is one of the region’s most important historic sites and a major contributor to the local economy.Click here for entire press release in pdf format.

The Olana Partnership appoints four new members to the Board of Trustees
The governing members of The Olana Partnership elected four new members to the Board of Trustees at its January 25, 2014 board meeting. “Each of the new members brings a world class level of expertise to the board and will guide The Olana Partnership to new heights” said Sara Griffen, President of The Olana Partnership.Click here for entire press release in pdf format.

Olana Receives Stewart’s Holiday Match Grant
The Olana Partnership announced that it received a grant of $1,500 from the Stewart’s Holiday Match program. The grant will be used to support children’s programs and activities in the Wagon House Education Center at Olana State Historic Site during the 2014 season.Click here for entire press release in pdf format.

Cook Up a Delicious Meal at Olana with Chef Julie Gale
The Olana Partnership is pleased to offer “Heart and Hands Cooking Workshop” with local chef-instructor Julie Gale on Saturday, February 15 from 11am-1pm at the Wagon House Education Center at Olana. Julie Gale, owner of At the Kitchen Table Cooking School, will lead participants through a hands-on cooking demonstration and teach participants how to make a meal that your sweetheart is sure to enjoy. Click here for entire press release in pdf format.

Snowshoe Walk
The Olana Partnership is pleased to collaborate with environmental educator Fran Martino for a guided snowshoe walk at Olana State Historic Site on Saturday, February 8 from 1-3 p.m. beginning at the Wagon House Education Center. In case of a snowstorm on the day of the program, it will be rescheduled for Sunday, February 9 from 1-3 p.m. Click here for entire press release in pdf format.