Olana State Historic Site

The view from The Bell Tower at Olana - glasses less peaked windows in the foreground and a view of the Hudson River Valley below - a green landscape and an overcast sky
Sarah LaDuke

In Frederic Church’s Ombra: Architecture in Conversation with Nature” is a new exhibition on view at Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, New York. Hudson River School painter Frederic Church worked with Central Park architect Calvert Vaux to create Olana’s main house. Their design incorporated vast Hudson Valley views. A key space in Olana’s main house design is the “Ombra”, an outdoor room which is a transition zone between the central Court Hall and the surrounding landscape. In the new exhibition, several architects have paired with visual artists and other designers to develop their concepts and treatments regarding the indoor-outdoor spaces at Olana.

The exhibition is guest-curated by Barry Bergdoll, the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University and a curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Featured speakers from our visit to Olana, in addition to Barry Bergdoll: Senior Vice President and Landscape Curator at The Olana Partnership, Mark Prezorski; Jennifer Sage, one of the architects who created work for “In Frederic Church’s Ombra: Architecture in Conversation with Nature,” Sage and Coombe Architects is located in New York City and led by Jennifer Sage and Peter Coombe; and Stan Allen, an architect working in the Hudson River Valley and George Dutton ’27 Professor of Architecture at Princeton University.

“In Frederic Church’s Ombra: Architecture in Conversation with Nature” is on view through November 3, 2019.

Exhibition photo: "Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance" in Cole’s New Studio
Peter Aaron/OTTO / thomascole.org

The 2nd annual Hudson River Skywalk Arts Festival is on Sunday, September 30 at the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, and Olana.

This is the 200th Anniversary of Thomas Cole's arrival in America, which is a pivotal moment for the birth of American art, as is reflected in the major exhibition of Cole's work, organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is now on view at the National Gallery, London. The Thomas Cole site also has two exhibitions on display “Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance” and “SPECTRUM.”

To tell us more we welcome Betsy Jacks, Executive Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, and Kate Menconeri, Curator at the Cole Site.

Greene County

The in-progress Skywalk project connecting two New York historic sites is the subject of a public meeting tonight in Greene County. 

Olana
Sarah LaDuke

The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with The Ancram Opera House, will present Performing Olana, an original play throughout the Olana landscape, on Friday, September 22 through Sunday, September 24. 

Performing Olana has been written by nationally recognized playwright and TV writer, Darrah Cloud and co-directed by the Ancram Opera House creatives Jeffrey Mousseau and Paul Ricciardi along with The Olana Partnership’s Director of Education Amy Hufnagel. The three theater artists have been working for months to design an immersive, promenade style theater production to be delivered in the landscape at Olana while the audience follows the story through the historic site. 

It is a play that takes the interpretation of Olana to another level- both in terms of costumed “interpretation” but also in the untold and imagined stories between the lines of letters and journals in the Church archive.

We welcome Paul Ricciardi, Co-Director of The Ancram Opera House. Playwright Darrah Cloud, and Amy Hufnagel, Director of Education for The Olana Partnership. 

Teresit Fernandez "Overlook" at Olana
www.brownstoner.com

The new exhibition Overlook: Teresita Fernández Confronts Frederic Church at Olana A collaboration with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros is now open at Olana State Historic Site. In the exhibition, artist Teresita Fernández examines Frederic Church and his contemporaries’ response to the cultures and landscapes they experienced during their 19th century Latin American travels.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore Fernández’s perspective and respond to her provocative installation in Olana’s Sharp Family Gallery. Combining portraits of indigenous people, dramatic horizon lines, and botanical representations of the natural world, Fernández presents the works through a contemporary lens that prioritizes the individual within the landscape.

Teresita Fernández is best known for her prominent public sculptures and unconventional use of materials. Her work is characterized by an interest in perception and the psychology of looking.

The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with the New York chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects presents Follies, Function & Form: Imagining Olana’s Summer House. The design exhibition unites 21 visionary architects and landscape architects to address one of the great mysteries at Olana: the summer house.

In the 1886 “Plan of Olana,” a detailed blueprint of Frederic Church’s vision for his large-scale designed landscape, the plan’s details are largely accurate, yet it contains a structure labeled “Summer House” for which there is no documentary evidence.

The 21 designers have imagined Olana’s summer house and have each created one concept sketch of this structure and its environs, much in the way Frederic Church sketched to convey design and architectural ideas.

To tell us more – we welcome Mark Prezorski, Landscape Curator of the Olana Partnership. And we also meet architect Joan Krevlin who has been a partner at BKSK Architects since 1992 and Laurie Olin is a practicing landscape architect whose many award-winning projects include Bryant Park in New York, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Grant Money Heads To Hudson River SkyWalk Concept

May 31, 2016

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday announced that grant money will enable the next steps in building the Hudson River SkyWalk, a pedestrian trail linking two historic sites across the Hudson River.