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Treasures from Olana: Landscapes by Frederic Edwin Church

June 19 - September 18, 2005

This summer, in addition to baseball greats, Cooperstown will be home to extraordinary works by Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), one of the most important painters in American history. The exhibition, "Treasures from Olana: Landscapes by Frederic Edwin Church," will be presented exclusively from June 19th ­ September 18th at the Fenimore Art Museum, one of the country's foremost American art museums showcasing works from the New York State Historical Association's collections, as well as traveling exhibitions of exceptional quality. This is the first time these works will travel as a group and be discussed as Church's personal collection.

This one-of-a-kind exhibit, curated by Kevin Avery, associate curator for the Department of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, consists of 18 paintings and works on paper, organized by The Olana Partnership in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Visitors to this traveling exhibit will view some of the paintings selected by Church for display in his Hudson Valley home, Olana, one of the most significant artistic residences in the U.S. and Church's last and perhaps greatest masterpiece. Located 100 miles north of New York City, the 250-acre Olana estate features stunning landscaping and views that were developed by Church as a three-dimensional work of art, carefully orchestrated to reflect his interests, travel, and aesthetic. This integrated environment, embracing architecture, art and landscape, is unmatched by any other 19th century American property. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966, Olana is owned and operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and supported by its non-profit collaborator, The Olana Partnership.

Other venues for "Treasures from Olana: Landscapes by Frederic Edwin Church" are the National Academy Museum, New York City; Portland Museum of Art, ME; Huntington Library, CA; and The Princeton University Art Museum, NJ.

The Olana Partnership and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation organized "Treasures from Olana". The exhibit was underwritten through the generous support of The Henry Luce Foundation, Jan P. and Warren J. Adelson; The Beulah Land Foundation; The Felicia Fund; David B. and Mimi G. Forer; Valerie & Brock A. Ganeles; Frederick D. Hill; The Lucelia Foundation, Inc., The Lunder Foundation; Pauline Metcalf; Elizabeth Gosnell Miller; The New York State Council on the Arts; Washburn and Susan Oberwager; Louis M. Salerno; The Olana Partnership's Strabo Council; and Susan Winokur and Paul Leach.

This exhibition was also made possible through the support of Governor George E. Pataki and commissioner of the Office of Parks Recreation Historic Preservation, Bernadette Castro.

 

About Frederic Edwin Church

Born in 1826 to a prominent family in Hartford, Ct., Frederic Edwin Church's artistic abilities and connections caught the attention of Thomas Cole (1801-1848), considered the founder of the Hudson River School of painting. As Cole's student from 1844 to 1846, Church sketched and painted scenes in the Hudson Valley, including the panoramic view from Red Hill near the property that became Olana.

Church's reputation grew as he traveled, sketched and exhibited his paintings dramatizing the variety and splendor of North and South America. A leading member of the Hudson River School, Church was praised by the American public for his landscapes that gave pictorial voice to the political, social and cultural issues of the era. He quickly rose to international prominence in 1857 with Niagara, an extraordinarily dramatic painting.

 

About Olana State Historic Site

Olana State Historic Site is one of 35 historic properties owned and administered by New York State. Olana, considered one of the most important artistic residences in the United States, is the last and perhaps greatest masterpiece created by Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church. Church developed the estate based on his love for Persian architecture and the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Perched on a hilltop in Hudson, New York, Olana provides visitors with spectacular views of the Hudson River and the Catskills, the same views captured by Church in some of the paintings in the "Treasures from Olana" exhibit. More information on Frederic E. Church and his Victorian castle is available at www.olana.org.

 

RL readers may also enjoy these earlier articles:

and from the Seattle Art Museum the exhibition brochure for The American Landscape's "Quieter Spirit" held June 25, 2005 - January 4, 2006 with an essay by Patricia Junker, Curator of American Art.

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rev. 1/7/06

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