Deb Gordon’s guest was Sara Griffen, President of The Olana Partnership, the non-profit support arm of the Olana State Historic Site, which was created by prominent painter, Frederic E. Church and served as his family home and studio in the 19th century. Part of the New York State park system, Olana gained landmark status in the 1960’s, is only two hours away from New York City, and is considered to be one of the most important artistic residences in the United States. The Olana Partnership supports its conservation, preservation, development and improvement to ensure Olana maintains its relevance and can continue to be enjoyed by visitors from all around the world.
Ms. Griffin discussed the rich history of both Olana and Frederic E. Church, who in addition to being an amazing artist, was one of America’s first conservationists and was also involved in the founding of Central Park. Ms. Griffin described the beauty of Olana, a 250 acre property that contains native trees planted by Mr. Church, remains virtually intact, and is filled with art objects from his world travels. Ms. Griffin also stated that Olana is considered to be the State’s “jewel in the crown”, and is one of the best public spaces in the country with picturesque landscapes and panoramic views.
Also discussed were some of Frederic E. Church’s works at Olana, including his famous painting, Niagra. The current exhibit at Olana is Church’s Maine Sublime – landscapes of Mount Desert and Mount Katahdin. Olana also houses works by contemporary artists including Lynn Davis and Annie Liebovitz. In addition to the unique home, the grounds, and miles of carriage roads, Olana also offers activities for children, educational programs, and lectures.
Spotlighted The Olana Partnership 2013 Frederic E. Church Award Gala, which will be held on Thursday, May 23rd at the New York Public Library and honor Elizabeth Broun, Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Stephen Hannock, acclaimed contemporary landscape painter. Musical artist and art collector Sting, and renowned artist Christo, will present the awards to the honorees. The Frederick E. Church Award honors the founder of Olana, and this year, will celebrate the Extraordinary American Landscape. For more information, visit www.olana.org.
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