Treasures from Olana
Landscapes by Frederic Edwin Church
"The wide variety of selections from Frederic Edwin Church's collection of his own paintings shows the master in all phases of his career, in sketches and finished paintings, depicting the breadth of his subjects and the high technical skills that established him as an eminent and influential artist in his own time. As works he held on to or reacquired and kept in his house during his lifetime, they embody the heart of his artistic vision and convey a deeply personal slant. As pictures he hung and lived with at Olana, they tell the larger story of that extraordinary place and are as illuminating when seen in context as on their own."—from the Introduction
Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900) traveled the world, captured its beauty in countless paintings, and brought it home to live at Olana, his castle on the Hudson. The name was inspired by a reference Church found to a fortress or a treasury-storehouse in ancient Persia. This extraordinary selection of Church's paintings from his collection at Olana puts the most cherished of his treasures on full display in a volume that includes eighty color plates.
Church's paintings, among the most acclaimed examples of art of the Hudson River School, are found in museums and private collections around the globe. However, Church kept some of his art close by during his lifetime. The rich collection that remains at Olana includes about seven hundred pieces, including notebooks, drawings, and oils, both sketches and completed canvases. They cover the full range of Church's career chronologically and thematically. The highlights from his personal collection are found in the touring exhibition that accompanies this book.
The introduction by John Wilmerding and a substantial essay by Kevin J. Avery place the work into the context of Church's life and travels and examine Church's influences and the public reception of his art. Throughout Treasures from Olana, they discuss how profoundly Church's hilltop home and the surrounding landscape inspired and informed his work. His paintings, in turn, illuminate Olana more than a century after his death.
The Olana Partnership, Hudson, N.Y., and New York State's Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, Albany, N.Y., organized Treasures from Olana: Landscapes by Frederic Edwin Church.