This talk will place Frederic Church's iconic 250-acre estate in Hudson in the context of a transatlantic history of artist's houses, and of painter-architects. Case studies will include the houses of Peter Paul Rubens in what is now Belgium, John Constable's family home in the East of England, and William Birch's "Springland" near Philadelphia, a largely forgotten early American artist's house that shows the roots of the Olana idea even in this country. Of particular interest will be the lost houses of Church's fellow travelers Albert Bierstadt and Jasper Francis Cropsey, intriguing creations that survive only in a rich body of visual culture. This evidence will show that Olana is not an anomaly but rather the supreme realization of widely held dreams.
Dr. William L. Coleman is Director of Collections & Exhibitions for The Olana Partnership, the nonprofit that has preserved and interpreted Olana since 1965 in partnership with the New York State Parks system. He was previously Associate Curator of American Art at the Newark Museum of Art, where he curated the exhibition Vantage Points: History and Politics in the American Landscape. In addition to other museum work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Ashmolean Museum, he has taught at Washington University in St. Louis and Berkeley, where he earned his Ph.D. in 2015 with a research specialty in the painter-architects of the Hudson River School. He has held fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Humanities and has published a variety of scholarship on nineteenth-century art, architecture, and music.
This program is offered free with a suggested donation of $10. *Please note if you wish to make a donation, the system will not automatically prompt you to do so. You must choose your registration and scroll down to "Make a Donation" to input the donation amount before checkout.*
The presentation will be offered live via Zoom with a Q&A session. All participants will receive the Zoom link one hour before the lecture to the email used during registration.