Olana to celebrate “Paradise Found”

HUDSON–The ghosts of revelers of past hosted by Hudson River School landscape artist Frederic Church for his family and friends during the 1890s will be summoned at Olana’s summer party and fundraiser, “Paradise Found.” The July 24 gathering, hosted by the Olana Partnership, will have an island theme inspired by Mr. Church’s Jamaican paintings done on a trip taken in 1865.

“The party is one way to show people that Olana is a great, fun place to be. It helps us promote our key projects, which includes very much our landscape right now,” said Sara Griffen, president of the Olana Partnership. She also described the home and grounds as whimsical and “very rich in culture,´adding that “so much of the work we do is very painstaking involving restoration and scholarly research, but that’s not all we’re about,” she said.

In addition to the remarkable restoration, completed recently, of Mr. Church’s Persian style manse, which he designed in its entirety, Olana has devoted considerable time and resources in recent years restoring its landscape, which is regarded as much a product of Frederic Church’s creativity as his paintings.

“The more we get in to it, the more we see how important it is to understanding the art of Frederic Church,” said Ms. Griffen. “He used his talent to make one of the finest landscapes in the country.”

The Morgan Library mounted an exhibition this spring that compares the Olana landscape with Central Park, and at the time, Church was invited to serve on the planning committee for the park by its architect, Frederic Law Olmstead.

This August will see the publication of two books on Hudson Valley landscapes that feature Olana: “Gardens of the Hudson Valley” by Steve Gross and Susan Daley, and “The Designed Historic Landscapes of the Hudson River Valley” by R.M. Toole.

The Olana Partnership helps fund and support the preservation, development and improvement of the New York State run Olana State Historic Site at 5720 Route 9G, Greenport.

Ticket information for Paradise Found, the 2010 Summer Party, is at www.olana.org/olanasummer/welcome.html or call (518) 828-1872, ext. 103.

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