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“Great Art”

Olana State Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 29 things to do in Hudson
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hudson River School painter Frederic E. Church designed Olana, his family home, studio, and estate, as an integrated environment embracing architecture, art, and landscape. Olana, a National Historic Landmark, is an icon of naturalistic landscape design, with five miles of carriage roads and a Persian-inspired house at its summit, embracing unrivaled panoramic views of the vast Hudson River Valley. Today, visitors can experience an array of activities, from meandering through the 250 acre artist designed landscape, to taking a tour of the house and surrounding landscape, to viewing the changing exhibitions both in the main house and a gallery devoted to contemporary photography. They can see a 17 minute award-winning video on the property and a permanent orientation exhibit. They can also participate in a variety of educational programs in the Wagon House Education Center, including a free backpack program that includes a variety of projects for children.
Reviewed 13 July 2014

Olana, Frederic Church's home, is a wonderful Persian style residence situated atop a hill with commanding views of the Catskills and Hudson River. Church was a student of Thomas Cole and was also influential in the Hudson River School of painting. The tour of the home is filled with his art ,is beautifully preserved and his story is well told by the docents. The grounds are lovely with many trails to walk. If you have any interest in art, don't pass up the opportunity to stop and learn more about the man and his work.

Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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386 - 390 of 602 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2014

Beautiful historic home with Persian design, educational as well. Worth a visit! Get there in enough time, tours on the hour and only accommodate 12 at a time.

1  Thank SuzyQu15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014

On July 4, 2014, staff from the Olana Partnership and the New York State parks system provided us with a superb docent-led tour of Church's Olana. The welcoming comments we received at the visitor's center and shop got us in front of the introductory film on Church and the Hudson River valley. From there, our 55-minute docent-led tour gave us more insights into the life, work. And creative passions of Frederic Edwin Church (and his wife) as they designed and furnished their Persian-inspired residence.

What made the trip so good? It's clear that the Partnership and the NYS parks system have figured out how to combine private and state resources to preserve the land and home and interpret the artist and his work for visitors. The docent leasing us through the house was studied, responded to all questions evenly and completely, was courteous, and she ensured we left richer in an understanding of Church and his life than when we entered. I was a first-time visitor and my companion was not; we both benefited equally and what we saw fueled our conversation for the rest of the day.

Note that the interior of the residence is not accessible for people using wheelchairs. The exterior of the property is. The house has several level changes and cannot be retrofitted due to its age.

The proximity to the Thomas Cole home across the river in Catskill is especially convenient. I hope people who visit Olana can make time to see the Cole home as well. While they were both preeminent painters in the Hudson River School, their lives and homes could not be more different.

2  Thank ChunnyM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Mr. Church's estate, a New York painter, wonderful country home. Some of his best paintings are shown. Beautiful scenery

1  Thank Bob N J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

Beautiful house of Frederic and Elizabeth Church. Grounds are spectacular. Make sure arrive early and watch movie before, and allow time or walk around the grounds. Nice gift shop also.

Thank rajalance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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