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July 2024

Justine Hommel Memorial Lecture: “Frederic Church’s Olana: Art, Ecology and the Native Forest” presented by Sean Sawyer

    • Sat, 07/27/2024
  • 2 Ledge End Road , Haines Falls, NY 12436

A National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site, Olana, is the masterwork of Frederic Church (1826 -1900), America’s most famous artists of the mid-19th century. As a painter, Church defined our national identity as inextricably linked to the majesty of the natural world. At Olana, Church married aesthetic endeavor with environmental action. At the core of his endeavor was the ambitious reforestation of 250-acres of overworked land with native trees. Since 1971, the Olana Partnership and New York State Parks have worked tirelessly to restore Olana in a pioneering public-private partnership that has become a model for the nation.

Sean Sawyer, President of the Olana Partnership since May of 2015, will discuss how Church engaged with the emerging field of ecology, first by literally following in the footsteps of Alexander von Humboldt, in his meteoric rise as the country’s most celebrated landscape painter and, then in his four decade-long development of Olana, where he immersed himself in “landscape architecturing” to speak to the history of the land and human impact on it.

Dr. Sawyer received a B.A. summa cum laude in Art History & Archaeology from Princeton University in 1988 and his PhD in Architectural History from Columbia University in 1999. Prior to joining Olana, Sean was the Executive Director of the Royal Oak Foundation, the American partner of the National Trust of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Sean is a member of the Columbia County Development Corp. and of the Village of Kinderhook Historic Preservation Commission.

Program will be held at the Twilight Park Clubhouse.
Refreshments to follow.
A $5 donation is suggested.

2:00PM -- 4:00PM


Twilight Park