joy magnetism: Olana day in the valley

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Olana day in the valley

Magnet #155 - Olana stenciled panel

Frederic Church was one of the most important landscape artists in America in the 19th century, and he made his home in New York's Hudson Valley. That home is the beautiful Olana, designed by Robert Morris Hunt, the same guy who did a few of the houses up in Newport, RI.

Mind you, the above paragraph was a heck of a lot more than we knew before we visited, because during a trip upstate, my roadtripper friends and I saw the signs for Olana, and decided to drop by on a whim. And what a find!

It's a Persian style house, built high on a hill, overlooking about 250 acres of his property. There's a long drive to get to the actual house, and suddenly you look and there's this superamazing house, and you can easily see why Church dubbed it the Center of the World.

If I remember correctly, we weren't able to make the last house tour of the day, so we were only allowed to roam the grounds outside, which you can see in this random slideshow that I found.

And, of course, we were able to visit the little shop. Which is where I picked up this stenciled panel, designed by Church for his vestibule door. If it's any indication, it seems that the interior of the house well matches the gorgeous exterior.

Hopefully, I'll find out for myself, eventually. (And, at least then, I'll know just a little bit more about what I'm lookin' at.)
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