Saturday, July 30, 2016

An Olana Puzzlement

In 1886, Frederic Church's son, Frederic Joseph Church, created, in watercolor and ink, a master plan for Olana. A detail of this map is the inspiration for a most intriguing exhibition, which will open on August 14 in the Coachman's House Gallery at Olana.

A tiny red square appears on the map, on the southern slope from the main house, with the words "summer house." No further reference was ever made to it, and there is no evidence that it was ever built, but 130 years later it inspired twenty-one architects and landscape architects to imagine what the summer house could be. An article that appeared in the New York Times yesterday tells all about it: "Dreaming Up a Summer Idyll for Frederic Edwin Church."

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