Tag Archives: Columbia County

Hudson Valley Farm Photo Exhibit at Olana

Olana has announced the opening of a new exhibition by photographer Brandt Bolding entitled FARM: Agricultural Life of the Hudson Valley. The exhibit in the recently restored Coachman’s House Gallery at Olana State Historic Site.

In 1860, Frederic Church purchased approximately 126 acres of farmland and immediately set out to build a new “farm house” for his family. The artist expanded his land holdings over the next ten years and ultimately moved his family to the larger stone-and-brick house he built near the summit of the hill, but he continued to work on and operate a farm at Olana for the rest of his life. Church was proud of his farming accomplishments, writing friends and family of the success of his orchards, vegetables, and livestock.

The FARM exhibit coincides with extensive farm restoration work about to begin in Olana’s historic farm complex. The Olana Partnership and Olana State Historic Site have secured two major grants to focus on restoring Frederic Church’s farm. Over the next several years, meadow and orchard restoration projects will return the neglected farm to potentially active agricultural use. “According to a report of the American Farmland Trust, every hour we lose 125 acres of farm and ranch land in the U.S.,” reports Olana Partnership President Sara Griffen. “By focusing on the restoration of Olana’s farm we hope to play a small role in ensuring the agricultural future of Columbia County.”

Photographer Brandt Bolding states, “through extensive travels photographing and documenting the farms of northeastern America I am attempting to bring awareness of just a small part of what is at stake. Nowhere is this more of a concern than in the Mid-Hudson Valley…where citizens, and civic organizations large and small rally to preserve the irreplaceable beauty of our landscape from less than circumspect development.”

The photos included in the exhibition will be printed by the photographer in a limited edition of twelve and are available for purchase in the Olana Museum Store. The exhibit will be open every day through October 30, 2011 at Olana State Historic Site, 5720 State Route 9G, Hudson, New York.

About Brandt Bolding:

Brandt Bolding’s photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the northeastern part of the U.S. and have appeared in newspapers, journals, and publications by various preservation organizations in New York State. His work on agricultural life will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, NY, later this year. Two of his photographs appeared in the book entitled Old Homes of New England: Historic Houses in Clapboard, Shingle, and Stone published by Rizzoli in April 2010.

Photo: Level Acres Cornfield, Route 82, Columbia County. Courtesy Brandt Bolding Photography.

Olana Offers Childrens Summer Programs

The Olana Partnership has announced two summer programs for children that will be offered in July and August. Each of the week-long programs offers a distinct experience for children ages 7-14 and parents can register their child for either one or both offerings.

Panorama – Olana’s new summer program for children will be held at the Wagon House Education Center from Monday, July 11 through Friday, July 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The week-long adventure will explore art, history, and nature through the prism of artist Frederic Church. Children will learn about artist techniques and Olana’s working farm in the 19th century- they will paint in the beautiful Olana landscape and create historic crafts for children. Professional authors and illustrators will enhance the experience of participants through hands-on activities. On the final day of the program, a museum will be set up in the Wagon House to display the children’s artwork.

River School – Olana’s summer dramatic arts program will be held at the Wagon House Education Center from Monday, August 8 through Friday, August 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children will create their own play from soup-to-nuts in this non-competitive program that explores all aspects of story and dramatic arts through the fun and magic of live theater. During this week-long “full process” experience, participants will create original scripts, design and construct sets and props, and stage a performance for family and friends at the end of the week. The theme of the play will derive from exploration of a painting by Hudson River School landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church. While using their imaginations in the inspiring Olana landscape, participants will work on public speaking and expression. Parents of past participants have summed up their children’s experience in River School as an “educational, dramatic arts exposure,” where children gained “confidence, and public speaking experience, and a sense of mastery and achievement.”

Registration forms for children ages 7-14 can be downloaded from Olana’s website. For more information on these programs, please contact Sarah Hasbrook, education coordinator for The Olana Partnership, at shasbrook@olana.org or (518) 828-1872 ext. 109.

Olana’s Wagon House Education Center offers public programs for children, families and the community. The Education Center is located at Olana State Historic Site, 5720 State Route 9G, Hudson, New York. After entering the site, take your first right after the lake and continue down to the Farm Complex parking lot.

Wagon House Education Center programming is made possible in part through support provided by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency- the Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation- the Educational Foundation of America- the John Wilmerding Educational Initiative, and the members of The Olana Partnership.

Olana Hosts Artists Handmade Houses Book Event

The Olana Partnership and Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios will offer a book talk and signing with author Michael Gotkin and photographer Don Freeman to celebrate the publication of Artists’ Handmade Houses on Saturday, June 18 at 4:00 p.m. on the East Lawn at Olana State Historic Site, 5720 State Route 9G, Hudson, New York. This event is free and open to the public (a vehicle use fee applies). Light refreshments will be served. Please call (518) 828-1872 ext. 103 or e-mail rsvp@olana.org to reserve.

Artists’ Handmade Houses is a collection of private domains handcrafted by the finest artists and craftsmen in America. This diverse selection of artists includes familiar names such as George Nakashima, Sam Maloof, Frederic Church, and Russel Wright, as well as those deserving wider recognition. Constructed between the late-nineteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, these homes were designed and built by artists as expressions of their art and craft. A few of the featured homes have been awarded National Historic Landmark status and several are open to the public, while others have sadly fallen into disrepair or are in the hands of new owners. In some cases, the photographs in this book represent the last record of the house as created by the artist.

Michael Gotkin’s text places each house in the context of its owner’s life and career, providing anecdotes and insights about its development over time and its place in the oeuvre of the artist. With brief histories about each artist and house, and spectacular new photography by Don Freeman, Artists’ Handmade Houses offers a rare glimpse into the personal living and work spaces of some of the greatest American artists and craftsmen.

Don Freeman’s photographs appear regularly in the pages of World of Interiors, Vogue, House Beautiful, and Vanity Fair, among other magazines. Michael Gotkin works as a landscape architect and city planner in New York City, where he is also an advocate for the preservation of postwar design. He has organized design exhibitions with the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Municipal Art Society of New York.

The hardcover book published by Abrams retails for $60.00 and has 240 pages, with 230 color photographs. Copies of Artists’ Handmade Houses will be available for sale at the event and online.

Hudson River Viewshed Symposium Saturday

The Olana Partnership will celebrate the Hudson Valley’s extraordinary natural and designed landscapes in a symposium on Saturday, April 16, 2011. Framing the Viewshed: The Transformative Power of Art and Landscape in the Hudson Valley will take place at Columbia-Greene Community College, just outside of Hudson, New York. The panel discussion will feature three leading experts in the fields of art history, conservation, and landscape design who will discuss the Hudson Valley’s unparalleled viewsheds and their cultural context.

Olana, now the Olana State Historic Site, was the home and creation of Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), one of the most significant artists of his day, and a leader of the Hudson River School, America’s first native school of painting. As a young artist, Church studied under Thomas Cole who lived just across the Hudson River. Church fell in love with the area and, when he became successful he bought a farm, which eventually became one of America’s most important designed landscapes.

Frederic Church designed Olana, planting trees, building a lake, and orchestrating the paths and carriage drives that lead up to the iconic Persian-inspired castle at the top of the hill. From this vantage point, with Church’s 250-acre Picturesque style landscape in the foreground, and the larger, borrowed landscape stretching to the horizon, today’s visitor can enjoy a vista largely unchanged in the 110 years since Frederic Church died.

This vast area comprises the Olana viewshed. (Fittingly, Columbia-Greene College, site of the symposium, is itself part of this viewshed.) “Olana represents a rare American convergence of art, conservation and landscape themes,” said Mark Prezorski, trustee of The Olana Partnership. “It makes perfect sense for the Olana Viewshed to serve as a backdrop for a broader Hudson Valley discussion.”

The panel discussion will be moderated by David Schuyler, the biographer of Calvert Vaux, who assisted Church with the design of the house. Art historian Linda S Ferber will speak on the four Hudsons of Wallace Bruce, the author of a 1901 travel guide: the Hudsons of Beauty, History, Literature and Commerce. Vassar Professor Emeritus Harvey K. Flad will discuss the “Art of Protecting Scenic Views: Nineteenth-century Artists and the Preservation of Modern-day Landscapes.” Landscape architect Laurie Olin, whose designs for public and private landscapes have won him international acclaim, will speak on the use of contemporary design in historic settings.

The concept of viewsheds is one in which many organizations are involved, several of which are participating in this symposium by either helping sponsor the conference or having representatives on hand to talk about their work. Sara Griffen, President of The Olana Partnership, said, “Partnerships are key to understanding and preserving views. The Olana Partnership is pleased that the Hudson Valley Greenway and National Heritage Area are sponsors of the symposium, and that representatives of Scenic Hudson, the Open Space Institute, and the Columbia Land Conservancy will be available to describe their respective roles in the preservation of views. The Olana Partnership also acknowledges the critical work of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as well as the Estuary program of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of State, and the support of our partners at the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Cultural Landscape Foundation.” WDST is the media sponsor of the symposium.

Citing some reasons why his organization with its partners have preserved more than 2,000 acres in the Olana viewshed, Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said, “These vistas are good for the soul and the economy. The land that inspired Frederic Church’s art today lifts the spirits of all who see it. Keeping this treasured landscape intact helps Olana bring $8 million to the local economy each year and contributes strongly to Columbia County’s tourism industry, which generates $105 million in spending annually and is responsible for 1,500 jobs. I applaud Olana for holding this symposium to have more people appreciate and support preserving the valley’s natural beauty.”

The symposium will be held from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, at Columbia-Greene Community College, 4400 Route 23, Hudson, NY. Registration starts at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 each for members of The Olana Partnership, $50 for non-members. Continuing Education Credits, LACES 3.5 Non-HSW (NYS) will be available for registered landscape architects. From 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon, Olana is offering tours of the Bell Tower (which is not usually open to the public) to symposium participants. The tour is free to members, $40 for non-members- space is limited so guests must pre-register. For additional information or to reserve tickets, go to the Olana website, www.olana.org or call (518) 828-1872, extension 103.

Another feature of this symposium is a collection of statements on the subject of viewsheds that will be provided to attendees. In addition, these statements are posted on Olana’s website, along with an opportunity for the public, through Facebook, to create their own statements about views.

Following the symposium, participants can enjoy the sunset by attending a Viewshed Benefit Party with wine and hors d’oeuvres, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Oak Hill in Hudson, NY (town of Livingston). Oak Hill was built around 1793 by John Livingston (1750-1822), son of Robert Livingston, the third Lord of Livingston Manor. Grandly sited on a Hudson River bluff, it commands intimate river and mountain views, as well as a singular view up toward Frederic Church’s house and painting studio. Oak Hill is one of more than a dozen family homes built along the Hudson River and has remained in the Livingston family since it was built. Sponsor tickets for the benefit are $250, members $90 and non-members $100 and are available by calling (518) 828-1872, extension 103 as well as via Brown Paper Tickets.

Photo: Peter Aaron/Esto.

New Season at Boscobel House and Gardens

Whether you crave chocolate or relish history, Boscobel has a special event just for you. The early 19th-century house museum on 45 acres in Garrison (Putnam County) swings its gate open for the 2011 season this April 1st, and the entire month promises a variety of unique offerings.

New this year will be special Themed House Tours. In April, think quickly for the April Fool’s: What’s Wrong in This Room? house tours. Join in on the search for off-period items in Boscobel House. Would Elizabeth have one or two sugar cubes in her tea? Did Peter wear a wrist watch on his left or right arm? Careful – Boscobel is trying to fool you. Daily tours throughout the month of April will include a wrong-era object in each room. See the Boscobel website for special themed tours in July & November, too. There is no additional cost for themed tours. (Regular house admission rates apply.)

Eagerly anticipating chocolate from the Easter Bunny? No need to wait that long…come to Boscobel Saturday, April 2 for a luscious lecture and tasting: Wine & Chocolate Pairings with Oliver Kita. According to Chocolatier and Chef Oliver Kita, wine & chocolate are a natural combination. Both have complex flavors and notes, and both have similar components and nuances. Join us for this tasty lecture, and learn how to team up wine and chocolate together in a variety of delicious ways. A sampling of wines and chocolates will be offered. Unique chocolates will also be available for sale, as well as Oliver’s line of “Great Estate Chocolates” which include Boscobel. (Great gifts for Mother’s Day and Easter!) Wine & Chocolate Tasting Plus a Tour of Boscobel House: $35/person at 1pm. Wine & Chocolate Tasting Only: $25/person at 2:30pm. Space limited. Reservations Required. (21 years+) Tickets can be bought online at Boscobel.org. Look for a link on the April event page.

This year’s Seminar Series sponsored by the Friends of Boscobel is titled, “18th & 19th Century Industries in the Hudson Valley.” It all starts April 9 with Ms. Ina Griffin-Guilzon, Museum Teacher at Columbia County Historical Society who will present, “Whaling Industry Based in The Hudson.”

The series will continue on April 16 with Travis Bowman of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation who will give an illustrated talk on “Bobs’ Folly,” how Robert Fulton & Robert Livingston introduced the first steamboat service on the Hudson River.

Finally, on April 23 stop by for: Dr. Tom Carroll, Professor at RPI and associated with “Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway” who will give a modified version of “The Hudson as Silicon Valley of the 19th Century” with coverage of the West Point Foundry and Burden Mining near Linlithgo. All lectures are free and do not require reservations- space is limited. House tours are additional.

Are you a garden buff? Rest your spade, and come to Boscobel on Friday April 29 at 2pm for a Garden Tour & Book Signing by the authors of “Gardens of the Hudson Valley.” This stunning, new coffee table book focuses on the Valley’s historic landscape and how gardens have been integrated into it. Photographers Steve Gross and Susan Daly selected twenty-five gardens between Yonkers and Hudson that included famous estates, including Boscobel, as well as private gardens that combine sweeping views and lush plantings. Writers Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner describe each of the gardens in full detail with focus on the history of the site and the strategies for design and plant materials. Join us at Boscobel on Arbor Day where Ms. Lowry and Ms. Berner will lead visitors on a guided garden tour, discuss their book and sign copies purchased in the gift shop. Grounds admission applies.

Due to popular request, Costumed House Tours at Boscobel have been expanded are being offered all day long on the last Friday of every month. Step back in time when Boscobel’s docents dress in period costumes and guide visitors through Boscobel House on an interactive, interpretive tour. They will explain life and times of the 1800s and perhaps share “inside stories” of the Dyckman family. There is no additional cost for costumed tours- regular house admission rates apply.

Live in Orange County? Be sure to visit Boscobel on Sunday, April 17 when it’s Orange County Day. Simply show your proof of Orange residence and your grounds admission is free. It’s a terrific way to discover Boscobel and take in some breathtaking views. Check Boscobel’s website calendar for your free county day.

For a fabulous spring opening sale on many unique home & gift items in the Gift Shop at Boscobel, stop by the first two weeks in April. There’s even a 50% off table sure to please the bargain shopper in you.

For further details on all events and programs, including rain dates & pricing, visit Boscobel.org or call 845.265.3638 after April 1. Boscobel is located on scenic Route 9D in Garrison New York just one mile south of Cold Spring. From April through October, hours are 9:30am to 5pm., the last tour at 4:00pm. The house museum and distinctive Gift Shop at Boscobel are open every day except Tuesdays, May 15, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Olana to Host Irish History Themed Tours

Events such as the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s and 1850s led to a major influx of Irish immigrants to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. Like many other families in this area, the Churches hired numerous Irish immigrants for their staff at Olana during the years Frederic Church lived on this property (1860-1900).

Two of the longest-serving employees were the Churches’ coachman and head cook, Michael and Jane McKenna – a brother and sister – both of whom were employed here for over a quarter-century. Olana will present special Irish-themed tours Friday-Sunday, March 11-13 & 18-20, at 10 and 11AM, 12, 1, 2 & 3PM.


Photo: Frederic Church’s coachman Michael McKenna is shown here with one of the Church’s horses. Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYS OPRHP.

Olana Partnership Elects New Chair, Board Members

The Olana Partnership has elected Richard Sharp as Chair of the Board of Trustees at its annual meeting in New York City on January 29, 2011.

Mr. Sharp has been an active member of the Board since 2005, and was a driving force behind the creation of the Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery which opened two years ago at Olana. He is an avid collector of nineteenth century American art and has frequently donated and loaned works in his collection to public museums. Mr. Sharp is a senior partner in the litigation department of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP, a leading international law firm. He received his B.A. degree, summa cum laude, from Brown University in 1970. He studied at Oxford University and the Hague Academy of International Law in 1970-1971, and received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979.

Mr. Sharp stated,

“Olana is unique in combining extraordinary landscape design, architecture and collections. One of my top priorities is to renew our ties to the local community, while increasing our visibility nationally and internationally.”

Mr. Sharp also seeks to foster close collaboration among the many Hudson Valley historic sites.

The Partnership also welcomed three new board members at the annual meeting: Stephen Clearman, Rebecca Desman, and Stephanie Zhang.

Stephen Clearman bought Kinderhook Farm in 2003 in Columbia County where he and his partner have established themselves as leading local producers of sustainably-raised beef cattle and sheep. Mr. Clearman started Geocapital Partners in 1984, where he managed a series of institutional venture capital partnerships. In 2002, he started Kinderhook Partners, which invests in small and little unknown publicly traded companies. His interest in Olana coincides with his interest in art and collecting, including Hudson River School paintings.

Mr. Clearman received an M.S. from Columbia University in 1974 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1978.

Rebecca Desman is director at Deutsche Bank (DB) and has been an integral part of the growth of DB’s U.S. sales platform in flow credit and derivatives. Rebecca graduated from Princeton University in 2001, where she received her B.A. in Political Science. She plays an active role in undergraduate and diversity recruiting at DB and sits on the Global Markets Women’s Network Advisory Committee. While working at DB, Ms. Desman earned her M.S. in Non-Profit and Fundraising Management at Columbia University. After completing her masters, she joined two major clients of DB and helped set up The Darfur Project, which provided relief supplies for refugees. She is particularly involved in and motivated by global women’s issues and is active in several global charities. She is an avid appreciator and collector of art.

Stephanie Zhang is executive director in the Technology Division of Morgan Stanley and has 19 years of experience working in the financial services industry in New York and Asia. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Ms. Zhang worked in EJV Partners to help build out their data center operations. Since 2001, she has focused on building a set of technical solutions and processes in the area of Identity and Access Management for the global Morgan Stanley enterprise.

Ms. Zhang has travelled extensively in Asia, Europe and the Americas. She enjoys the diversity of New York City and takes advantage of its many cultural opportunities- her hobbies include jewelry-making, painting, photography, modern dance, and performance art. She holds a B.A in Computer Science and Statistics from the University of Wisconsin/Madison.

Call for Artists to Olana Plein Air Event

Pre-register by September 18th for Paint Out Olana. Artists of all ages, mediums and experience levels are invited to showcase the Olana landscape on Sunday, October 3rd, from 12-4 p.m. Be inspired by the spectacular views and creative atmosphere of Olana State Historic Site.

Participation in the event is included in the site’s $5 vehicle use fee. A listing of artists pre-registered by September 18th will be available in the Visitor Center. Call 518-828-01356, x305 to pre-register.

House tours will be available on a first come, first served basis starting at 10 a.m., with the final tour of the day beginning promptly at 4 p.m. Come early to ensure tour availability and shorter wait times. House tour tickets are $12/adult, $10/student or senior, and free for children under 12 years of age.

Olana, the home and studio of Hudson River School artist Frederic E. Church, is a New York State Historic Site and a National Historic Landmark. It is located at 5720 Route 9G in Hudson. Olana is one of six historic sites and 15 parks administered by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Taconic Region. The Olana Partnership is a private, not-for-profit organization, which works cooperatively with New York State to support the preservation, restoration, development, and improvement of Olana State Historic Site. Call 518-828-0135, visit www.nysparks.com or www.olana.org for more information.

Olana State Historic Site to Open, Events Announced

Olana State Historic Site will return to a summer schedule this Friday, April 2, 2010. As always, the Olana landscape remains open daily from 8 am until sunset for hiking, dog-walking, picnicking or just enjoying the view. All pets must be on leashes. The spring tour season kicks off with April Fools Olana! tours available Friday, April 2 – Saturday, April 3 at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. Objects that just don’t belong are scattered throughout the house. See how many you can find! Standard tour fees apply.

Here is an list of upcoming events at Olana State Historic Site:

April Fools Olana!
Friday, April 2 – Saturday, April 3
Tours at 11AM, 1PM and 3PM daily

Olana’s been pranked! Objects that just don’t fit in are scattered throughout the house, some better hidden than others. Bring the family and see who has the sharpest eye. Admission is free for members of The Olana Partnership. $9/adult- $8/students and seniors, free for children under 12. Standard tours available on the hour and half hour except for the times listed above. Call (518) 828-0135 for information.

FIRST FRIDAYS SERIES: April 2 (Also May 7, June 4)

Easy Tai chi (10:00 AM – 12 PM)

Tap into the spirituality of nature (like a Hudson River School artist but without the paint)! Tai chi is a mind-body practice that originated in China as a martial art. The body moves slowly and gently, while breathing deeply and meditating. Many practitioners believe that Tai chi helps the flow throughout the body of a proposed vital energy called qi, increasing our wellness. Join John Middlebrooks (Omega Institute) as he guides you in this intro class. Classes will meet at the education center- if weather permits we will practice out in the landscape that day. Please attend all three classes as they go in sequence and allow time for practice. Space is limited- register by the preceding Thursday: codonnell@olana.org- (518)828- 1872×-110. Wagon House Education Center/Farm Complex. Adults. Free.

Visual Arts Workshop (1-3 PM)

Retired? Ready to finally explore your love of art? It is never too late! Adults with little or no formal art training will realize that creating art can be accomplished through a variety of materials and techniques. Create a work of art in a safe setting with new friends, providing a personal sense of accomplishment and ownership. Wagon House Education Center/Farm Complex. Adults (50+). Free. Register: codonnell@olana.org or (518) 828-1872 x110.

MyStory in History: Contemporary Art in a Historical World (4-5 PM)

Use the life of Frederic Church and his home, Olana, as inspiration, to take a new look at the world. In this mixed media after school drop-off art class lead by local art teacher Claudia Brehse, you will begin to think about the importance of art as a form of communication, about the “message of the medium” and why people collect and create art. Students will work in the studio to create the newest history- the history of you. Great for homeschoolers or teen art club members. Register: codonnell@olana.org or (518) 828-1872 x110.

Landscape Yoga (5:30-6:30 PM)

This gentle yoga class will bring the inspiring picturesque landscape views inside. Celebrate the spirituality of nature with yoga instructor Ed Sisk from the Yoga With Ed studio in Hudson, NY. Mats and modification tools will be provided- you are welcome to bring your own. Space is limited. Free. Register: codonnell@olana.org or (518).828.1872×-110.

Educator Tour
Tuesday, April 6, 10am

Join area educators for a tour with Olana’s Director of Education. Discussion will include history as well as practical application, and participants are invited to sit down together after the tour to discuss content and classroom applications. Educator resources will be available. Reservations are required by 4pm Monday, April 5th. Regular tour rates apply, $9/adult, $8 student/senior. Call 518.828.0135 to reserve a space.

Family Tour at Olana
Saturday, April 10, 11:30 AM

Explore the house, its paintings and treasures from a child’s perspective. Take the family tour then stop by the Wagon House Education Center for Art in the Barn, or borrow a backpack full of activities to do on the grounds – a family day at Olana couldn’t be more perfect! Tours are geared for families with 6-12 year olds, but all ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are required by 4PM the preceding Friday. Call (518) 828-0135 for information. $9/adult- $8/students and seniors, free for children under 12 and members of The Olana Partnership.

An Historian’s Look at Victorian Flower Arranging: Lecture and Demonstration
Sunday, April 11, 1-3PM

Floral Decorations played an important role in 19th century interiors and entertaining. As one looks at the second half of the 19th century, each decade is distinguished by the type of flowers used and the style of floral arrangement —- it is not all baby’s breath and lace! An illustrated lecture will show how flowers were used in arrangements, how flowers looked in the early 19th century, and how their appearance has changed through years of hybridizing and selection. Ellen McClelland Lesser’s demonstration will show how to create authentic arrangements using correct plant materials and containers. Ellen has done arrangements in the main house at Olana including the dining table arrangement for the annual holiday reception in the past. Ellen holds a Certificate in Commercial Floral Design from the New York Botanical Garden and a First Level Certificate from the Sogetsu School of Ikebana (Japanese floral design). Seating is limited- register by the preceding Friday: codonnell@olana.org- (518) 828.1872×-110.

Rensselaerswijck Seminar Scheduled For Oct 1-3

The Rensselaerswijck Seminar, this year themed “Kiliaen van Rensselaer’s Colonie: The Beginning of European Settlement of the Upper Hudson,” will be held in the New York State Museum’s Carole Huxley Theatre October 2nd and 3rd. Scholars and historians from this country and the Netherlands will present seminar topics over the two days, giving current information about the origins and history of Rensselaerwijck, a million acres that encompassed what is now Albany, Rensselaer and Columbia counties. Admission to the seminar is $75 for both days, $50 for one day, and $25 for students.

Noted author Russell Shorto will speak on “Oh, Henry: What Has the Hudson Year Wrought?” at the opening reception of the 32nd Annual Rensselaerswijck Seminar, Thursday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m. at the NYS Museum, Albany. Admission to Shorto’s talk is free.

The New Netherland Institute’s conference theme is a return to its roots as a platform for local historians to present their latest research on the only successful patroonship in New Netherland.

The members of the New Netherland Project staff will all take part. Charles T. Gehring, Ph.D., director of the project, Janny Venema, Ph.D., assistant director, and Martha D. Shattuck, Ph.D., editor, will present new information from their research specialty areas.

Shorto will also take part on a panel of authors Friday at 10:30 a.m., with other contributors to the institute’s recent publication, “Explorers, Fortunes & Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland.” Martha D. Shattuck, Ph.D., editor, will be moderator.

More detailed information and registration forms are available at the New Netherland Institute website at www.nnp.org.