Pamela and I just returned from a 3 day trip up the Hudson River ending in the town of Catskill. While there we visited the 19th century home of Frederick Church, just across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge from Catskill.
Frederick Church was one of the more prominent of the Hudson River School painters. One of his best known works was his 7 x 3 ft painting of Niagara Falls.
When Frederick began to work on the design of Olana after an extended family trip to the Middle East, his naturalistic style of painting was already losing popularity due to the emergence of Impressionism.
Whether motivated by this realization or not, Frederick poured heart and soul into every detail of his home and spent the last 3 decades of his life dedicated to it's creation. It is abundantly clear in the design of Olana how enamored he was with the Persian and Moorish art he had seen on his travels. He designed every internal and external decorative element including the mixing of every color used and worked with architect Calvert Vaux to make it a reality.
I could not take pictures inside the house but here are the best details I was able to capture of the outside. Do, if you can, pay a visit. But for those who can't go in person, I hope my photographs give you a glimpse of the extreme pleasure it is to visit Frederick Church's ultimate masterpiece, Olana.
Also remember to click on pictures to get even more of the details. And you never know, whom you will see since God is rumored to reside there.