Photo and Video Documentation: Peter Quirk

The Olana Partnership announced today that the organization has partnered with The Institute of Arab and Islamic Art (IAIA) for the 2018 Artists on Art tour series. The IAIA will augment Olana’s exhibition “COSTUME & CUSTOM: Middle Eastern Threads at Olana” by engaging young contemporary artists of Arab and Islamic descent to lead tours of the Main House and exhibition at Olana. These artists will draw on their own perspectives to interpret Frederic Church’s Middle Eastern collections and “Persian-style” home and its relationship to issues of cultural identity and identity as it relates to clothing and the body. Olana’s 2018 exhibition will display clothing brought back by Frederic Church, America’s first international art star, from his journey to the Middle East (1867-68) interpreted and shown alongside drawings, sketches and paintings inspired by his travels. The artists selected to lead these tours will react to and engage with this never-before-seen part of Church’s collection, while drawing from their own experiences.

Olana is the Persian-inspired home and designed landscape of the 19th-century Hudson River School artist Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), America’s best-known artist at the time. The Main House at Olana was built and designed by Frederic Church in collaboration with Calvert Vaux, after Church and his family spent over a year travelling in the Middle East in the late 1860s on a pilgrimage to explore both the Holy Land and ancient history. Olana is the site of a 19th-century artist’s inspiration, built in 1872 as Western artists “discovered” the Middle East at the height of what is now called Orientalism.

Funding and support for Artists on Art tour series by The Olana Partnership and The Institute of Arab and Islamic Art (IAIA)