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Sacred Site at Olana


Encounter the full scale and impact of Frederic Church’s monumental canvases in the landscape he designed. The installation comprises twelve replicated works created by Diana Wege, who engaged with Church’s Niagara Falls, from the American Side (1867) over a decade. Just as Church’s large-scale paintings called 19th-century audiences to wonder at nature’s awe-inspiring power, this project calls us to consider the connections between humanity, nature, public land, and personal inspiration.The eight canvases on the right side of the Mount Merino overlook are faithful to the colors of Church’s original, while the four on the left are intended as “variations on a theme” & emphasize abstract qualities of Church’s imagery. The twelve works flank Mt. Merino, a forested spot in Olana’s historic viewshed that was protected from development in 2008. Placing the works at this significant location in Church’s designed landscape calls attention to the vulnerability of our environments & the importance of land stewardship. For Wege, these twelve paintings ask viewers to contemplate the spiritual significance of land & landscape. Just as the Churches were deeply curious about world religions & collected artifacts of Islam, Jainism, and Buddhism, among others, Wege’s project emerged from her interactions with global faith traditions & their contact with the divine in nature. These objects collectively create a “sacred site” for contemplation of the natural world around us.

Olana State Historic Site
  • 5720 New York 9G
  • Hudson, NY 12534