Sitting room, Olana main house, 2020. 360-degree photograph. Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, New York. Photo by Krista Caballero
Julia B. Rosenbaum, associate professor of art history, explores Frederic Church’s Olana for the journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide
. In the late 1860s, following his success as a landscape painter, Church turned to architectural and interior design. He constructed a house at the center of Olana, his 250-acre property in New York’s Hudson Valley, that manipulated space and daylight as artistic materials. With house building, Church moved into an immersive, three-dimensional format, producing some of his most experimental work. Rosenbaum’s study treats his first-floor interiors as a deliberate composition, of a piece with his two-dimensional oeuvre, and specifically argues for Church’s design as an aesthetic culmination of his longstanding interest—across media—in issues of perception and proprioception. Julia B. Rosenbaum is a professor of art history and visual culture and chair of the Art History and Visual Culture Program at Bard College.