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“Frederic Church at Olana: Art, Ecology, and the Native Forest” – Lecture by Sean Sawyer, PhD

May 21 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

$15 – $20

On Sunday, May 21, 2023, 2-4 p.m., the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will feature a talk by Sean Sawyer, Ph.D. titled, “Frederic Church at Olana: Art, Ecology, and the Native Forest.”

LMMM Trustee and Lectures Committee Chair Kathy Olsen said, “We are fortunate to have Dr. Sawyer share his inspiration on the preservation of a National Historic Landmark and bring the beauty and wonder of the Hudson River Valley to Norwalk.”

This lecture will be held at Stepping Stones Museum for Children’s Multimedia Gallery, 303 West Ave., Norwalk, CT. To reserve tickets attendees can visit the Events page on the Museum’s website at www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com. Admission is $15 for LMMM members, $20 for non-members. Light refreshments will be offered following the presentation as well as a special drawing for a complimentary tour of Olana on Saturday, June 24th at 12pm.

A National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site, Olana is the masterwork of Frederic Church (1826-1900), America’s preeminent 19th-century artist and renowned Hudson River School painter who defined our national identity as inextricably linked to the majesty of the natural world. At Olana, Church sought to marry aesthetic endeavor and environmental action, and at the core of the endeavor was the ambitious reforestation of 250 acres of overworked land with native trees. Since 1971, The Olana Partnership and New York State Parks have worked tirelessly to restore Olana in a pioneering public-private partnership that has become a model for the nation.

Sean Sawyer Ph.D., President of The Olana Partnership, will discuss how Church engaged with the emerging field of ecology, first in his tutelage with Thomas Cole and by literally following in Humboldt’s footsteps in his meteoric rise as the country’s most celebrated landscape painter. The talk then explores Church’s four decade-long development of Olana, where he immersed himself in “landscape architecturing,” to speak to the history of the land and human impact upon it.

Dr. Sean Sawyer has been the Washburn & Susan Oberwager President of The Olana Partnership, since May 2015. He received a B.A. summa cum laude in Art History & Archaeology from Princeton University in 1988 and his Ph.D. in Architectural History from Columbia University in 1999. Prior to joining Olana, Sawyer was the Executive Director of The Royal Oak Foundation, the American partner of the National Trust of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. He began his non-profit career as Executive Director of the Wyckoff House Museum in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY. Sawyer is a member of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors and the Village of Kinderhook Historic Preservation Commission.

This lecture is generously sponsored by Dr. Brandon Buchla/A Team Performance. LMMM’s 2023 programs are made possible in part by CT Humanities with generous funding provided by Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature; LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown; LMMM’s Leadership Patrons: The Sealark Foundation; and LMMM’s 2023 Season Distinguished Benefactors: The City of Norwalk, The Maurice Goodman Foundation, and Lockwood-Mathews Foundation, Inc.
For more information on tours and programs, please visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, email info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.


Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
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Stepping Stones Museum for Children
303 West Avenue
Norwalk, 06850 United States
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