Yesterday I had the great pleasure of visiting the Olana House by American painter Frederich Church.
He designed the house himself in the 1860s, inspired by his trips to the Middle East.
Sticking to Hudson School aesthetic, he built the home with views that mimicked his paintings. Yes, this is a reflection selfie off the house into the backyard.
Two things stood out to me on the tour:
1. Frederich Church was a devout Protestant. However, he prioritized his interests and curiosities over religion. Since he was an artist, he may have also used his house to market/differentiate himself from the others.
2. The museum had a couple offices inside. I would say that seeing those rooms tainted the illusion. When you're recreating stories, you should probably close the door on modernity.
Story short, you have to admire Church for doing something different in a more parochial era of American culture. But you have to do what no one else is doing if you want to stand out. Uniqueness is timeless.