What better way to spend a gorgeous October weekend than strolling a 500-acre landscape of fields, hills, and woodlands filled with more than 100 carefully sited sculptures. This large collection, created by acclaimed international artists, is what the Storm King Art Center has been offering for 50 years in the lower Hudson Valley. Should our benevolent Flying Spaghetti Monster grace us with another 80°F weekend I invite you to check this beautiful open air museum Wednesday to Sunday until November 13. Or rake leaves for hours. You pick. Read on to find out.
Click on any of the thumbnails to open a larger view, or check the full-screen Flickr slideshow if you have Flash installed.
This sculpture garden with a focus on large-scale abstract work was founded in 1960 by Ralph E. Ogden as a museum for Hudson Valley painters. It soon expanded into a major sculpture venue with the acquisition of works from the estate of sculptor David Smith. The museum is now a public non-profit 501(c)3 museum chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and is governed by a board of trustees.
Above, “Mermaid” (1994), by Roy Lichtenstein. Works at Storm King encompass the years from post-World War II to the present and include gifts, acquisitions, specially commissioned site-specific works, and loans. There is a core collection of pieces by modern masters such as Alexander Calder, David Smith, Mark di Suvero, Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, Richard Serra, and Louise Nevelson. These are joined with more recent large-scale sculptures by contemporary sculptors including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Alice Aycock, Andy Goldsworthy, Alexander Liberman, Sol LeWitt, and Roy Lichtenstein (source: Storm King & Wikipedia).
Above, three of the many sculptures by Mark di Suvero. It takes anywhere between two to five hours to see most of the sculptures on foot. The park is well groomed but I suggest hiking shoes and water. Strollers are allowed and most strollers are suitable for the gravel roads around the property. Note that only trained guide and service animals are permitted on the grounds, for obvious reasons.
Storm King provides free trams for visitors with limited mobility and young children, but I recommend you hop in nonetheless to go from one end of the museum to the other quickly. Visitors may disembark, walk, and re-board at designated points throughout the grounds. Touring Storm King by bicycle is a another way to experience the art and landscape at your leisure. Bike rental is $10 per hour with a two-hour minimum, or $40 for the day—you can’t bring your own. This is not the best solution if you plan on taking a lot of photos in my opinion, but it certainly looks stylish. Wait, there is no mention of rollerblades? Helloooo loophole.
Above, “Jambalaya” (2002-2006) by Mark di Suvero. There really is a lot to see and I enjoyed looking for the new pieces that had been introduced since my last visit in 2009, including the monumental “Three Legged Buddha” by Zhang Huan displayed in the post header. The piece, acquired in 2010 as a gift from the artist and The Pace Gallery, represents the bottom half of a sprawling, three-legged behemoth, one of whose feet rests on an eight-foot-high human head that appears to be either emerging from or sinking into the earth. Standing nearly twenty-eight feet high and weighing more than twelve tons, it is part of a series of monumental works inspired several years ago by the artist’s encounters, while traveling in Tibet (source).
Above, “Storm King Wavefield” (2007-2008) by Maya Lin. Storm King complements its permanent installation of sculpture with a variety of special exhibitions. On the menu this year, celebrating the center’s 50th anniversary, 5+5: New Perspectives (PDF), which comprises new and recent work by ten artists, and The View from Here: Storm King at Fifty.
Follow the arrow.
Above, one end of “Storm King Wall” by Andy Goldsworthy (2,278 foot long).
Above, “Viewing Scope” (2006) by Alyson Shotz.
Above, “LUBA” (2009–2010) by Ursula von Rydingsvard.
I suspect the center looks fantastic in winter too, when fog and snow reclaim Schunnemunk Mountain and Storm King Mountain. Storm King is closed from November to March—however, if you sign up for the $50 membership you will receive an invitation to one of the winter walks. Very tempting.
My previous visit to Storm King, in 2009:
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