By Linda Seigelman
Last month I was driving up the New York State Thruway when I happened to look to the right and realize I was riding along the border of the Storm King Art Center. When the leaves are off the trees, you can actually see some of the sculptures from the highway. It brought an immediate smile to my face as well as the welcome realization that spring was around the corner and so was the annual reopening of Storm King.
Located in the Hudson Valley just north of Woodbury Commons and considered to be one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, Storm King has more than 100 sculptures arrayed over 500 acres of fields, grasses, hills and woods. It is a spectacular setting through which you can walk, bike (they provide rentals) or ride a tram. Opened to the public in 1960 and originally envisioned as a museum devoted to the Hudson River School, within a few years, its founders had become committed to modern sculpture.
Storm King’s dramatic landscape includes farmed fields, natural woodlands, lawns, native grasses, wetlands, and water. The inherent beauty of the region is constantly on view in the surrounding hills and meadows as you walk the paths viewing art installations that range in size from small to staggeringly huge in a variety of media. Every work has been situated on the site with careful consideration given to both its immediate surroundings and distant views.
The collection includes works by some of the world’s top artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Sol Lewitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Maya Lin, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Isamu Noguchi and Richard Serra.
In addition to its permanent collection, each year Storm King features a variety of special exhibitions. These might be large-scale sculptures located on the grounds in some appropriate setting, or they could be smaller works shown in the Museum Building.
Storm King Art Center is open daily Wednesday to Sunday from April through November and on select holiday Mondays – Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day. Any day is a good one to visit Storm King as each season offers its own special backdrop for these amazing artworks, but springtime is a favorite.
WHERE TO EAT
Storm King Café – Adjacent to North Parking Area – a terrific full-service café in an outdoor pavilion serving fresh salads, sandwiches, snacks, scones, excellent chili and daily soups, seasonal specials, organic and locally-grown ingredients.
Some visitors choose to pack lunch and find a beautiful spot on the grounds to enjoy a picnic.
Neighboring Hudson Valley towns such as Beacon, Croton-on Hudson, Newburgh and Cornwall would be perfect places to stop for lunch or dinner. They offer interesting shops and restaurants, many featuring locally-sourced ingredients and craft beers. Check out the Storm King Art Center website at www.stormking.org and Hudson Valley Magazine at www.hvmag.com for details.