For over 50 years, the Storm King Art Center in the Hudson Valley has been honored with being the world’s leader in sculpture galleries and collections. This sculpture park is in the Hudson Valley just north of New York City. This location provides a nature scenery complete with hills, valleys, fields, and woodlands; making it the perfect place for having a collection of over 100 sculptures by the most famous and talented creative sculpture artists of our time.
The Storm King Art Center was founded by the late Ralph E. Ogden and H. Peter Stern as a nonprofit organization in 1960. Originally, the idea behind Storm King was to be a museum for the Hudson River School of Painting, but in 1961, thanks to the brilliant work of David Smith, the art center began putting the 13 sculptures they acquired from the artist directly into the landscape. As Storm King Art Center sits on 500 acres, there is quite a bit of space to fill, thus since the first works of David Smith, the art center has evolved into the leading sculpture park.
The gorgeous landscape this park sits on was created by the late landscaping architect William A. Rutherford. He used the natural landscape full of indigenous plant and wild life, to create a park with lush green meadows, vistas sitting on rolling hills, ponds of clear water, and walking paths through the woods. His idea was to create a landscape to accommodate any kind of art, large or small, with a variety of scenery, with natural woods, wetlands, ponds, lawns, and over 100 acres of beautiful grass meadows.
The permanent collection of the Storm King Art Center houses sculptures and other art from over 75 different artists. Here are a few examples of the extraordinary art sitting on the breathtaking landscape:
Magdalena Abakanowicz is a Polish native born in 1930. The sculpture she created is named Sarcophagi in Glass Houses, and this piece was inspired by an interesting correlation between the human belly and the essential parts of a turbine engine. This inspiration came to her when she was invited to Le Creusot by the French cultural ministry in 1982. She found the parts from an old arms manufacturer, Schneider-Creusot, because she believed the old parts would represent energy inside the sculpture, using steel and glass to both protect and contain the inside of the sculpture.
Kosta Alex was an American (1925-2005) that is responsible for the Man in the Hat series of sculptures. These busts depict a strong jawed man donning a Napoleonic-style hat. In all, this artist made 94 variations of the theme, but stopped making them that year.
Manuel Bromberg is an American born in 1917 and has his most famous piece displayed at Storm King. Catskill was derived from a grant received from the State University College at New Paltz, New York where he worked as a professor. The university had him cast a 22-ft. high fiberglass and polyester cliff in the Catskill Mountains. In honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the artist presented the university with one half of the cast, while he donated the other half to the Storm King Art Center, where it is proudly displayed on a path near beautiful woods.
Alexander Calder was an American native (1898-1976) that created two different large steel structures appropriately named The Arch and Five Swords. The Arch is a 12-ft. high black steel sculpture with an archway going through the piece to entice visitors to pass through the art, and to truly appreciate the small details and angles, which makes this sculpture extraordinary. The second, Five Swords, is an 18-ft. tall steel piece painted red that sits in a vast field.
Emilio Greco’s Tall Bather No.I leads a series of sculpture of posed female bathers. There were originally 12 pieces planned for this series but only 7 were completed. This first sculpture complements Italian Mannerist painters of the 16th century and has many classical elements such as the curvature in the stance, but also modern elements such as the modesty of her arms crossing her chest and a bikini bottom in place. Her hairstyle is also modern.
Along with its permanent collection, Storm King hosts several special exhibitions per year, and there are two happening right now. Special exhibits can be hosted outside and integrate the land and sky or indoors in the gallery.
Dennis Oppenhiem: Terrestrial Studio is a very special exhibition that reflects on his work in the “Terrestrial Studio”. On display, will be the Dead Furrow and the Wishing the Mountains Madness. During this exhibition, Earthworks historian Suzaan Boettger will be at the Art Center to discuss the work of Dennis Oppenhiem. These works reflect the tension between what is natural and what is built. These earthworks show that the most innovative art there is can be in what nature already provides to us.
Outlooks: Josephine Halvorson presents Measures. This exhibition is hosting three new works that correlate directly with Storm King’s landscape. Halvorson created large painted rulers, or measures, referencing methods of measuring time and space. Halvorson is famous for painting on-site, using the environment as a reference to transfer its energy into the paint. These painted sculptures are made to enhance the curiosity of oneself of the environment, and their place within it. It is also meant to create a situation for one to think about duration, distance, proximity, and the history of art and nature in the amazing landscape of the Storm King Art Center.
These exhibitions are truly one-of-a-kind events that will create a memory that will last a lifetime. These events will be going on from May 14th-Nov 13th 2016.
There are a variety of programs each day that will keep this Art Center very engaging. Just to name a few, you can experience poetry readings, workshops for children and families, concerts, bird watching, conversations with various artists, and programs from May through November that are hands-on for families every Sunday at 1pm. From June through September, Storm King offers outdoor yoga classes every Saturday morning, and beginning may 31st, beekeeping tours are offered after outdoor yoga.
Professional Development is offered to new or seasoned teachers wanting to learn more about how to incorporate art and writing into a daily curriculum. The Storm King Art Center and the Hudson Valley Writing Project have teamed together to provide hands-on experience with new strategies for the classroom using art and writing.
In the past, Storm King has offered several summer camps and classes that are open to members and the community.
Project Write: Becoming Authors and Artists is a week-long course where students write in the gorgeous landscape of Storm King. This course is made possible by the Storm King staff and the Hudson Valley Writing Project. It is intended for students between the ages of 10-14.
The Art of Scientific Observation: From Microecology to Monumental Sculpture is a full day class for developing observational skills and creative recording of the environment. This course combines field ecology with creative art through the exploration of Storm King’s ponds, forests, fields, and of course the art. Different techniques are taught including collaging, sketching, and writing investigations of field analysis on the environment and the art offered by Storm King. The result of the class will be having the knowledge and experience to create your own experimental field journal. This class is intended for students that are in high school.
Storm King is only open from April through November and the first two weekends in December with limited amenities.
There are two different packages that visitors can book through Coach USA that will provide transportation to Storm King from Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. One of the trips includes visiting Woodbury Common Premium Outlets after Storm King and the other is a full day at Storm King with a later start time.
There are trams for families with young children and those with mobility issues that can help with getting around the grounds.
Storm King Café is the onsite eatery that serves salads, sandwiches, snack food and some seasonal specials that are made from local ingredients and kids meals. The café can provide box lunches for visitors who wish to picnic outside if they order ahead for a group of 15 or more. This is perfect for field trips. There bakery items are mostly dessert and there is wine and beer selections available daily as well.
You can rent a bike at Storm King Art Center and follow specific bike routes that pass through the exhibits. Helmets must be worn on bicycles and are included in rentals but visitors can bring their own as well. Only adult bikes are available and these are on first come first serve basis. Bringing your own bicycle in not allowed.
1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY 12553, Phone: 845-534-3115