Art & nature at Storm King Art Center

Posted on September 18, 2016 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

new york  new york

new york

Scenery on the way to Storm King Art Center in New Windsor


My trip to New York was split between staying in the city and spending time with my good friend and her family in Connecticut, and without a doubt it was the best way to enjoy what New York REALLY has to offer. Many visitors to New York rarely venture out of the city, but there is so much to see and do when you leave the city behind. And Storm King Art Center (it's not so much an art center but rather a sculpture park) is certainly worth leaving the city for.

Many visitors don't realise that there are many world-class museums located outside of the city. On my last visit, we visited the stunning and spacious Dia: Beacon contemporary art museum on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon. Hence I was keen to visit a similar art museum for us to spend the day. My friend searched on the internet and found out about the 500-acre open-air museum near Storm King Mountain in Mountainville, which is only about an hour's drive north from New York City. Soon enough, we were off in her car driving to one of the leading sculpture parks in the US, if not the world.


alexander liberman adonai 1970-71

tal streeter endless column 1968  arnaldo pomodoro the pitrarubbia group 1975-76

kenneth snelson free ride home 1974

Top: Alexander Liberman's Adonai 1970-71; 2nd left: Tal Streeter's Endless Column 1968; 2nd right: Arnaldo Pomodoro's The pitrarubbia group 1975-76; Bottom: Kenneth Snelson's Free ride home 1974


Our arrival time was delayed due to a slight detour (which I will write about in my next entry), and we were left with only two/three hours in the afternoon to see the vast site. With more than over 100 sculptures scattered around the site, we decided to rent a bike each as we figured that it would be impossible to see much on foot.

The nonprofit Art Center was founded in 1960 by Ralph E. Ogden and his son-in-law, H. Peter Stern, the owners of the neaby Star Expansion Company. The museum building was originally built as a weekend house by a New York banker; and in 1959, the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation bought the house and its surrounding land, with the intention of establishing an art center for visual art and music. Ogden's original collection started with a trip to the studio of sculptor David Smith (see below), and over time, the collection grew, in both numbers and size. More land was acquired and the ongoing project was oversaw by landscape architect William A. Rutherford, Sr over a 45-year period.


mark di suvero

storm king art center   henry moore reclining connected forms

dennis oppenheim entrance to a garden

louise nevelson city on the high mountain

Top: Mark Di Suvero's sculptures; 2nd right: Henry Moore's Reclining Connected Forms 1969; 3rd row: Dennis Oppenheim's Entrance to a garden 2002; 4th row: Louise Nevelson's City on the high mountain 1983


I think May, September and October are the best months to visit New York because the weather is usually mild around this time. It was around mid 20s on the day, so it wasn't too hot or humid. The bike idea turned out to be a brilliant one because it was breezy and fun to ride along the path with hardly any other visitors around! It has been a long time since I felt so carefree and blissful! Being able to enjoy art and nature without crowds or traffic simply puts one at ease immediately, hence we loved every moment of our time there!


storm king art center

storm king art center  dennis oppenheim

david smith  louise nevelson

louise bourgeois number seventy-two (the no march)

Top: Museum building; 2nd left: interior of the builing; 2nd right: Dennis Oppenheim; 3rd left: David smith's sculptures; 3rd right: Louise Nevelson; bottom row: Louise Bourgeois' Number seventy-two (the no march) 1972


I have always been a big fan of sculpture parks, and I particularly like Hakone Open-Air Museum just outside of Tokyo and Henry Moore's Perry Green in Hertfordshire (see my earlier post entry). But this vast scale of this park took us by surprise and it is particularly spectacular when you are standing next to the mammoth sculptures created by the most famous sculptors and artists from the 20th century.

The center also hosts regular exhibitions, and during our visit, several outdoor pieces by American conceptual artist Dennis Oppenheim were installed, including a previously unrealised one – Dead Furrow – based on his original drawing from 1967.


josef pillhofer reclining man 1964  nam june paik waiting for ufo

isamu noguchi momo taro

ursula von rydingsvard for paul 1990-92  ursula von rydingsvard for paul 1990-92

Top left: Josef Pillhofer's Reclining man 1964; Top right: Nam June Paik's Waiting for UFO 1992; 2nd row: Isamu Noguchi's Momo Taro 1977-78; Bottom: Ursula Von Rydingsvard's For Paul 1990-92


I have to admit that we were not fond of every sculpture at the park, since some of them are too abstract and perplexing to our liking. However, their arrangements do not obstruct the surrounding and every sculpture seems to blend well with the landscape. Our sole regret was that even with a map, we were unable to locate all the sculptures and we wished that we had more time to explore the park properly.


storm king art center  storm king art center

storm king art center

alexander calder five swords 1976

menashe kadishman suspended   dennis oppenheim dead furrow

zhang huan three legged buddha

Top row: Alexander Calder's Five swords 1976; 2nd left: Menashe Kadishman's Suspended 1977; 2nd right: Dennis Oppenheim's Dead Furrow 2016; Bottom: Zhang Huan's Three legged buddha 2007


andy goldsworthy storm king wall  storm king art center

roy lichtenstein mermaid

mark di suvero mother peace 1969-70

richard serra schunnemunk fork 1990-91  richard serra schunnemunk fork 1990-91

mark di suvero frog legs

Top: Andy Goldsworthy's Storm king wall 1997-98; 2nd row: Roy Lichtenstein's Mermaid 1994; 3rd row: Mark Di Suvero's Mother peace 1969-70; 4th row: RIchard Serra's Schunnemunk fork 1990-91; Bottom: Mark Di Suvero's Frog legs 2002


At the end of the day, we felt so uplifted and joyous, and I considered the visit to be the highlight of my trip. So, I highly recommend this amazing place; go and see it for yourself the wonders of art in nature!

This post was posted in Travel, Nature, New York, Art, Gardens & parks, contemporary, Sculptures, American art and was tagged with art and design exhibitions, nature, cycling, New York, contemporary art, sculpture park, american art