Storm King Art Center: Building a World Treasure

by Michael
(Hudson Valley)

What you see today at the Storm King Art Center is the vision and efforts of Ralph E. "Ted" Ogden, Peter Stern and the many pioneers of modern outdoor sculpture art.

Both business partners and in-laws, Ogden and Stern acquired a 180 acre estate between Shunnemunk and Storm King Mountain in 1958, and opened the Art Center two years later.

After originally planning to host paintings from the Hudson River School, the two men agreed on a different course. One that could make better use of 180 acres - an outdoor sculpture garden.

Ogden and Stern saw this garden/museum as a great opportunity to create something of lasting value. Land was cheap, and it would give a new growing art movement room to breathe. Plus, it still showcased the Hudson Valley landscape - their true inspiration.

The Art Center expanded much since it's landmark purchase of thirteen David Smith sculptures in the mid 1960s. Stern himself chalks it up to a lot of people in the right place, at the right time. Today to museum is 500 acres!

After "Ted" Ogden's death in 1974, Stern started to acquire the large scale pieces that define the Museum today.

Robert Grosvenor, Alexander Calder, Mark Di Suvero, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Serra, and Maya Lin are just some who've helped realize the vision over the course of its 50 year history.

So what is this vision all about? What has been accomplished here in Mountainville?

Well, besides creating a space which harmonizes people and nature - Storm King Art Center, has become a world treasure of contemporary art... Right here in the Hudson Valley!


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