The Storm King Art Center, in Mountainville NY is one of the most comprehensive and legitimate collections of outdoor sculpture art in the world…
There really is no better exhibition space than the great outdoors for such large works of art. And, since it's conveniently located off the NYS Thruway, there is all the more reason to stop by for a rewarding day-trip.
Each installation is placed in vast outdoor spaces allowing visitors to experience the instinctive relationship between nature and art.
The passing hours of daylight, the sounds, colors, and smells of the different seasons offer a continually changing perspective on these towering monuments.
Don't worry if you are clueless about contemporary art. You don't need an art degree to find the magic in the 500 acres of rolling fields, hills, and woodlands.
We started our tour walking south on Bunny Road, a tree lined path that stretches endlessly in front of you, and first encountered Mermaid, by pop-artist Roy Lichtenstein (1994). Lichtenstein pioneered the pop-art movement along with Andy Warhol.
Mermaid, by pop-artist Roy Lichtenstein (1994)
Further along we came to Storm King Wall, by Andy Goldsworthy (1997-98). This stone wall starts at the top of the hill to your right, dips into the pond, and emerges at the other end. From there, it snakes further through the oak trees and up another hill.
Storm King Wall, Andy Goldsworthy
Next you come to the Storm King Wavefield, a remarkable display of landscape art that pays homage to the surrounding mountains in Schunnemunk State Park.
Artist Maya Lin, who also designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., completed the project between 2007 and 2008. This is the third and largest wavefield to be completed by the renowned artist.
Storm King Wavefield, Maya Lin
Continue to follow Moodna Creek Trail and you come across the massive Three Legged Buddha, by Zhang Huan. The Chinese artist created this massive hollow structure in 2007, welding together countless plates of steel. Up close you really get a sense of all the work that was put into this.
Three Legged Buddha, Zhang Huan
After this we meandered through Richard Serra’s Schunnemunk Fork installation (1990-91). The artist named these sharp edges of steel after Orange county's tallest mountain, which looms nearby. (and makes a great hike!)
Schunnemunk Fork, Richard Serra
On our return, before leaving we stopped by Mark Di Suvero’s three landmark pieces on the Storm King Art Center South Fields. The sight is breathtaking. Below is the view from Museum Hill.
Mark Di Suvero at South Fields
This part of the Storm King Art Center includes the museum building and is more densely populated with exhibits. We checked out some of the books for sale in the building and were also able to freshen up in the bathrooms here.
Pictured to the right is Luba, by Ursula Von Rydingsvard. She made this structure mostly from cedar wood cut with various saws and rubbed with carbon to create shadow effects.
At the north end of Musuem Hill are expansive slopes that hold Suspended, by Menashe Kadishman (1977). The gravity-defying display rattles the senses and makes you want to stand under it.
This section is quieter, more shaded, and features smaller-scale
works. Pictured below is Spheres, by Grace Knowlton (1973/1985). I love it. But, I just can't help thinking that a giant deer passed through here!
The Meadows feature several large-scale sculptures on a rolling grassy plain. Approach this massive black structure (Untitled, by Robert Grosvenor) and it becomes razor thin!
Visiting the Storm King Art Center can make a great day trip, whether or not you know a thing about art!
From New York City take a Short Line Bus. It leaves from the Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd St. & 8th Ave.) Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online here.
If you plan to visit, remember... 500-acres is a lot of ground to cover! Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing. We visited after a heavy rain and some of the fields were quite soggy!
The walking is easy, but it will still take you several hours to see it all. There are also trams that snake slowly around the park. Bicycles rent at $10 per hour with a 2-hour minimum, or $40 for the day. You cannot bring your own bike.
The Storm King Cafe, located at the North Parking area, sells sandwiches, wraps and salads. We recommend packing your favorite foods for a more enjoyable experience. Picnic tables are at the North and South parking areas.
Location and Essential Information
Open season is from April to November.
Hours: 10 am to 5:30 pm Wednesday - Sunday.
Open on holiday Mondays 10 am to 5:30 pm.
Admission fees vary between $8 and $12 and children under 5 get in free!
Address: 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY 12553
Phone: (845) 534-3115
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