Storm King Art Center
A short jaunt up from the bustle of New York City sits a starkly picturesque escape, where rolling green hills contain large-scale outdoor sculptures created by the masters of the medium. Spanning around 500 acres, the Storm King Art Center is a must see for any Manhattanite or really any visitor to the Hudson Valley. Storm King is a keenly unique space, where the lush landscape conceals and reveals massive yet understated pieces of art. The art seems at once supplanted and completely logical as if the hulking metal forms were created by some form of life long extinct. Just take a look at some of the photos in this post to get a sense of the odd beauty of the space.
Storm King Art Center, known mostly as simply Storm King, is an open air museum. Described simply, it’s a collection of open fields with large sculptures dropped in every so often. Storm King was created in 1960 by a successful businessman named Ralph E. Ogden. He purchased the land in Mountainville, New York (about a one-hour drive from Manhattan) and used the space to showcase several small sculptures he had acquired in Europe. After several years and a major acquisition of work from acclaimed American sculpture David Smith, the space was opened to the public and its reputation began to grow. Storm King is now perhaps the largest collection of contemporary outdoor sculptures in the world.
Another notable acquisition is when, in 1975, five massive pieces by Mark di Suvero were brought to Storm King after being on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Ogen’s business partner and then chairman and president of the center asked the artist personally to bring the sculptures to Storm King, rather than having them be dismantled and put into storage. More and more acquisitions lead to more space being needed, and in 1985, the original 250 acres were expanded greatly. In addition to expanding the actual site, a massive 2,300-acre chunk of the Schunnemunk Mountains were donated to preserve the backdrop of the site’s monumental sculptures. The surrounding pristine area is fundamental to the escapism of the space.
While there are several membership programs, admission is free to the public during the summer months.