On a fantastic late summer day, I took my family to the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville (Orange County). The museum is a sprawling, 500-acre estate showcasing massive outdoor works of sculpture and environmental art. Storm King Art Center is nestled in a foothill of the western face of Storm King Mountain. A lot of people were visiting on this day, but aside from the museum building, the parking lots, and the cafe, you can have a real solitary experience wandering the grounds. On the other side of this outdoor is the New York Thruway; the distant sound of cars whizzing by is the only thing that interrupts a total immersion into art and land.
First opened in 1960, the museum is perhaps one of the primary ways that the high art worlds of New York City and the world have come to know the Hudson Valley’s landscape. Some of the very top names in art have huge works on display here: Roy Liechtenstein, Richard Serra, Maya Lin, and so on. One indication that the museum’s patrons come largely from the New York City area is the fact that a Storm King Art Center membership includes a discount on renting a Zip Car; NYC residents often don’t own cars, and this place is really only accessible via auto or bus.
The highlight of our visit was Maya Lin’s work, Storm King Wavefield. Whereas most of the works are metal sculptures that visitors are asked not to touch, this “piece” is made of the earth itself. Visitors can walk (or run, as my kids did) up and down, lie down, hide behid, and otherwise traverse the slopes that Lin designed.
Click here to learn more about Storm King Art Center.