Storm King Art Center: New Windsor’s Outdoor Art Museum

Put on your hiking boots—this 500-acre exhibit in Orange County is definitely worth seeing



Clockwise from top left: It took five men 17 days to transform 250 tons of stones into Andy Goldsworthy's iconic Storm King Wall. It curves through the trees down to the pond, snaking back up on the other side; at age 70, Ursula von Rydingsvard still goes to her studio every day, creating epic sculptures out of cedar, graphite, and cast bronze. Luba was commissioned for Storm King's 50th anniversary in 2010; Maya Lin's 11-acre Storm King Wavefield was inspired by the ocean, but follows the curves of surrounding hills and mountains.

 

If you haven’t yet been there, or have not visited recently, don’t let another gorgeous autumn day pass without spending it at Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, New York, about an hour northwest of Westchester in Orange County. Against a backdrop of the Storm King and Schunemunk Mountains, more than 100 modern masterworks by Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Mark di Suvero, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and Louise Nevelson are dotted across 500 acres of manicured lawns and rolling hills.

There are site-specific installations, like Andy Goldsworthy’s 2,278-foot-long serpentine dry-fieldstone Storm King Wall that wends its way in and out of the woods and even through a pond (a newer wall, his aptly titled Five Men, Seventeen Days, Fifteen Boulders, One Wall, was added in 2010); Roy Lichtenstein’s Mermaid, slyly poised on an island in a pond; and Momo Taro by Isamu Noguchi, a stone sculpture built atop a specially constructed hill. Maya Lin’s earthwork, Storm King Wavefield, is best viewed from the top of the hill.

You can enjoy the sculptures up close and personal by hiking right to them, or from the free tram, which stops at designated locations to pick up and drop off passengers who want to explore a section of the park more thoroughly. First-timers might want to take the tram full-circle to catch a glimpse of everything first, then backtrack to their favorites for a closer look. Another option is to rent a bike (first come, first served, for $8/$10 per hour with a two-hour minimum on weekdays/weekends, $32/$40 for the full day on weekdays/weekends).

Do stop at the Normandy-style museum, designed by architect Maxwell Kimball. It is a work of art in itself, made of granite stones salvaged from Danskammer, an 1834 mansion that overlooked the Hudson River near Newburgh, New York, for almost 100 years. Five of the estate’s Ionic columns now grace the lawn in front of the Museum Building, which includes exhibitions and the museum store.  


Storm King Art Center

1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY
(845) 534-3115; stormkingartcenter.org

Cost: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students, free for children under 5.

Details: Free parking, picnic area with drink and snack machines, café (open from 11 am to one hour before closing), handicapped-accessible tram tours, free docent-guided tours at 2 pm daily.

Hours: Between April 3 and December 1, Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5:30 pm (grounds are open until 8 pm on Saturdays between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends; until 5 pm in November). Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, except for the holiday Mondays of Labor, Columbus, and Veterans Days.

New Exhibits: Thomas Houseago: As I Went Out One Morning, the first large-scale exhibition in the US of work by the British-born, Los Angeles-based artist, along with A Proverbial Machine in the Garden, a site-specific installation by David Brooks.