Jul 23 2010

A Peaceful Visit to Storm King Art Center

Justin and I spent an idyllic weekend in the Hudson Valley, including a 'died-and-gone-to-heaven' meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns (more on that in a later post).  We used Saturday to wander Stone Barns property and Tarrytown.

After dragging ourselves out of bed bright and early on Sunday morning (*actually, 11ish, as dinner went until 2 in the morning the night before!), Justin and I headed to the Storm King Art Center, per a friend's recommendation.  Storm King is a sculpture park, but very different from the static (albeit, good) sculpture parks I've been to at various museums and gardens. Storm King's 100 plus sculptures are positioned in direct harmony with the rolling hills, plains, meadows, and woodlands of the Hudson Highlands.

Getting there took much longer than expected; our drive was stalled by random road work and closed roads.  One detour became an unexpected delight.  The road hugged the mountains and opened up to sheer stone cliffs and boat-filled harbors.  These views seemed like something out of Switzerland, not my perception of New York State.

Unfortunately our late start and the detours meant that we only had an hour and a half to explore Storm King's property.  The center is 500 acres--even I, with a reputation for being a bit of speed-walker, couldn't possibly see everything in such a short amount of time.  We consulted the friendly guys at the cafe, who recommended using our time to wander Museum Hill.  They said the hill would give us close-up views of many impressive sculptures and put us in a position for distant viewing of others.

I've grown to appreciate large, often abstract, sculpture much more (than ever before).  I'm not sure what the catalyst for this has been; maybe the Henry Moore exhibit in Denver?  Maybe the way New York City is constantly reviving their outdoor spaces with temporary sculpture art?

Storm King felt like a renewal.  Climbing Museum Hill and looking out onto the vast meadow and sculpture field cleared my active mind and all I wanted to do was take in the scene for as long as possible.

We're already planning our return visit, with a picnic and a good book in tow.