Storm King is a big round mountain that hulks above the upper Hudson River. It is an imposing presence, even if it’s tree-covered. The romantic-sounding Corwall-on-Hudson is the nearest town. At first look, the Storm King Art Center is a normal farm with a fancy house on a hill. The grounds are pretty, with many pieces of sculpture scattered around the lawn. Interesting, but not spectacular. Except for the columns. I love outdoor columns, and I hightailed it over to them right away. The valley below is lovely, and there was a tractor bailing hay and –surprise– some giant and amazing pieces of modern sculpture in the distance.
Obviously, there is much more to this place than meets the eye alone. There’s a convenient tram, or you can just start wandering. There are 500 acres of trees and hills and woods and mowed fields and wildflower meadows and sculpture. Lots of it–over 100 pieces, some of it gigantic. You can take a walk a see a huge head of Buddha on its side. Or find yourself dwarfed by an elaborate concoction of huge metal beams painted scarlet. Or you come over a rise and see a simple stick house that seems to float on air. And then there’s a long and beautiful serpentine rock wall that emerges from a lake like a dragon.
We loved our day there with our son and daughter-in-law, Jordan and Julie, but in writing this blog, I realized how hard it is to describe Storm King. Previously, I associated sculpture with cities. In front of museums and office buildings, or in them. Or in gardens with urns. And part of me thinks that after you’ve seen The David by Michelangelo, the rest is downhill. (That was 44 years ago, but I remember.) Storm King sculptures are all modern, many by living artists.
It was perfect weather , and by the end of the day I was grateful for letting the forms and movement and colors catch my sense of sculpture and turn it upside down. I became involved with the pieces. I wanted to see more, and I wished I could see them every day, in every light and every season. I loved being outside and being amazed by 20th Century sculpture. There, I’ve said it . This was something new. A new place. A new way to view art and to watch others view it. Here’s my slide show, meager as it is (artists are credited when I can figure it out. Here’s a tip–write stuff down when your memory is fresh ):
My advice: go see this place. It’s like no other and so worth the trip.