Gallery: Storm King Art Center: A Summer Retreat for Artsy, Outdoorsy N...

image © Jill Fehrenbacher for Inhabitat
Several of Mark di Suvero's monumental steel sculptures are a part of Storm King's permanent collection.
Pictured: Beethoven’s Quartet (2003) by Mark di Suvero

Located in Mountainville, NY, Storm King extends the idea of a sculpture garden to an entire landscape, beautifully celebrating the relationship between nature and art. Founded in 1960 by Ralph E. Ogden and H. Peter Stern, the outdoor museum was originally intended for the Hudson River School. But it’s founders soon became dedicated to modern sculpture, and began purchasing pieces to place directly in the landscape.

Unencumbered by walls, the artworks are set within a magnificent exhibition space created by the distant mountains, the waving fields, and native woodlands of Storm King. The striking view of a sculpture from across the field, half a mile away with the mountains rising behind it is considered just as carefully as the native plants that surround its immediate location. Monumental steel i-beam sculptures from Mark di Suvero, playful pieces by Alexander Calder, and rolling land art by Maya Lin are just a few of the artworks that dot the outdoor museum. The sculptures are affected by the weather and the seasons, ensuring that no two visits will ever be the same experience.

Through November 13, 2011, Storm King Art Center is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with two special exhibits. One is an exhibition in the museum building of Storm King’s history, and the other is the outdoor exhibit, 5+5 New Perspectives, a collection of ten new works from different artists. Five of the artists are already represented in the collection, while the other five are new. The pieces range from a curving tunnel made from 3,000 bamboo poles by Stephen Talasnik to a Stongehenge-esque sculpture by Darrell Petit created from two massive blocks of granite. The special exhibit began last year, but it was so popular that Storm King extended it through 2011.

Storm King is a great place to take children, as it is a fabulous way to introduce young kids to art without the boring white walls and confining spaces of museums / galleries. By merging amazing art with beautiful landscape and wide-open spaces, Storm King appeals to visitors of all ages. I took my two year old, Petey to Storm King in 2010 and he loved it!

For those of you who can’t make it up to the Hudson Valley, don’t fret. Until September 25, Storm King has lent a collection of its Mark di Suervo sculptures to Governors Island. More than half a dozen of di Suvero’s spatially dynamic pieces are situated across the 172-acre island, making it the largest outdoor presentation of the artist’s work in the city since 1970. The urban background of the city provides a stark contrast to the rural lands of Storm King, while highlighting di Suvero’s use of industrial salvaged steel.

+ Storm King Art Center

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6 Comments

  1. Eluisa Altman July 22, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I would love to have one of my sculptures at Storm King. Right now I have four sculptures in public places; one at the Georgetown University, one “Mother and Child” at the Pufin Foundation in NJ, one at the City of Blue Springs, MO. and another edition of Mother and Child at the Suwanee, Georgia. This last one is on line for voting at: http://www.suwanee.com/whatsnew.sculptour.php

  2. frandsen117 July 18, 2011 at 12:02 am

    For another fantastic outdoor museum experience, check out Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis, MO, founded in 1976. A less vast setting than Storm King but wonderful because sculpture is not only laid out among the fields but also hidden within the woods, so you never know what you’ll find around the corner. Like most things to do in St. Louis, admission is free.

  3. jkgreen July 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    How neat. I’ll have to check it out.

  4. Rebecca Paul July 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    This looks like an amazing escape from the grind of NYC, and is definitely now on my list for summer. I can’t wait to be surrounded by all of that lush greenery!! I sometimes forget how beautiful the north east is during the summer. Great post and excellent photos!

  5. Diane Pham Diane Pham July 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Love this idea. Sculpture is so much better experienced and more easily accessible in a natural environment, rather than being placed in a pretentious gallery.

  6. Dan Mendes Dan Mendes July 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Wow there’s a small sculpture museum like this on long island but over 100 pieces is astonishing. I need to make a weekend trip.