Discover New York's Museums with Don WIldman 1st ed. - Page 4

Hudson Valley and The CATSKILLS the master of the Hudson River School of painters lived and worked throughout his brief lifetime. Back in 1840, Cole first journeyed to the upstate wilderness and began painting his visions of nature as a spiritual allegory. Cole influenced younger artists like Frederic Edwin Church, Jasper Cropsey and dozens more who, in time, coalesced into what is now known as the Hudson River School. Visitors today can tour the home, see the art, stroll the gardens and take in the spectacular views of the Catskill Mountains. The museum has just reconstructed Cole’s self-designed New Studio, and a new exhibit there features the artist’s lesser known architectural endeavors. 5.1miles from Hudson Stn. Olana State Historic Site (pictured on the cover) is a short drive away, across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and through the town of Catskill. Olana, where Cole’s student Frederic Edwin Church flourished, is simply one of the most remarkable historic homes in the nation. Inspired by their travels through the Middle East, the Churches designed a thrilling showcase of Persian and Ottoman influences. It is appro­pri­ ately poised over the sweeping view, the kind that inspired the art that afforded him such prosperity. 5.1miles from Hudson Stn. Francis Lehman Loeb Art Center in Poughkeepsie is on the campus of Vassar College, the first university in the nation to include an art museum as part of its original plan. The 36,000 square foot facility includes over 19,000 paintings, sculptures, photgraphs, textiles, glass works, ceramic wares and more, from ancient to modern times. The collection includes masterworks from Hudson River School painters as well as contemporary artists like Georgia O’Keefe, Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock. fflac.vass 3.2 miles from Poughkeepsie Stn. 4 • I enrolled myself in a weekend-long art history course that only the Hudson Valley and Catskills could provide and, what’s best, I never had to take a test. The art scene is remarkably varied, with sites and exhibitions that land you in nearly every era of American art and design. waterfront in Kingston, commemorates the days when shipping—via oceans, rivers and canals—was the mode of delivery for nearly all of the goods that kept people alive. The Hudson River was, of course, the major conduit of commerce for New York City, delivering food, fuel and, well, everything else. This compact and colorful museum drops anchor in the deep end of Hudson Valley shipping, hosting exhibits on just about every aspect of our maritime heritage. Kids will love the Mathilda, a 1898 steam tug berthed outside the museum, at water’s edge! 11.4 miles from Rhinecliff Stn. photo: courtesy bethel woods center for the arts Thomas Cole National Historic Site marks the sylvan spot where The Hudson River Maritime Museum, located on the Rondout Thomas Cole’s A View of the Two Lakes and Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, Morning Dia: Beacon in Beacon is the place to sign up for a dose of the avant-garde. Opened in 2005, in a reclaimed Nabisco box factory, the 36,000 square feet of gallery space is perfectly suited to the monumental art-pieces within, spanning from the 1960s to the present. Dia:Beacon calls itself a “daylight museum” thanks to copious natural light provided by more than 34,000-square-feet of skylights and broad spans between supporting columns. The museum has significant holdings of Warhol and features guided tours, gallery talks and more. 11.4 miles from Rhinecliff Stn. Storm King Art Center, in New Windsor, takes the prize for sheer size and scope. Its 700-acres of woods, meadows and riverbank comprise an unsurpassed outdoor museum for sculptures whose dimensions daunt and dazzle. Don’t miss the meandering Wall by Andy Goldsworthy—you’ll never view masonry the same way again. 25.0 miles from Poughkeepsie Stn. The Museum at Bethel Woods in Bethel is dedicated to making the lessons and ideals of the tumultuous decade of the Sixties relevant and accessible. The famous Woodstock Music & Art Fair didn’t take place anywhere close to the town called Woodstock. It happened on a dairy farm in Bethel, sixty miles from Woodstock, when a previously arranged venue there fell through. The museum is situated on the property of that very farm and uses the legend of Woodstock as a jumping off point to explore the broader context of an era that dramatically altered American society in all sorts of ways. The award-winning Main Exhibit— “Woodstock and The Sixties”—offers 21 short films, interactive exhibits and lots of interesting artifacts to tell its story. The museum is part of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a concert venue that operates throughout the summer. Best way to go? Tour the museum and take in a concert! 69.9 miles from Poughkeepsie Stn. NY MUSEUMS BY RAIL