For many years, we’ve traveled Route 87 (the New York State Thruway) to vacation in the Adirondack Mountains. I often wondered about the huge modern sculptures on the right side of the highway just north of the Woodbury Commons Outlets. I discovered that this area is home to the Storm King Art Center, an ingenious combination of nature and human creation. Two men, Ralph aka “Ted” Ogden and Peter Stern, had a vision. The idea was to display contemporary works of art within the visual confines of two natural boundaries, Storm King and Schunnemunk Mountains. The outdoor museum opened in 1960 and since then, sculptures by household names such as Calder, Lichtenstein, and many other artists have found their place on the expansive 500 acre property.
The initial exposure to this dramatic venue can be a bit daunting especially on a hot day. We opted to take the tram, which travels throughout the park. This permitted us to gain perspective, enjoy the amazing views, and learn a bit about the various sculptures. The tram is easy access so we could get on and off at will.
In my opinion, the works of art can be experienced in at least two ways. The first and obvious way is to view them in their natural surroundings as an extension of the landscape and to appreciate their beauty as a whole. The second way I discovered quite by accident. As I said, it was a very hot day. Charlie and I hastily crossed a field to stand in the shade provided by one of the sculptures. I came to realize that an up close and personal experience with one of these mighty works is not to be missed. I gained a new perspective and appreciation for the artist and creation.
This is a great place for children, but, come prepared with food & drink. There are few comfort stations and most without running water.
I imagine the views must be spectacular in the Fall and would be the best time to visit.