This CNN article
November 1, 2002 12:56 PM   Subscribe

This CNN article reminded me of something I've been wanting to share with my fellow MeFiers for a long time now: the Storm King Art Center. There really aren't enough places in the world where you can view dozens of monumental abstract sculptures on 500 acres of rolling hills and beautiful wooded groves. For those interested in a 3D look (albeit via an obscure plug-in) try these views of a few Storm King sculptures. So, has anyone else ever been there? Better yet, anyone care to share any other unusual "museums" you've discovered?
posted by Ptrin (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Storm King is great with a picnic lunch (although you cant eat it near the sculptures) in the spring or fall.

Another great museum is the Museum of Jurrasic Technology in Venice, California.
posted by gen at 12:58 PM on November 1, 2002

That's really funny; I've been to both of those museums within the last month :)

The only problem with Storm King: if there's an actual storm, they make you come inside. Something to do with giant metal sculptures acting as lightning rods. Sissies.
posted by ook at 1:04 PM on November 1, 2002

The DeCordova in Lincoln Mass is similar, but on a much smaller scale. Nothing like a picnic there on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
posted by dchase at 1:13 PM on November 1, 2002

Storm King is great with a picnic lunch (although you cant eat it near the sculptures) in the spring or fall.

What I would love to see is a sculpture-garden-museum-thing built along similar lines, but one where they actually encourage people to get near or even climb the statuary. Imagine a scaled-up playground for adults. All the upkeep you'd really need would be repainting the statues from time to time. I wouldn't mind paying admission to something like this, even, if it had cafes and some kind of protection from the outside (like a zoo does). Just one big garden with stuff to fool around on and have lunch near...
posted by wanderingmind at 1:20 PM on November 1, 2002

Question: is this what I'm seeing as I drive up the NY Thruway?
posted by MsVader at 1:21 PM on November 1, 2002

Andy Goldsworthy has a sculpture there.
posted by skwm at 1:27 PM on November 1, 2002

The Münster Sculpture Project fills the town with public sculpture once every decade, but much of the work stays up permanently.
posted by liam at 1:32 PM on November 1, 2002

Mass MoCa is also pretty cool...
posted by gen at 1:37 PM on November 1, 2002

There's a pretty nice sculpture park in St. Louis - Laumeier Park.

Great for walking the dog on a Saturday morning.
posted by notsnot at 1:42 PM on November 1, 2002

Donald Judd set up the Chinati foundation on an abandoned air base to give very minimalist art (by Judd, Dan Flavin, and others) a permanent home. It's on the outskirts of Marfa, Texas which is home to the Mystery Lights. If you go, be sure to stay at the Hotel Paisano (where the cast of Giant stayed) and keep an eye out for cars with bumper stickers reading "I [square] Donald Judd".
posted by armacy at 1:44 PM on November 1, 2002 has a worldwide directory of sculpture parks.
posted by dchase at 1:44 PM on November 1, 2002

Two weeks ago, I returned to the US from a trip to Melbourne, and wanted to share with fellow MeFites an impressive outdoor sculpture exposition along the river walk. I was particularly intrigued by a large yellow mass of ropes, that I could only describe as a "bad hair day." Melbourne was full of modern sculpture, however, when when I looked for links I couldn't come up with any. Perhaps, someone could help me with that?
posted by entrustNoOne at 1:56 PM on November 1, 2002

Most likely, MsVader. The works we usually see along that route are The Wall That Went For A Walk and Pyramidian. Those works also happen to be the respective favorites of my father and I.
posted by Ptrin at 2:07 PM on November 1, 2002

MsVader, yes.

Is it open in the snow? Can I cross-country ski there?
posted by ParisParamus at 2:17 PM on November 1, 2002

I went to Dr. Evermor's Forevertron at the beginning of this summer, and was completely blown away. Giant metal sculptures made from scavenged parts from an abandoned munitions dump.

A Google Search brings up plenty of photo links.

A great resource for this type of stuff is Eccentric America. Yeah, yeah, the name is tacky, but it's a pretty comprehensive guide to offbeat culture. Covers stuff like The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Burning Man, The Mermaid Parade, Watts Towers, The Cacophony Societies, Salvation Mountain, and about a million other things.
posted by dvdgee at 2:19 PM on November 1, 2002

Let's not forget the "little friends", such as the Briarcombe Sculpture Courtyard at Vassar College's Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, and the Marylin M. Simpson Sculpture Garden at the Katonah Museum of Art.
While modest at best in terms of its afforded space, the smaller locales
are equally as important in presenting the balance between molded form installations and natural settings.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:00 PM on November 1, 2002

the albany bulb (near berkely, ca) is a weird and wonderful art park.
posted by dolface at 3:57 PM on November 1, 2002

One of the better ones for a long time has been the Walker Art Center's Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, focusing on 20th century modern sculpture. Singlehandedly is a little strong, but it's certainly helped influence the growth of the genre.

Oslo has the Vigeland, and Stockholm has the Milles Garden, both filled with classically-influenced modern sculpture and statuary. The latter is as close as you are likely to find to a Roman garden.
posted by dhartung at 5:08 PM on November 1, 2002

There's a great scuplture garden at Pepsico world headquarters that's definitely worth a visit if you're in the New York area. Most 20th century art movements are represented here. And it's free, so you don't have to feel you're contributing to the globalisation cause.

The best in the world, especially for 20th century sculpture, is supposed to be the Kröller-Müller museum near Arnhem, NL, but I've only cycled past it, not actually been in (little did I know what I was missing!)

Possibly the most beautiful sculpture garden I've seen is at the Musée Rodin Paris.
posted by cbrody at 7:27 PM on November 1, 2002

Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, USA has some very fine work (and some eh! and some crap but YMMV ;)). A little south of Trenton.

cbrody, yeah the Musee Rodin was gorgeous, not to mention all the public art just stuck here and there all over Paris....
posted by realjanetkagan at 7:35 PM on November 1, 2002

Second the recommendations for both the Kroller-Muller and the Musee Rodin. I'll always think fondly of the Vigeland sculptures in Frogner Park in Oslo -- I was about eight or nine when I visited and it made a big impression on me. I clambered all over some of them.

And, right in my current home turf of Astoria (Queens, NYC), NY, the Socrates Sculpture Park is fun.
posted by Vidiot at 9:01 PM on November 1, 2002

My uncle used to work as a horticulturalist/landscaper/something like that at the Storm King Art center. They lived in a house that was pretty much right on the grounds (you could see the sculptures if you looked out the kitchen window). Actually, I believe the house belonged to the center because when he left, they had to move...

It was always fun to go visit them because we could go walk around and see the sculptures (although I was also fond of the "runny nose cows" at the dairy farm nearby too) and for a long time, I really thought that was just their backyard. I didn't really figure out that they belonged to someone else for awhile.

I was just mentioning the other day that I wanted to go there again sometime "for real" and see everything. In looking at the pictures on the site, it's funny to think that the work of these artists are essentially pictures of childhood for me. They bring back a lot of memories.
posted by stefnet at 10:19 PM on November 1, 2002

I would like to personally endorse Griffis Park in (far) upstate New York. It is well worth the journey. Its size comes close to Storm King's, and the land, though less manicured, is beautiful especially in autumn. Unfortunately, this web site does not do justice to the art that is there. Some other pix are here, here , and here. At first it was mostly Griffis' own art in the park, but there are a lot of regional and some nationally recognized artist's work there now (and also a lot of sculptures that kids are encouraged to climb on!)
posted by monkeys_typing at 7:14 AM on November 2, 2002

Re the Pepsico garden, yes it's free, but I find the aura of Pepsi too annoying to make the experience enjoyable. Also, it feels too much like a golf course.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:28 AM on November 2, 2002

PP, I read that first as "odour". There's some excellent sculpture there even if the corporate surroundings aren't ideal. Shame what money buys.
posted by cbrody at 10:36 AM on November 2, 2002

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