Storm King Art Center is perfect for a day trip out of New York on a mild Summer’s day. Presumably it’s also good on a warm spring or fall day or a heatwave in the middle of winter. So, if I were to rewrite this opening, I might have said Storm King Art Center is a perfect day trip on any day the weather is good. But I didn’t rewrite it, so here we are, 50 words in and this post is the equivalent of a dumpster fire.
Anyway, Storm King Art Center. It’s a name that has a whole journey within it. You start with “Storm King” and images of Game of Thrones and fantasy epics conjure themselves in your mind. Then you keep reading and hit “Art Center” and your eyes glaze over, or at least they do for anyone who doesn’t have a favorite Renaissance painter.
In need of a day trip out of New York, I heard about Storm King Art Center and I was intrigued enough to buy round trip bus tickets to check it out.
As you’re still here, but presumably are thinking about finding something more entertaining on the internet because this post still hasn’t gotten to the point, I’ll reward you by now telling you what Storm King actually is. It’s an Art Center, yes, principally consisting of sculpture works, but what isn’t advertised enough is that the sculptures are all outdoors and are HUGE (caps a visual representation of the size of the sculptures for those dear readers who don’t know what huge means).
If you don’t believe me, here’s a photo.
See how big they are? I don’t know why you didn’t just believe me.
A big chunk of the sculptures are the work of David Smith, an artist who was the Michael Bay of sculpting and who clearly must’ve been small in other parts of his life (ahem).
There’s a whole bunch of them, some as big as these, others much smaller. There are plaques near them saying the artist and year they were…made? Erected? Brought into this earthly realm on the back of satan’s 18-wheeler? I don’t know the vernacular. But that’s all the plaques say. It’s like they’ve just put the art there, charged an entry fee and told people to make whatever they want out of it, which is refreshing. Other art establishments would encourage you to learn how many brush strokes it took to paint an eyelid.
The setup of the area supports the laid back nature of the place. There’s no set route, just a map divided into various quaint-sounding sections: North Woods, Museum Hill, Meadows, South Fields. Those names describe the landscape of the area, meaning the sculptures are grouped only by whether they’d look good surrounded by trees or fields.
Obviously, Storm King Art Center is only enjoyable to visit when the weather is nice, although it would probably be great in a very different way when the trees are bare and the ground is covered in snow. But you should definitely check it out if you’re looking for a day trip from NYC, even if you rank going to art exhibitions as your 576th favorite thing to do.