Visiting Storm King Art Center in the Hudson Valley: A Perfect Mixture of Nature and Art

Nature is truly spectacular, but the result is stunning when oversized sculptures are introduced into the landscape. Visiting Storm Art Center is a unique way to experience art and nature.

Nestled in the Hudson Valley amidst over 500 acres of rolling hills and woodland in Cornwall, NY, this open-air museum features a selection of temporary large-scale sculptures and permanent site-specific installations. The center’s size makes it preferable to plan your visit so you have enough time to enjoy everything.

History of the Storm King Art Center

The successful businessman Ralph E. Ogden purchased the initial 180 acres of the Center in 1958. He aimed to establish a museum focused on Hudson River School paintings. The main Tudor building was opened in 1960, displaying several small sculptures acquired in Europe. 

In 1967, Ogden added 13 large pieces by artist David Smith outdoors, and the focus changed to large exterior sculptures. Landscape architect Wiliam A. Rutherford developed the outside. He enhanced the natural landscape to include walking paths, allées, meadows, and ponds.

Over time, a foundation donated an additional 300 acres, followed by 2,100 acres of Schunnemunk Mountain. The state of New York now owns and operates that portion as Schunnemunk Mountain State Park, preserving the scenic views.

The collection has continued, resulting in 115 permanent works and other temporary exhibitions.

Planning Your Visit

  • The address to put in your GPS is 1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY. Public transit is also available from NYC and Penn Station.
  • The Storm King Art Center is open six days a week (closed on Tuesdays) from 10 am until 5:30 pm. The final entry is at 4 pm. These are summer hours, starting Memorial Day weekend. Winter hours are limited, usually weekends only.
  • It is strongly suggested that tickets be purchased in advance. The cost ranges from $15 to $25, and children under 4 are free. 
  • Download the digital guide on Bloomberg Connects for information about walking routes, artist backgrounds, and staff commentary.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared for grass and gravel paths. Check the weather forecast.
  • Bring water and snacks. There are food trucks and several other food options available.

Exploring the Grounds

Start at the indoor museum and download a map of the grounds. Then, step outside and let the adventure begin. Storm King’s expansive grounds have several sections, each offering a unique experience. 

  • The Museum Hill has some of the center’s largest and most iconic sculptures, such as the original David Smith sculptures and Alexander Calder’s abstract forms. 
  • Further from the main building, the North Woods has a good concentration of sculptures and some shade on a warm sunny day.
  • The South Fields feature several of Mark di Suvero’s towering steel creations and offer great photo opportunities.

Another way to plan your visit is by choosing your favorite pieces or artists.

Sculptural Highlights

Maya Lin’s “Wavefield”: One of the most striking installations at Storm King, “Wavefield” consists of undulating earth mounds that create a rhythmic landscape. Walking through it feels like being enveloped by waves of grass, offering a serene and meditative experience.

Richard Serra’s “Schunnemunk Fork”: This massive steel sculpture commands attention with its raw, industrial presence. The interplay of light and shadow as you walk around and through the piece is mesmerizing, revealing new perspectives from every angle.

Louise Bourgeois’s “Eyes”: Hidden in a wooded area, these giant granite eyes seem to watch over the forest. The setting invites quiet contemplation, making it a favorite spot for visitors seeking solitude and reflection.

Before and After Your Visit

Whether you love art or nature, visiting Storm King Art Center will leave you awestruck! You will want to return to your comfortable room (maybe even one named for Storm King) or sit in our gardens with a chilled drink and discuss the wonder of the art and countryside you have seen.

View of the Storm King Room in the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast with a large comfie bed, fireplace and seating. Don’t limit your visit to the Hudson Valley to a day at Storm King. There is much more to see and experience! If you are a history buff, West Point has many stories. Return to the woods for a hike or stroll through one of our many small towns. All this will work up an appetite, and we have restaurants galore. Your getaway to the Hudson Valley awaits!


Photo Credit: © Jonathan Sabutis via


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