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Insider’s Guide: Museums




HEADLINE: IF YOU LIKE STROLLING the marvelous meadows of the world renowned Storm King Art Center, check out THE FIELDS SCULPTURE PARK AT OMI INTERNATIONAL ARTS CENTER  Storm King may have the big names and big grass (David Smith, Anthony Caro, Alexander Calder et al., on 500 acres), but Omi has the newcomer’s conceptual edge. Dotted across 90 of Omi’s 300 acres are ambitious, sophisticated works by an international group of rising stars. Every year the curators add at least 10 contemporary pieces to the park, in addition to mounting temporary and one-person exhibitions by established and emerging sculptors. Picnic tables only enhance the informal environment for all ages. Tours and workshops are available for children. Open daily year-round, sunrise to sunset. 

            Clearly, we’re not the only ones who treasure this artistic endeavor. In November, Omi, which also houses a residency program for international visual artists, writers, musicians and dancers, broke ground on a $1.2 million, 4,200-square foot Visitors Center and Gallery. When completed, the building is expected to be LEED certified (the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) — one of the first buildings to be certified in the Valley — and will showcase state of the art “green systems” including solar power and and daylight sensors to monitor lighting levels. The building will be crafted from thin veneer stone, which uses about one sixth of the amount of stone conventionally required to clad a building. June 16 is the opening for the new season

                        The Fields Sculpture Park at Omi International Arts Center. Ghent. 518-392-2181. www.artomi.org



 Take the Kids:

THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (CMOST) Rensselaer Tech Park, Troy (Rensselaer). 518-235-2120; www.CMOST.org

Hands-on museum; animals, Indian artifacts, digital dome planetarium, Hudson River exhibit, outdoor programs, workshops, camp-ins and café. Birthday parties and group tours by appt. Thurs.-Sun. CMOST members: Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Wed. by appt. only. $5, 2 and under free. HIGHLIGHT: the digital dome planetarium offers four different daily shows! 


FASNY MUSEUM OF FIREFIGHTING Hudson (Columbia). 518-822-1875, 877-347-3687; www.fasnyfiremuseum.com
Memorabilia and 96 vintage fire engines. Large groups call ahead. Open daily, except major holidays. HIGHLIGHT: Kids everywhere dream of sitting in the driver’s seat of an old fashioned fire engine.


THE HUDSON RIVER MUSEUM Yonkers. 914-963-4550; www.hrm.org

Exhibits on arts, science, and history. Includes Glenview, restored Victorian home, and Andrus Planetarium. Hudson Riverama exhibit focuses on ecology of the Hudson River. Wed.-Sun. , Fri. $5, $3 seniors (62+) and children 5-16. Planetarium $2, $1 seniors and children. HIGHLIGHT: The planetarium  — this one introduces kids as young as 3 to the heavens above with a special 35 minute show, complete with a chat with the sun.


MID-HUDSON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Poughkeepsie. 845-471-0589; www.mhcm.org

Over 50 hands-on, family-fun, interactive exhibits, plus live performances, workshops, daily activities, group tours, birthday parties and summer camp. Tues.-Sun. $6.50 adults and children. HIGHLIGHT: Pretend to descend into the depths of the Hudson River in the simulated dive bell!,


MUSEUM OF THE HUDSON HIGHLANDS Cornwall-on-Hudson (Orange). 845-534-5506; www.museumhudsonhighlands.org Live animals and interactive nature exhibits. Fri.-Sun. (Nature trails open dawn to dusk.) $3. Museum also owns Kenridge Farm: 20 Kenridge Farm Dr., Rte. 9W in Cornwall; trails, picnicking, art exhibits, nature programs. Sat.-Sun. HIGHLIGHT: Oohs and aahs with cuddly creatures



One-mile canal section in 300-acre park. Museum housed in two canal-era (1828-98) buildings; exhibits on silent films and canals. Full-size canal boat with children’s activity center. Group, school tours by appt. Boat rides by reservation. Apr.-Oct., Thurs.-Sun. and by appt. HIGHLIGHT: Boats are almost as good as fire engines.




COLUMBIA COUNTY MUSEUM Kinderhook. 518-758-9265; www.cchsny.org

Exhibits on county culture, history. May 26- “Looking for Work” featuring Peter Stope. Research/genealogical library. Mon., Wed., Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Vanderpoel and Van Alen Houses, Memorial Day-Labor Day: Thurs.-Sun. 12-4 p.m.


ROBERT JENKINS HOUSE Daughters of the American Revolution, Hendrick Hudson Chapter, Hudson. 518-828-9764/0034

The 3rd and 5th mayor of Hudson, Robert Jenkins built this house in 1811; now a museum with local artifacts of the area and genealogical library. Museum and library open from July-Septemer on Saturdays 1-5 p.m. by appt. Donation suggested.


SHAKER MUSEUM & LIBRARY Old Chatham. 518-794-9100; www.shakermuseumandlibrary.org

One of the largest collections of Shaker craftsmanship in furniture, tools, machinery, baskets. 20 galleries, children’s activity center, picnic area, classes, museum shop, annual events. May 26-Oct. 15, Closed Tues. $8, $4 ages 8-17.



A. SCOTT WARTHIN GEOLOGICAL MUSEUM Vassar College, Poughkeepsie. 845-437-5540

Minerals, gems, rocks, fossils, maps, a fluorescent mineral exhibit, and a working geyser. Mon.-Fri., summer by appt.


DIA:BEACON Beacon. 845-440-0100; www.diabeacon.org

Located in a 300,000-sq.-ft. former Nabisco box printing factory, the museum presents works by 24 artists from the 1960s to the present. Included are large-scale installations by Richard Serra, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Dan Flavin, Louise Bourgeois, and Agnes Martin. Until April 16: Fri.-Mon. , April 19-Oct. 15: Thurs.-Mon. ; $10 general, &7 students and seniors, free for Dia members and children under 12.


CCS BARD HESSEL MUSEUM Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. 845-758-7598; www.bard.edu/ccs/museum

Exhibits works by internationally known contemporary artists. Museum, Wed.-Sun. Research library.


FRANCES LEHMAN LOEB ART CENTER Vassar College, Poughkeepsie. 845-437-5237; www.fllac.vassar.edu

Cesar Pelli–designed museum houses 16,500-piece collection; works from ancient to modern times. Sculpture garden. Tues.-Sun. Open late Thursdays.


ISABELLE BACON HOLY LAND MUSEUM Pawling. 845-855-5000, 800-935-0158.

An addition to the Peale Center for Christian Living. Houses culturl, religious artifacts; olive-wood items; musical instruments; collection of Muslim prayer rugs. Tours, Mon.-Fri. Groups by appt.



IRISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM E. Durham. 518-432-6598; www.irishamerican- heritagemuseum.org

Exhibits on history, culture, traditions of Irish-Americans. Memorial Day–Labor Day: Wed.-Sun. $3.50, $2 seniors and students.


ZADOCK PRATT MUSEUM Prattsville. 518-299-3395

Home of congressman, central figure in tanning industry; now focuses on 19th-century Greene Co. history. Nearby park includes Pratt Rock, outcropping with bas-reliefs depicting events in Pratt’s life. Memorial Day-Columbus Day: Thurs.-Sun., hourly tours 1-4:30 p.m. Groups call for reservations. $3 suggested donation.



THE HARNESS RACING MUSEUM & HALL OF FAME Goshen. 845-294-6330; www.harnessmuseum.com

Racing artifacts, paintings, Currier & Ives prints, 3-D simulated harness ride. Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter. Gift shop. $7.50 adults, $5.50 seniors and AAA, $3.50 students 5-18, free 5 and under.


MUSEUM VILLAGE Monroe. 845-782-8247; www.museumvillage.org

A?19th-century living history museum complete with costumed interpreters. Special events, educational programs for school groups and adults.


NATIONAL PURPLE HEART HALL OF HONOR  New Windsor 845-561-1765; www/nysparks.state.ny.us/heritage/purple_hrt.asp.

A new, 7500-square-foot facility at the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site, funded by the State of New York. Exhibits and live and videotaped interviews capture the stories of Purple Heart recipients from all branches of service, from all across America and across generations. The building overlooks the site of the Continental Army’s encampment in 1782-83, where George Washington created the Badge of Military Merit, forerunner to the Purple Heart. In 1932 the first Purple Hearts were presented on these grounds to veterans of World War I.


STORM?KING?ART?CENTER. Mountainville. 845-534-3115; www.stormking.org

World-renowned 500-acre sculpture park and museum. Calder, Goldsworthy, di Suvero, Smith, Noguchi, and others. May 16-Nov.15: Louise Bourgeois exhibit. Open Wed.-Sun. Apr. 1-Nov. 15, $10, $9 seniors, $7 students, 5 and under free. Discounted rate for bus groups of 15 or more with reservations.



PUTNAM COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY & FOUNDRY SCHOOL MUSEUM Cold Spring. 845-265-4010; www.pchs-fsm.org

Changing exhibits; permanent collection pertaining to Philipstown area, West Point Foundry, Civil War, Putnam County. Also historical, genealogical records, research library. Open March-Dec.


SOUTHEAST MUSEUM Brewster. 845-279-7500; www.southeastmuseum.org

Changing exhibits; permanent collection focuses on early circuses, 19th-century farm life, Tilly Foster Iron Mine, Borden Milk Factory, Harlem & Putnam Railroads, Croton reservoir. Also children’s discovery area, special events. Apr.-Dec., Tues.-Sat. $5 suggested donation. Group tours available.



HOLOCAUST MUSEUM & STUDY CENTER Spring Valley. 845-356-2700

Memorabilia, art by Holocaust survivors. Books, videotapes, periodicals available for research. Monthly programs, annual day of remembrance. Summer hours: Tues.-Thurs. School year: Sun.-Thurs. Closed national & Jewish holidays.



A.J. SNYDER ESTATE Rosendale. 845-658-9900; www.centuryhouse.org

Estate of owners of Rosendale Century Cement Company, which provided cement for the Brooklyn Bridge. Tours of Widow Jane Mine, cement kilns, Snyder Carriage and Sleigh Collection. Picnic area, special events. May 1-Oct., Wed., Sat., Sun. and by appt. $3, $1 children.


DELAWARE & HUDSON CANAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM High Falls. 845-687-9311; www.canalmuseum.org

History of D&H Canal and surrounding communities includes working models of canal lock and gravity railroad car, photographs, dioramas, artifacts. “5 Locks Walk,” self-guided walking tour of canal locks. May-Oct., Sat.-Sun. $4, $2 children.


EMPIRE STATE RAILWAY MUSEUM Phoenicia. 845-688-7501

Exhibits on railroad history in 1899 Phoenicia Depot. Catskill Mountain Railroad Tourist Train makes a courtesy stop for train patrons. Current photographic exhibit on the stations and steam locomotives of the historic Ulster and Delaware Railroads. Memorial Day-Columbus Day, weekends and holidays Donation suggested.


FRIENDS OF HISTORIC KINGSTON GALLERY & MUSEUM Kingston. 845-339-0720; www.fohk.org

Local history through changing exhibits; gallery talks. May-Oct., Sat.-Sun. 1658 Stockade District walking tour first Sat. every month, guided tour of Rondout historic district last Sat. of every month. Rondout tour leaves at 11 a.m. from visitors center.


HUDSON RIVER MARITIME MUSEUM Kingston. 845-338-0071 (events hotline); www.hrmm.org

Exhibits, lectures, festivals, programs on region’s maritime history, book siginings; go aboard visiting vessels, rides on a historic 1926 trolley courtesy of the NYS Trolley Museum. May 1-Oct. 31, Thurs.-Mon. 12-6 p.m. Spring exhibit featuring ice boating on the Hudson. $5, $4 seniors & children 6-12, under 6 free.



Hurley is a National Historic Landmark, founded in 1661 by Dutch and Huguenot settlers. Main Street has the oldest concentration of stone houses in the U.S. Local history, special exhibits, self-guided walking tours and gift shop. Current special exhibits are “Hurley in the American Revolution” and “Bluestone: A quarry man’s tale.” Free admission. May-Oct., Sat. , Sun.


KLYNE-ESOPUS HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM Ulster Park. 845-338-8109; www.klyneesopusmuseum.org Housed in an 1827 brick country church. Exhibits on the history and culture of the Town of Esopus through artifacts, documents and spring and fall lecture series. The 2006 exhibit, “First Responders of Esopus,” features stories, documents, and artifacts of the first five Esopus fire companies and volunteer ambulance services. Memorial Day-first Sat. in Dec., Fri.-Tues. and by appt. Groups by appt.


OPUS 40 & QUARRYMAN’S MUSEUM Saugerties. 845-246-3400; www.opus40.org

Colossal environmental sculpture, crafted of bluestone, located in old quarry. Museum of 19th-century tools, artifacts. Memorial Day-Columbus Day, Fri.-Sun., Mon. holidays Group tours, weddings; call ahead for special events, schedule, rates.


SAMUEL DORSKY MUSEUM?OF?ART SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz. 845-257-3844; www.newpaltz.edu/museum
Yearly exhibitions from permanent collection. 20th-century paintings, works on paper. Asian, Pre-Columbian art and artifacts, metals, photographs. Rotating exhibits of faculty, student thesis, alumni art. Focuses on Hudson Valley, Catskill artists. Tues.-Fri. , Sat.-Sun.



DONALD M. KENDALL SCULPTURE GARDEN PepsiCo World Headquarters, Purchase. 914-253-2000

20th-century sculpture: Moore, Nevelson, Rodin. Daily -dusk. Self-guided tour map available at visitors information center.


HAMMOND MUSEUM & JAPANESE STROLL GARDEN N. Salem. 914-669-5033; www.hammondmuseum.org

Three and a half  acres of Japanese gardens on hilltop site; museum promotes intercultural understanding through art, nature. Apr. 14-Nov 17., Thurs.-Sat. $5, $4 seniors and children, under 12 free. Silk Tree Café serves lunch May-Oct., Wed.-Sat. 12-3 p.m. Reservations recommended.


HUDSON VALLEY CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART Peekskill. 914-788-7166; www.hvcca.com

The HVCCA features work by artists from around the world. Main space includes two galleries, a reading room, lecture hall, and media galleries for video, film, and sound exhibits. Open year-round, Sat.-Sun. 12-6 p.m. by appt. $5 adults, $1 students. 


KATONAH MUSEUM OF ART Katonah. 914-232-9555; www.katonahmuseum.org

Designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, a non-collecting institution dedicated to encouraging the enjoyment, appreciation, and study of the visual arts.  Changing exhibitions, children’s learning center, family programs, lectures, tours, jazz concerts, sculpture garden, trips to museums and private collections. Guided tours Tues.-Sun. 2:30 p.m., groups by appt. Museum hours, Tues.-Sat. (free admission before noon) 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m. $5, $3 seniors, under 12 free.


NEUBERGER MUSEUM OF ART Purchase College (SUNY), Purchase. 914-251-6100; www.neuberger.org

Modern, contemporary American, European, African art. Lectures, concerts, workshops, gallery tours. Museum store and café. Tues.-Sun. , Closed major holidays. $5, $3 seniors and students (with valid ID), under 12 free.


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