4 Art-Filled Day Trips to New York’s Hudson Valley

Buzzing with creative energy and a lively art scene, this idyllic region makes the perfect escape from the city. Here’s what not to miss this summer

Dia:Beacon is one of the Hudson Valley’s must-visit art destinations.
Photo: Dia:Beacon

The verdant forests and picturesque mountains of New York’s Hudson Valley don’t just offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan; they’re also home to a trove of sculpture parks, galleries, and art museums on par with the city’s blue-chip offerings. The best part? These venues are just a short train, bus, or even boat ride away from the Big Apple, so you’ll be back by evening—that is, if the region’s captivating allure doesn’t convince you to stay the night.

Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring

Magazzino of Italian Art, designed by Miguel Quismondo. Photo: Marco Anelli © 2017, Courtesy of Magazzino Italian Art
An Arte Povera installation at Magazzino Italian Art. Photo: Courtesy of Magazzino Italian Art

This airy, sunshine-filled warehouse, a tribute to postwar and contemporary Italian art, opened its doors last June, showcasing the collection of local couple Giorgio Spanu and Nancy Olnick. The current exhibition, on view through spring 2019, sheds light on the economic and political turbulence of 1960s Italy. The display of 76 arte povera works spans 12 artists: Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pierpaolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Gilberto Zorio. 2700 Route 9, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Storm King Art Center, New Windsor

A Maya Lin earthwork undulates at Storm King. Photo: Storm King Art Center
Mark di Suvero, Beethoven’s Quartet, 2003. Photo: Courtesy of Storm King Art Center

Set on over 500 acres of pristine countryside, Storm King Art Center invites you to stroll among a breathtaking collection of large-scale sculptures by acclaimed artists such as Isamu Noguchi, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Goldsworthy, and many more. Opening on May 19, “Indicators: Artists on Climate Change” will focus directly on this hot political topic. On view through November 25, it includes work from more than a dozen artists, including several pieces newly created for the exhibition. Rising star Elaine Cameron-Weir will also install a 20-foot spherical sculpture on the grounds as part of the annual “Outlooks” series, a program that focuses on emerging artists. 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY 12553

Dia:Beacon, Beacon

The Dia:Beacon building overlooking the Hudson River. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Mary Corse, Untitled (White Inner Band), 2010. Photo: Courtesy of the artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles

Like many Hudson Valley towns, Beacon is a popular refuge for city dwellers, who favor its charmingly small-scale urban vibe. The key drawing card, however, is Dia:Beacon, set in a renovated former Nabisco factory, where colossal installations punctuate rotating exhibitions by a stellar cast of contemporary artists. On deck this summer is Mary Corse, whose luminescent work—often identified with the West Coast’s Light and Space movement—has gripped art enthusiasts for over half a century. Also on view is the minimalist work of Dorothea Rockburne, who, like Corse, finds inspiration in varied and unorthodox disciplines, including mathematics and dance. 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY 12508

The School, Kinderhook

The School occupies a 1929 federal-revival building. Photo: Jack Shainman Gallery
Radcliffe Bailey, Other Worlds Worlds, 2011. Photo: Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery

This year, New York mega-dealer Jack Shainman marks the fourth anniversary of his grade school turned gallery in this quiet town, presenting a survey by mixed-media artist Radcliffe Bailey, on view from May 20 through October 6. Bailey’s compelling work, which has been the star of numerous solo exhibitions in Shainman’s New York City gallery, speaks to both the cultural and the personal implications of the African-American experience. The 30,000-square-foot space will also exhibit contemporaneous solo shows featuring Nina Chanel Abney, Shimon Attie, Math Bass, Valérie Blass, Vibha Galhotra, Brad Kahlhamer, Margaret Kilgallen, Lynne Lapointe, Gordon Parks, and Leslie Wayne. 25 Broad Street, Kinderhook, NY 12106

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