Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art
State University of New York at New Paltz
1 Hawk Drive
New Paltz, NY 12561
Open: Wednesday-Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm/Closed on Monday & Tuesday
Fee: Suggested fee is $5.00
My review on TripAdvisor:
The Samuel Dorsky Museum on the SUNY Campus
I recently visited the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, NY and found it to be an interesting little museum that covers a lot of fields of art from ancient art to paintings and photography. The current exhibitions include “Just my Type: Angela Dufresne” and “In Celebration: A Recent Gift from the Photography Collections of Marcuse Pfeifer”. There is also a exhibition of a local institution “Mohonk Mountain House at 150”, which is on the history and progression of the development of the Mohonk Mountain House Hotel.
The Angela Dufresne exhibition was created by the artist of people who are the artist’s friends, family and of her community which are colorful and somewhat exaggerated views of people and their expressions. These giant colorful paintings had different expressions on their faces where you can only guess what the sitters were thinking.
The Angela Dufresne Exhibition
The photo collection of former gallery owner Marcuse Pfeifer, who has now relocated to the Hudson River Valley addresses the 19th and 20th Century that explore celebrity, location and life in the City. It has some interesting looks of life at a different time as well the expression of the subjects.
I went to the museum recently to see both the “Collecting Local: Twelve years of the Hudson Valley Artists Annual Purchase Awards” and “Jan Sawka: The Place of Memory” which were both interesting exhibitions both extended because of the campus being closed for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Collecting Local: Twelve Year’s of the Hudson Valley Artists” exhibition
The nice thing about the Dorsky Museum is its dedication to the Hudson River artist. “Collecting Local” is an exhibition that highlights the accomplishments and collections of the current artists from the Hudson Valley region and showcases their interpretations of art. It is nice to see not just local artists shine but what is being shown at the local galleries around the area.
Jan Sawka is a Polish born artist who was exiled from the county and settled into the Hudson River Valley with his family. His works were taken from the context of being a stranger in a new country.
Jan Sawka’s painting dedicated to his mother in law
Jan Sawka’s painting from his time living in Asbury Park, NJ
The museum offers also objects from the permanent collection and showing the areas in which the museum has collected in the past and currently. There is anything from a Warhol photo to ancient Chinese and Japanese statuary.
The Museum’s permanent collection
The museum does a lot in a small area and does a nice job promoting up and coming artists.
History of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art:
Mission of the Museum:
Through its collections, exhibitions and public programs. The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art supports and enriches the academic programs at the university presents a broad range of national and international art for study and enjoyment and serves as a center for the arts and culture of the Hudson Valley.
About the Museum:
Located at the State University of New York at New Paltz. The Dorsky Museum comprises more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries. The museum was launched more than 65 years ago by a dedicated committee of faculty members to enhance the teaching mission of the university. Originally known as the College Art Gallery, The Dorsky Museum was dedicated in 2001. The opening of The Dorsky Museum transformed the original College Art Gallery into one of the leading art museums in the region.
The Dorsky Museum’s permanent collection comprises more than 5,500 works of art from around the world and spans over a 4,000 year time period. While encyclopedic in nature, areas of focus include American art, with an emphasis on the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain region, 19th century American prints, photography and contemporary metals. The museum also has a strong World Collection that includes outstanding examples of both two and three-dimensional objects from diverse cultures, dating from classical to modern times.
The museum’s temporary exhibition program has been hailed as one of the best in the region and features exhibitions, installations and projects by internationally recognized artists as well as annual thematic exhibitions of work by regional artists. “The Hudson Valley Masters Series” is one of the unique exhibitions that the museum periodically hosts which focuses specifically on a body of work by an internationally acclaimed artist who resides in the area.
A painting by Angela Dufresne
Samuel Dorsky was a self made and self realized individual who came to the art world relatively late after achieving success in the garment business. Emerging from the Great Depression, World War II and the post war boom years with the desire and the where withal to pursue both art and philanthropic, he opened a art gallery in 1963. Until his death in 1994, his gallery presented hundreds of exhibitions featuring such well-known artists as Henry Moor, about whom Dorsky was a recognized authority, Richard Hunt, Willem De Kooing, Larry Rivers and Robert Rauschenberg. Sam also generously championed the work of numerous lesser-known artists who he often befriended. The Dorsky gallery closed its doors to the public in 2001 after which Sam’s children, David, Noah, Karen and Sara established the Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs (DGCP) in Long Island City, a not for profit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary visual arts.
The dedication of the Dorsky Museum brought to fruition a project that had dominated the last decade of Sam Dorsky’s life. Sam’s lead gift to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation provided the impetus for the construction of the new museum building as well as the complete renovation of the former College Art Gallery to become part of the museum. The Dorsky Museum now comprises six galleries, offices and a small teaching space.
The Dorsky family continues to be a major supporter of The Dorsky Museum and SUNY New Paltz. David, Karen and Noah Dorsky serve on the Advisory Board of The Dorsky Museum. Karen and Noah also serve as trustees of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation.
(SUNY New Paltz History)