Tag: Exploring the Hudson River Valley

Hessel Museum of Art -Bard College Campus     33 Garden Road                                       Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504

Hessel Museum of Art -Bard College Campus 33 Garden Road Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504

Hessel Museum of Art-Bard College Campus

33 Garden Road

Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504

https://ccs.bard.edu/museum

Open: Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm/Monday-Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Saturday 11:00am-5:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g29820-d1069234-Reviews-Hessel_Museum_of_Art_at_Bard_College-Annandale_on_Hudson_New_York.html

The Hessel Museum on the Bard Campus

When I was visiting Rhinebeck for the recent Sheep and Wool Festival (See day One Hundred and Forty-Nine on “MywalkinManhattan.com), I decided to visit Bard College and their contemporary art museum, the Hessel Museum. When approaching the museum, it almost appears to be a fortress with several large pieces of contemporary sculpture on the grounds outside the building.

Day One Hundred and Forty-Nine:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/10723

Once upon entering the museum, you are greeted by many welcoming volunteers who will check your vaccination card and ID and your mask and then you can enter the museum for viewing. At the time I was there, NY State still had a lot of their mandates.

There were a couple of interesting exhibitions going on when I visited. The first one I visited that afternoon was “Closer to Life: Drawings and Works on Paper in the Marieluise Hessel Collection”, which was many of the works of the founder of Bard’s private collection that had been donated to the school. I have to admit that the works were very contemporary with lots of squiggles and political themes.

The show piece from the exhibition

Many of the works you had to look at a second time to try to find the meaning in them. I was having a tough time relating the titles to the works. Reading the exhibits press release, the exhibition said “Hessel’s dedication to the depiction of the human figure as an essential act of examining the self and social relations. The exhibit focuses, with a few exceptions, on drawing as a discrete, stand-alone practice and preoccupation of artists rather than as a tool to create studies for works in other mediums. Drawing is a way of thinking and the intimacy of the act is echoed in much of the subject matter depicted in the exhibition (Museum website).

Ms. Hessel traveled extensively and had relationships with many artists along the way, who touched on the themes of the day. She traveled from Germany to Mexico City and then onto New York City at different phases of her life and it shows in the collection that she amassed. The collection twists and turns in its theme from room to room.

The opening exhibition room of the “Closer to Life” exhibition

The other exhibition I toured was the current “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985” which was an interesting exhibition of design of the home and space which seemed to be an art movement in the early to mid 1980’s that I never noticed when I was in high school and college. It seemed that home design went from the home furnishings to a form of art.

The “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985” logo

This I had seen the artist’s starting to design things like dishware and placemats for everyday use and in things like wallpaper from the dining room. There was a cross over in home design as artists became more commercialized and their work showed up on walls and floors. It is not too different today with people like Martha Stewart and her paint and home furnishing collections or Halston designing for JC Penny with the Halston II Collection.

Some of the art was quite colorful

The art in those galleries really looked something you would find in the average person’s home in the era. Some of the ‘over the top’ really looked like it belonged on a rug or on wallpaper. As the exhibition’s literature stated, “the exhibition examines the Pattern and Decorative movement’s defiant embrace of forms traditionally coded as feminine, domestic, ornamental or craft based and thought to be patterns and arranging them in intricate, almost dizzying and sometimes purposefully gaudy designs” (Exhibition literature).

The Hessel Museum doesn’t offer just interesting art but it approaches it in a thought-provoking way, asking the patrons to see beyond not just what is on the walls but think about the exhibit from the era in which the art is from and ask ‘does this still ring true today’. The Hessel asks us to think ‘out of the box’ and look at their works from different perspectives.

Some I understood and some I didn’t but I still enjoyed wondering the galleries and exploring the art on its terms. I think that’s what contemporary or just art in general does. We need to think about it. The museum also has a nice little gift shop to explore.

The History of the Hessel Museum:

About CCS Bard:

Established in 1990, the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS Bard) is an incubator for experimentation in exhibition-making and the leading institution dedicated exclusively to curatorial studies-a discipline exploring the historical, intellectual and social conditions that inform curatorial practice.

The Center for Curatorial Studies has several interconnected parts:

The Hessel Museum of Art, built in 2006, presents experimental group exhibitions and monographic shows and also draws from the Marieluise Hessel Collection of Contemporary Art, comprised of more than 3,000 objects collected contemporaneously from the 1960’s to the present day. The Hessel Museum is open and free to the public. Public sculptures by Franz West, Cosima von Bonin and other artists surround the Museum. Please see the museum page for more details.

CCS Bard hosts a range of public events throughout the year. All events are free and open to the public. Please see upcoming events on the website.

The CCS Bard Archive provides access to a wide range of primary materials documenting the history of the contemporary visuals arts and the institutions and practices of exhibition-making since the 1960’s. Please see our research center page for further details.

The Graduate program in Curatorial Studies is an intensive course of study in the history of contemporary art, the institutions and practices of exhibition making and the theory and criticism of contemporary art since the 1960’s. Throughout its over thirty-year history, the program has actively recruited perspectives underrepresented in contemporary art and cultivated a student body representing a diverse spectrum of backgrounds in a board effort to transform the curatorial field. Please see the school page for further details.

The Center for Curatorial Studies is part of Bard College and located on their Annandale-on-Hudson campus. Bard acts at the intersection of education and civil society, extending liberal arts and sciences education to communities in which it has been undeveloped, inaccessible or absent. Through its undergraduate college, distinctive graduate programs, commitment to the fine and performing arts, civic and public engagement programs and network of international dual-degree partnerships, early colleges and prison education initiatives, Bard offers unique opportunities for students and faculty to study, experience and realize the principle that higher-education institutions can and should operate in the public interest. For more details on the Bard College, please see their website.

Montgomery Place-Bard College 26 Gardener Way & River Road  Red Hook, NY 12571

Montgomery Place-Bard College 26 Gardener Way & River Road Red Hook, NY 12571

Montgomery Place-Bard College

26 Gardener Way & River Road

Red Hook, NY 12571

https://www.bard.edu/montgomeryplace/

Open: Sunday-Saturday From Dawn to Dusk/Mansion is closed

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g29820-d209648-Reviews-Montgomery_Place-Annandale_on_Hudson_New_York.html

On a recent trip to the Hudson River Valley for Fall events I took a tour of Bard Campus to visit their campus and tour Montgomery Place which the college bought from the Hudson River Historical Society in 2016. It is now part of the campus and you can tour the grounds but not the inside of the house.

Montgomery Place on the Bard College Campus

Before 2016 when the house was owned by the Hudson River Historical Society who used to have tours of the mansion. When the family sold the mansion and all its contents to the Society, they left the house untouched when they moved out you got to see how the Livingston family lived not just in current times but with all the historical furniture that came with the house. The former tour used to take you through each room that had antique furniture and decorations but much of the house had been modernized over the years. Older furnishings had either been conserved or slipcovered because of age. Since the house has been sold to Bard College, you can only tour the house by appointment only through the college.

The grounds are still impressive. During the Spring, the formal gardens next to the house are in full bloom and the last time I had taken a tour there, the gardens were being maintained by a local garden club. There were flower beds, herb gardens and cutting gardens on top of the flowing lawns from the house to the river.

The Montgomery Place Gardens are changing from Summer to Fall

In the Fall on a recent visit, most of the gardens had been cut back with a few seasonal flowering bushes still showing color. The trees surrounding the house were turning a gold hue while the lawn that had been freshly cut was still emerald green. The house while a little worn from the outside still looked like it was ready to receive guests for the Fall season in the Hudson River Valley. The views from the back of the house are breathtaking from the window views of the Hudson River and the paths leading to it.

There are all sorts of hiking trails to the Sawkill River and through the forests, a trail down to the Hudson River and tours of the property. The grounds are open from dawn to dusk and there is plenty of parking by the Visitor’s Center along with a history of the estate.

The History of the Estate:

(Taken from Wiki)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgomery_Place

The property had been home Native Americans for at least 5,000 years as a seasonal hunting ground. The Dutch settled in the area in the late 18th century using the Saw Kill River for various mills.

In the late 1770’s, Janet Livingston Montgomery purchased from Abraham Van Benthuysen 242 acres of land on the Hudson River after the death of her husband General Richard Montgomery at the Battle of Quebec. She moved into the home they built after the Revolutionary War. She later had plans made for a Federal style mansion on the riverfront property she bough and moved into her new home, Chateau de Montgomery, in 1805. She established a working farm with the help of friends who gave her tree samples (Wiki).

Upon her death in 1828, the mansion was inherited by her brother, Edward Livingston. He had spent his summers vacationing here with his wife, Louise. They renamed the estate ‘Montgomery Place’. He died the next year and his wife, Louise hired Alexander Jackson Davis to convert the mansion into a more ornate villa. Two wings and exterior decoration were added at this time of the renovation. With the help of Andrew Jackson Downing, a friend of Louise’s and mentor to Davis, she developing the landscapes. Her daughter, Cora Barton worked with the architect on designing garden and conservatory (Wiki).

Upon Louise’s death in 1860, Cora and her husband hired Davis again to build some the earlier outbuildings including Coach House, Swiss Cottage and farmhouse and then extended the landscaping to turn the estate into more ‘pleasure grounds’ and have a separation from the farming operations. The house then passed on to another relative in 1921, John Ross Delafield who added heating and modern plumbing to the house. He and his wife also extended the gardens on the estate as well (Wiki).

Upon his death, his son John White Delafield inherited the house and they opened two corporations to own and operate the property. In 1981, the estate was sold to the Historic Hudson Valley, the historical society. After an extensive renovation, the house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992 and it was bought by Bard College in 2016 who is its current owner (Wiki).

Philipsburg Manor House 381 North Broadway Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591

Philipsburg Manor House 381 North Broadway Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591

Philipsburg Manor House

381 North Broadway

Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591

(914) 336-6900

Open: Please check the website for COVID updates

Fee: Please check the website for the COVID updates

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48622-d299069-Reviews-Philipsburg_Manor-Sleepy_Hollow_New_York.html

I have visited the Philipsburg Manor House and Estate many times over the years. During the “Headless Horseman” Halloween activities, the house is open for tours. You are able to tour the rooms and see the home in a spooky environment. The house was lit by candles and the tour guides lead you through the house.

During a special event at the holidays, the house had seasonal decorations, lit by a combination candles and open hearth fires in the fireplace and tour guides explained a Colonial holiday season.

The Manor House as it was explained to me was a place where the Philipse family stayed when they were away from the main family mansion and was doing business on the estate. So the home was comfortable and workable and functional but not luxurious as the main manor house where the family lived. The kitchen, common room and bedrooms were nicely furnished at the time for the owners visits but was not elegant in the form of the main manor house. This was full working estate at all times. The Mill is located near the manor house and their are walking paths around the house.

During the Halloween season, both Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow are busy with activities with readings, cemetery tours, ‘haunted events’ and other activities. Please check out the Historic Hudson Valley website for the roster of events. Things have changed since the era of COVID.

The History of the Philipsburg Manor House:

(WIKI/Historic Hudson River Valley Society)

The Philipsburg Manor House is an historic house in the Upper Mills Section of the former sprawling Colonial-era estate known as Philipsburg Manor. Together with the water mill and the trading site the house is operated bas a non-profit museum by the Historical Hudson River Valley. It is located on US 9 in the Village of Sleepy Hollow, NY. (Wiki)

the Philipsburg Manor House

The Philipsburg Manor House and Mill area of the estate

The Manor House dates from 1693 when wealthy Province of New York merchant Frederick Philipse was granted a charter for 52,00 acres along the Hudson River by the British Crown. He built this facility at the meeting of the Pocantico and Hudson Rivers as a provisioning depot for the family Atlantic sea trade and as headquarters for a worldwide shipping operation. For more than thirty years, Frederick and his wife, Margaret and later his son Adolph shipped hundreds of African men, women and children as slaves across the Atlantic. The manor was tenanted by farmers of various European backgrounds and operated by enslaved Africans (Wiki).

The Working Kitchen

The working kitchen at the Philipsburg Manor house

At the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, the Philipses supported the British Crown and their landholdings were seized and auctioned off. The manor house was used during the war, most notably by British General Sir Henry Clinton during the militaries in 1779. It was there that he wrote what is know as the Philipsburg Proclamation, which declared all Patriot-owned slaves to be freed and that blacks taken prisoner while serving in Patriot forces would be sold in slavery (Wiki/Hudson River Valley History).

Philipsburg Manor

The reproduction of the bedroom in Philipsburg Manor when the family stayed in house

A National Historic Landmark in 1961, the farm features a stone manor house filled with a collection of 17th and 18th Century period furnishings, a working water-powered grist mill and millpond, an 18 century barn, a slave garden and reconstructed tenant farm house (Wiki/Hudson River Valley History).

During the season when the estate is open for visitors, there are costumed interpreters who reenact life in pre-Revolutionary War times doing various chores around the estate. During the Halloween season, the home is open for haunted tours of the manor during the “Headless Horseman” event. During the Christmas holiday season, the home is open for seasonal activities. Please check the website during COVID for activities (Historic Hudson River Valley).

Saugerties Lighthouse                                   168 Lighthouse Drive                        Saugerties, NY 12477

Saugerties Lighthouse 168 Lighthouse Drive Saugerties, NY 12477

Saugerties Lighthouse

168 Lighthouse Drive

Saugerties, NY 12477

(845) 247-0656

https://www.facebook.com/SaugertiesLighthouse/

Open: Please check the website for hours/Seasonal

Admission: Free for the Grounds/Check the website for the B & B availability

https://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=678

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48564-d4214114-Reviews-Lighthouse-Saugerties_Catskill_Region_New_York.html

I was recently travelling through Saugerties, New York recently and saw the small sign for the historical Saugerties Lighthouse and decided to take the road path down to the river. This interesting little site is hidden behind a wetlands area and neighborhood of homes and a Coast Guard station.

Saugerties Lighthouse

The Historical Saugerties Lighthouse in Saugerties, NY

I walked through the wetlands park through a pathway of bridges and paths and suggest by the walk do not go after it has just rained. Also do not go after dark as the path is not lite. Still it is fascinating walk through the wetlands passing streams and patches of beautiful flowers and trees. Take your time to admire the flowers and plants along the paths and look at the views of the river as you exit the paths.

The lighthouse itself needs some work but it is elegant old building that sits stately against the mountain views. In the middle of the summer, all the colors are bright and vibrant. You can walk around most of the building but the walkway in the front offers a nice view of the whole structure.

The only way to go inside is to book a room at the B & B so check the website out.

The History of the Saugerties Lighthouse:

(From the Friends of the Saugerties Lighthouse)

The lighthouse was practically a pile of crumbling bricks poised to tumble into the Hudson River, the Saugerties Lighthouse barely escaped the demolition ball in the 1960’s. Today, completely renovated and delighting B & B guests, it stands as a testament to the perseverance and hard work of many dedicated individuals.

The name Saugerties is derived from the Dutch “Zager’s Killetje”, meaning a sawmill on a creek and in fact, there was a mill built on Esopus Creek to harness the creek’s waterpower. The mill formed the cornerstone of a thriving paper industry, which produced as much as eight tons of paper daily, making it one of the leading producers of paper in the 1800’s.

On June 30, 1834, Congress appropriated $5000 for the construction of a lighthouse at the mouth of the creek to guide mariners past the nearby shallows and into Esopus Creek and the busy port of Saugerties. Charles Hooster built the lighthouse on a forty by fifty foot timber-framed pier and its light, produced by five whale oil lamps set in parabolic reflectors, commenced operation in 1835 with Abraham Persons as its first keeper.

A fire in 1848 destroyed the original lighthouse but it was rebuilt on the old site by 1850 at which time four lamps were being displayed from atop the two-story structure. Light lists described the second lighthouse as a “light on keeper’s house.” A sixth-order Fresnel lens replaced the array of lamps and reflectors in the lantern room in 1854.

Ice floes and tidal currents took their toll on the foundation pier and on March 2, 1867, Congress appropriated $25,000 to build a replacement lighthouse just a few yards closer to the shore. This structure, still standing today, was built on a circular granite crib, with a depth of twelve foot and a diameter of sixty feet that rests on fifty-six pilings sunk into the riverbed and topped with three layers of six-inch timbers. The two story lighthouse has twenty-inch thick natural colored brick cavity walls and a sixth-order Fresnel lens cast its beacon from the lantern room. No longer needed, the old wooden lighthouse was sold.

Saugerties Lighthouse was considered a plum assignment due to its proximity to town. In 1888, Saugtegies Harbor was enlarged through the construction of jetties and the keeper’s jaunt to town was made easier when a small road was built along the north jetty to the lighthouse.

The lightkeepers were friendly with their neighbors and even enlisted their help. A neighbor downriver would hand a bed sheet out their window whenever they saw the lighthouse tender coming upriver, giving the lightkeeper about a half-hour notice before the inspector arrived.

Daniel Crowley was serving as keeper of the light when the current brick lighthouse was built. He had been placed in charge of the light in 1865, replacing his father Dennis, who was removed from service after just three months. Daniel’s sister, Katie, grew up at the lighthouse and seemed to be amphibious. She would often venture out into the river along in a skiff and when her little craft was upset, there were no worries as she could swim like a duck. Katie was made the official keeper of the light in 1873 and her lack of fear of the water lead to some remarkable rescues.

Around the turn of the century, the boathouse, located atop the foundation of the first lighthouse, a small island east of the current lighthouse was moved to the circular lighthouse pier. In 1910, a wooden platform was extended from the top of the tower to support a fog bell and an enclosed shaft was mounted below the platform to protect the suspended weights that powered the bell striking mechanism.

Conrad Hawk’s twenty-six year stint as keeper, lasting from 1914 to 1940 was far longer than that of any other keeper of Saugerties Lighthouse. In 1916, his son Earl and daughter Ilal were playing with a small battery and brought it into contact with the large battery used for the station’s fog bell. The resulting short-circuit caused an explosion that blew the battery to pieces, cutting Ilal’s face and produced a current that burned Earl’s arms. Earl nearly lost a big toe in 1922 when his foot came into contact with a boat’s propeller as he tried to climb aboard while swimming near the lighthouse.

Through they both had a few scars, Earl and Ilah survived at Saugerties Lighthouse. Earl Hawk graduated from the Navy’s school at Annapolis and entered the submarine service, while Ilal attended Cortland State teacher’s College and became a physical education instructor. Just before Christmas in 1939, Keeper Hawk’s went to the hospital to receive treatment for stomach ulcers but the treatments failed and he passed away on January 8th, 1940.

When electricity was extended to the lighthouse in the 1940’s, the dwelling was “modernized” with steam heat, plumbing and a telephone. In February 1954, Keeper Ed Pastorini was informed his light would be automated come spring. Wanting to leave the station in tip-top shape, he lovingly painted the three large upstairs bedrooms. Tears flooded his eyes when he closed the door and left the lighthouse for the last time.

Saugerties Lighthouse

The Historic Saugerties Lighthouse in all its beauty

The lighthouse tender soon arrived and its crew tore out the plumbing, furnace and fixtures. In stark contrast to Keeper Pastorini’s care, gallons of water were drained out on the floors and left to soak through the floorboards. The building was sealed up and left to deteriorate which it did quickly.

A decade later, the Coast Guard planned to demolish the vandalized and dilapidated lighthouse, when it stepped Ruth Reynolds Glunt, wife of Chester B. Glunt, a former Coast Guard light attendant stationed at Turkey Point near Saugerties. Mrs. Glunt a longtime friend of many lighthouse keepers along the Hudson River, carried a passion for saving lighthouse and mounted a campaign to halt the demolition. Through her efforts and those of architect Elise Barry, the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy was established in 1985 with the mission to restore and maintain the lighthouse and the following year the conservancy was able to purchase the lighthouse and surrounding wetlands for $1.00. The conservancy received a building on the verge of tumbling down but managed in just a few years to turn it into a beautifully restored lighthouse.

Roughly 10,000 old bricks, which had crumbling after being penetrated by moisture, were replaced. The lantern room was removed and refurbished. Stairs, handrails, floors and walls were completely reconstructed. To top of the transformation, a solar powered light installed in the lantern room by the Coast Guard was activated on August 4th, 1990.

Saugerties Lighthouse furnished in 1920’s decor is now open to the public and welcomes overnight guests as a bed and breakfast. Visitors can walk to the lighthouse along a one half mile long through the Ruth Reynolds Glunt Nature Preserve, where they will be greeted by a modern day resident keeper who runs the bed and breakfast and maintains the lighthouse.

Saugerties Lighthouse

A big thank you to the Friends of the Saugerties Lighthouse for their dedication in this important site

*This is just a portion of the blog from the Friends of Saugerties Lighthouse. Please see the attached website for more information.