Let’s start off with a dose of honesty: A day of art usually means hopping on a train for a trip to The Met or Museum of Modern Art. It’s not that there isn’t plenty to see close to home (there is!), but we’d like to see the big guns like Picasso, Warhol, and Chagall. But we’d also like to avoid the hordes of tourists that continuously bombard the museums in Manhattan. So we looked to the county’s museums for an art fix without the crowds or commute—and we couldn’t be happier with what we found. Picasso and Warhol? Check. O’Keeffe, Pollock, Rothko, and Rodin had us ticking off boxes from our must-see-artists list, too. So now it’s your turn to use the last bit of summer to check these artists out.
Matisse and Chagall at Union Church
Stained-glass by Matisse at Union Church in Pocantico Hills
Here’s a reason to head to church: At Union Church in Pocantico Hills, you’ll find 10 stained-glass windows created by Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall. And their beauty rivals their rarity. The rose window—designed by Matisse to honor the memory of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller—is the artist’s last work, completed just days before his death. The nine windows by Chagall are the only cycle of church windows by the artist in America.
Warhol at the Hudson River Museum
Warhol’s The Witch at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers
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Take a walk on the wild side at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. This month, the museum is bringing four silkscreens from Andy Warhol’s Myths series out of storage. The works—The Witch, Santa Claus, Uncle Sam, and Dracula—pay homage to old Hollywood and nostalgic characters from Warhol’s youth.
Picasso at Kykuit
Picasso tapestry at Kykuit in Sleepy Hollow
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Kykuit—the hilltop Rockefeller estate in Sleepy Hollow—houses an enviable collection of art. After all, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller was a driving force behind the establishment of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Scattered across the estate’s gardens and galleries, you’ll find works by Warhol, Chagall, Alexander Calder, and Alberto Giacometti. But the can’t-miss pieces here are part of a collection of work by Picasso, which includes his whimsical sculpture The Bathers, just off the tennis lawn, and a selection of ceramic vases and prints in galleries on the property. The need-to-see-immediately part, though: a grouping of 12 tapestries—commissioned by Rockefeller and woven in France under Picasso’s strict supervision—replicating some of his most famous works.
Rodin at the Bruce Museum
The Whore of Babylon by Albrecht Dürer at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT. The Whore of Babylon photo courtesy of C. G. Boerner
The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, might be best known for its extensive collection of African art and artifacts, but did you know it’s also home to a Rodin? In 1995, the museum acquired a signed bronze cast of one of the French artist’s most famous sculptures, The Kiss, which depicts a passionate embrace from the pages of Dante’s Divine Comedy. While you’re there, stop by the exhibit Pride, the museum’s contribution to The Seven Deadly Sins exhibition currently on display around Westchester and Connecticut. Among work by a variety of artists, you’ll find two prints by German artist Albrecht Dürer—Nemesis and The Whore of Babylon.
Pollock and Rothko at the Neuberger
O’Keeffe’s Lake George by Early Moonrise at the Neuberger Musem of Art at Purchase College
You could spend days upon days perusing the art housed inside the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College. Since its establishment in 1969, the collection has grown to include more than 7,000 works from 20th-century artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Alexander Calder. While you can explore the whole museum for a survey of artistic movements over the last 100 years, don’t miss its most easily identifiable works: Number 8 by Jackson Pollock and Old Gold over White by Mark Rothko.