Dancers Among Us: Photographs by Jordan Matter
October 17, 2015 – January 17, 2016

Jordan Matter. Dancers Among Us (Meghan G. Meehan at the Hudson River Museum, October 2014). Courtesy of the artist


Dancers leap and move in everyday settings to show us moments that we all live in joy, love, silence, grief, curiosity.

Video - Dancers Among Us: Jordan Matter - Making the Shot
Jordan Matter’s stunning photographs appear at Hudson River Museum Fall 2015 in the exhibition Dancers Among Us.

The exhibition, the first solo museum exhibition for Matter in the United States, contains over 30 images — photographs from his acclaimed book Dancers Among Us, new images from his upcoming book Tiny Dancers Among Us, and several from the region.

Matter photographs dancers off stage and in unexpected places — no computer manipulation allowed. The world is his studio — its streets, libraries, playing fields, coffee shops, and highways. Matter makes his point with light, color, and a supreme ability to capture a moment in time.

First a portrait photographer, Matter soon focused on the entire human figure and in the spontaneous movement of the dancer. Words are part of Matter’s imagistic messages. He names his photographs with allusions to today’s events, or draws titles from poetry and quotations from the famous of all times and deeds, Sammy Davis Jr. to Goethe, such as  In Rise Above it All, a young woman seems to hover in air above a Columbus Circle park bench, illustrating Emily Dickinson’s phrase, “I Dwell in Possibility.”

Matter’s photographs are grouped into three themes in the exhibition: Wow Moments Revealed: Matter is always asked, “Wow. How did you get that shot?” These moments identified, the process is explained — the images come from Matter and the dancers who contribute ideas and equal parts of energy and patience; Water and the Hudson River: Jordan Matter and his dancers revel in the beauties of the natural world. From the Hudson River to city park fountains, Matter uses the visual significance of  dancers leaping and posing by moving water in his photographs; Tiny Dancers Among Us: Matter’s interest  was piqued by watching the joy of his children at play and incorporated their exuberance into his photographs of child dancers.

The Museum galleries host Matters images as well as a roster of dance programs with a focus on movement in daily life:

Friday morning music and movement for adults directed by a dance instructor dance who inspires participants to physically   respond to the energy celebrated in Jordan Matter’s images.

In Saturday workshops instructors teach African and Latin dance traditions. Additional offerings by Youth Theatre Interactions and other area dance studios.

Sunday live dance performances, 1 and 3 pm, with public rehearsals at 12 noon, curated by choreographer, LeAnn Yannelli for serious dance students from high school and college programs, as well as acclaimed New York City dance companies.

                      Dancers Among Us: Jordan Matter is organized by the Hudson River Museum.



Oh Panama! Jonas Lie Paints the Panama Canal
February 7 – May 8 2016

Central Wall, Pedro Miguel, 1913     Oil on canvas, 36 x 34 in.         Courtesy of the West Point Museum Collection, United States Military Academy


One hundred years ago the Panama Canal linked east to west, opening for the first time in history a water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Now the Panama Canal Expansion Project, slated for completion in 2016, will open a new water lane to more and larger ships. Celebrating today’s Panama project, Oh Panama! looks back to the determined and spirited efforts of the architects and crews who accomplished the 1914 canal that was captured in paintings by Jonas Lie from the West Point Museum Collection, United States Military Academy. Lie’s paintings continue today to impress viewers as a sublime and beautiful document of man’s relentless quest to conquer nature and harness its riches.

    Heavenly Host, 1913    Oil on canvas, 50 x 60 inches
    Courtesy of the West Point Museum Collection, United States Military Academy

Norwegian-born painter Jonas Lie (1880-1940) inspired by a motion picture documentary of the construction of the canal visited the Panama Canal Zone for three months in 1913. He was enthralled by the feats of engineering required to dig the Culebra Cut, as well as the sublime visual qualities of the massive trench being carved across the Isthmus of Panama. Working tirelessly in the intense tropical heat, he produced oil sketches and drawings and took careful notes on the technical aspects of the canal construction.

Recognized by his peers as a scientist and a poet for his depictions of New York City, Lie’s canvasses were both historical documents of technological progress and dramatic interpretations of the urban environment.  The thirty known pictures he made of Panama are lively and colorful, capturing the spirit of that endeavor as well as its heroic quality and monumental scale. Lie recalled the Panama experience as a pivotal moment in his career, one from which he received national recognition for his work and also developed the aesthetic and technical strategies that influenced his landscape compositions from that point forward.

Panama by Air (Reel 4) (1914)

When Lie returned to New York, he exhibited twenty-eight paintings from the Panama cycle at the Knoedler Gallery; two —The Conquerors and Culebra Cut— were purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts before the exhibition embarked on a national tour in 1914. “… the exhibition embarked on a national tour in 1914. The exhibition was very popular with broad interest in Lie’s paintings fueled by publicity photographs, news reports, and the release of documentary films following the canal’s progress, such as the Edison Company’s The Joining of the Two Oceans, The Panama Canal.

Organized by the Hudson River Museum and James A. Michener Art Museum, Oh Panama! Jonas Lie Paints the Panama Canal is curated by Kirsten M. Jensen, Senior Curator of Exhibitions at the Michener Art Museum and Bartholomew F. Bland, Deputy Director of the Hudson River Museum. A fully-illustrated catalog with essays Jensen and Bland accompanies the exhibition, on view at the Hudson River Museum February 7 - May 8, 2016 and travels to the Michener Museum on view from July 23 to October 30, 2016.


Thomas Doyle: if the creek don’t rise
February 7 – May 8, 2016


Thomas Doyle’s small-scale sculpture of a house in if the creek don’t rise tells the story that takes place in a gray zone between everyday events and the fantastical calamities that can, at any time, strike a home. Doyle’s “people,” an assortment of figures, carry on, promenading or sitting, oblivious to encroaching danger. Viewers, though, are visually plunged into a world that is strange and yet unsettlingly familiar.

In his first solo Museum exhibition, Doyle creates a swollen riverbed that crosses the Museum’s gallery. A river that is flooding, it must be dammed, and the piled up paraphernalia from Doyle’s suburban house becomes the force that holds it back. The debris actually forms two dams and in between them sits a single house and a yard. “The dams, “Doyle said, “have a purpose, while nodding to absurdity of changing the natural world.”

After a decade working with model houses in 1:87 scale — the scale favored by most American model railroaders — Doyle has incorporated actual home building materials, such as drywall and studs into his works. And, for this exhibition, he has built four full-scale rooms with interiors awry, affected by the flood. As viewers spy the rooms through the windows of the house, they may find their expectations of safety and comfort upended in times of crisis. These rooms, like the small sculptures that Doyle sets in his other homes, conjure the memories – peaceful and painful – that haunt a house over the years.

Doyle, who lives and works in Katonah, in New York’s Westchester County, has shown his sculptures at galleries and museums across the United States and in London, Florence, Seoul, and Beijing, among other locations. Organized by the Hudson River Museum, Thomas Doyle: if the creek don’t rise is curated by Bartholomew Bland, the Museum’s Deputy Director.