A New Era at the Hudson River Museum
Dear Friends of the HRM,
I am thrilled to announce that a major moment is upon us at the Hudson River Museum. After years of planning and construction, we will debut our new West Wing, opening to the public on Friday, June 16. This transformational project will bring a premier museum experience to all in Westchester and the New York metropolitan area. The new wing, designed by Archimuse, expands the Museum’s total footprint by more than 12,000 square feet, including more than 3,000 square feet of exhibition galleries and exhilarating views of the Hudson River and Palisades.
This project is the result of vision and partnership, and I am proud and grateful that in recognition of the Museum’s key role as a cultural anchor, education partner, and tourist destination, Westchester County, the City of Yonkers, and New York State, Empire State Development have joined forces in support of this game-changing capital improvement project with $12.28M in generous capital funding. The new building enhances the Museum’s ability to organize and host ambitious exhibitions and programs while providing additional spaces to display and interpret our permanent collections of art, science, and history in new and imaginative ways. It is worth noting we took special care to retain our community’s cherished views of the river and Palisades by building out and down, rather than up.
The evolution of the new wing has been years, even a decade, in the making. There are so many people to thank, especially from our exemplary staff and Board of Trustees for their longstanding contributions and care, to the designers, engineers, builders, and tradespeople who made this project a reality. The debut of the Special Exhibition Galleries and Community Partnership Gallery marks the exciting Phase I of a multi-phase project, which also includes new climate-controlled art storage to ensure safe housing and display of artwork. Phase II will include the completion of our 100-seat state-of-the art auditorium, an upgraded River Terrace, and new sustainable landscaping that will integrate environmental learning. Phase III will include extensive restoration of the exterior of Glenview, the Museum’s significant Gilded Age home on the National Register of Historic Places.
The West Wing galleries will start off the summer with two monumental and immersive exhibitions: Kengo Kito: Unity on the Hudson and Sylvia Sleigh: Invitation to a Voyage. Together, they celebrate our pride of place along the Hudson River, the importance of connection and community, and this pivotal new era in the HRM’s more than 100-year history.
Kengo Kito: Unity on the Hudson features lauded Japanese contemporary artist Kengo Kito, who transforms more than 2,100 colorful hula hoops into a site-specific artwork symbolizing humanity’s interconnectedness, the energy of nature, and our relationship to the Hudson River. This exhibition will flow throughout the new special exhibition galleries all summer long.
Sylvia Sleigh: Invitation to a Voyage, a fourteen-panel panoramic painting from the HRM’s collection, which will open in the Community & Partnership Gallery, fittingly depicts a summer gathering of friends and art-world figures along the banks of the Hudson River. It should not surprise you that our team has been thinking creatively about this new interpretation. You will be invited to become part of the scene!
Our spaces come alive through programming. In addition to the capital support, we would like to acknowledge that funding for these inaugural exhibitions was made possible by significant support from New York State Senate and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the City of Yonkers, Mayor Mike Spano. Additional assistance for HRM exhibitions is provided by the County of Westchester. Kengo Kito: Unity on the Hudson is also made possible by the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.
Don’t forget that Members see it first! I hope you can join our Summer Exhibition Reception for Members celebrating the new West Wing, and the Kengo Kito and Sylvia Sleigh exhibitions on Thursday, June 15, 7–9pm. (Not a Member yet? Join here!) We will also be hosting a Free Community Day on Sunday, July 9, and special Feel Good Fridays! with free general admission on Fridays, 5–7pm, throughout July and August so you can get your weekend off to a great start right at your Museum.
The debut of this bold capital project marks a pivotal milestone for the Hudson River Museum, our region, and our community. More than just additional space, the West Wing will allow us to imagine anew how we present and share art and ideas, and bring you, our public, together in fresh and thought-provoking ways. A hula hoop on its own seems like such a simple item, but when many become linked to express the energy of nature and our collective power, it takes on a whole new meaning. Please consider this your personal invitation to join us and expand the circle.
With gratitude and anticipation,
Director and CEO