About the Museum
Welcome to the Hudson River Museum, a preeminent cultural institution in Westchester County and the New York metropolitan area. Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Yonkers, New York, the HRM’s mission is to engage, inspire, and connect diverse communities through the power of the arts, sciences, and history.
The Museum offers engaging experiences for every age and interest. Tour the permanent collection and dynamic exhibitions of American art that range from nineteenth-century Hudson River School paintings to contemporary art installations; and explore Gilded Age decorative arts in the period rooms of our historic home, Glenview, built in 1877, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Excited by science and astronomy? Find out about the mysteries and discoveries of the cosmos in our state-of-the-art Planetarium—the only public planetarium in Westchester County. Learn all about the Hudson River in Hudson Riverama, a hands-on, environmental teaching gallery that explores the history and ecosystem of this majestic river.
Each and every week, you can visit the HRM and learn and do something new and unexpected. Experience the galleries with a curator or an artist, or make your own art in an artist-led workshop. Come see a dance or music performance, participate in a lecture and discussion, or learn about what’s happening in the night sky on the very day you visit. Check out our calendar and plan a visit that’s right for you.
The Museum was founded in 1919 with the support of a group of local citizens and artists known as the Yonkers Art Association. Two of the members were Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr., a titan of late nineteenth and early twentieth century photography, and sculptor Isidore Konti; both went on to serve as the Museum’s founding commissioners.
The Yonkers Museum, its name in 1919, began as a collection of minerals donated by Yonkers attorney Edwin C. Mott, which were first displayed in Yonkers City Hall. Under Mott’s leadership, the collection grew rapidly—after just two years they expanded their plans to include an exhibition of artworks.
The New Home
In 1924, with the support of the Yonkers Art Association, the Museum was moved to Glenview, a Gilded Age mansion purchased by the City of Yonkers. Glenview was the home of the late Wall Street financier John Bond Trevor; the family owned it for 45 years. The home, which was built in 1877, was designed by architect Charles W. Clinton, who designed many notable buildings, including the Seventh Regiment Armory, also known as the Park Avenue Armory, in Manhattan.
In this new home, the Museum, renamed the Yonkers Museum of Sciences and Arts, attracted a steady stream of visitors from Yonkers and the surrounding area. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, significant new donations of American art, including Jasper F. Cropsey’s painting The Narrows at Lake George, 1888, as well as robust science and art education programs, brought in enthusiastic audiences. As a sign of deepening ties to the region, the Museum changed its name to the Hudson River Museum of Yonkers in 1948. A few years later, in 1956, a Planetarium was installed in the Glenview Dining Room, which demonstrated the Museum’s commitment to advancing public understanding of the cosmos.
The 1969 Addition
In need of more exhibition space, the Museum opened a modern wing in 1969—a Brutalist-style building designed by architect Richard Kaeyer of Sherwood, Mills and Smith —with 15,000 square feet of gallery space and a new, state-of-the-art Planetarium. The Museum was first accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1974, a mark of excellence we have retained ever since. With Glenview approaching 100 years old and exhibition galleries in the new building, the Museum began to curate period rooms to showcase its significant collections of late 19th-century decorative arts.
In 1979, renowned Pop artist Red Grooms created The Bookstore, a dazzling sculpto-pictorama installation that deftly joins two favorite haunts of New York City book lovers—the Isaac Mendoza Book Company and the Pierpont Morgan Library—into a work of art. The Bookstore served as the Museum’s gift shop for the next 30 years. After extensive conservation, it was reinstalled in its own gallery in 2008; visitors can experience the piece there today.
The Museum drew closer to the community in the 1980s, offering nearby magnet schools curriculum-based programming that has only deepened with the years. We also began training local citizens to help interpret the Museum (renamed the Hudson River Museum of Westchester) for visitors of all ages. The Docent Program was formed—a rigorous program that trains adults to give guided tours of the collection and special exhibitions. The Program is an integral part of the Museum today with more than 40 active docents.
In 1995, we began teaching critical thinking and interpretation skills in the context of the Museum to Yonkers high school students in the Junior Docent Program. To date, more than 400 young adults have graduated from the program, equipped with a deeper understanding of the arts and sciences, and the necessary communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills to succeed in college and the workplace.
Restoration, Upgrades, and New Spaces
A magnificently restored Glenview reopened to the public in 1999. The enormous, multi-year effort, which reproduced the mansion’s original grandeur inside and out, received the National Victorian Society in America Award.
In 2003, Hudson Riverama opened—a multimedia environmental teaching gallery about the history and ecosystem of the Hudson River. Central to the installation is a three-dimensional topographical model of the river that enables visitors to locate natural and man-made landmarks.
Always moving forward, the Museum expanded its programming to include free performances of music, drama, and dance when, in the summer of 2013, we opened our 400-seat Amphitheater. The outdoor shows are an exuberant gift to the community we’ve been able to offer every summer since.
Stargazers were (and still are) awed by the Museum’s upgraded full-dome digital Planetarium, dedicated in 2014, which can project up to 20 million stars.
The HRM Today
Today, the Hudson River Museum is known for imaginative, thought-provoking exhibitions of contemporary and historical art, its evolving permanent collection and ongoing restoration and interpretation of Glenview Mansion, groundbreaking exhibits about regional history, and hands-on science and art programs for all ages. We are proud to give back to the community in which we have thrived.
Come make waves with us and experience the power of art, science, and history.