Collection Spotlight: The Art of Skywatching

March 4, 2022–March 5, 2023

What do skywatchers, professional and amateur, notice when they look at the sky as depicted in works of art? Marc Taylor, Manager of Planetarium and Science Programs at the Hudson River Museum, draws our attention to works of art from the permanent collection, ranging from the 1860s to the 2010s, and sheds light on both the phenomena depicted and the science behind them.

Artists on view include Katherine Bradford, Howard Russell Butler, Frank Russell Green, Richard Haas, James Hendricks, Frances Hynes, Louis Aston Knight, and Elihu Vedder. The installation also features a special loan of a painting by Alvin C. Hollingsworth, Sun and Moon Opus, ca. 1968–1973, which depicts the lone figure of a prophet under a setting sun and full moon.

Whether it be the sky’s changing colors or the illuminating properties of moonlight, contemplate the physical mechanisms behind these natural occurrences, and perhaps you will recognize the visual clues the next time they appear before you in art—or in real life!