Foregrounds and Fortitude
Dear Friends of the HRM,
Welcome to a new kind of fall.
I would like to begin by extending a hearty thank you to all those who have visited us since our reopening this summer. It has been wonderful to see you in person again. Your presence has brought a vitality back to our galleries, along with a sense of possibility. I note, with special appreciation, your compliance with all of our safety protocols throughout the campus—including during our 2020 Summer Amphitheater season, in which we steadfastly continued our successful tradition of providing outstanding live performances for the public, set against the stunning backdrop of the Palisades.
This season, women are at the forefront of our minds, galleries, and programs. During this election year, many are taking stock of the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, what it won and where it failed to achieve voting rights for many American women. Women are still fighting for equality, and as always, art is a powerful lens by which to share and understand the complexity of our lives. In our new exhibition Women to the Fore—which explores and celebrates the multifaceted and diverse artworks by more than forty female-identifying artists—we challenge the dominant textbook canon of American art to expand our definition of feminist art history by advocating for diversity, inclusion, and gender equity. The result is a potent gathering of juxtapositions, which unapologetically challenge stereotypes and societal norms, including ideals of motherhood, personal presentation, and relationships. And when you see the powerful work of our locally-based artists standing shoulder to shoulder with internationally known names, I am confident you will recognize that substantive and much-needed change is afoot. As one compelling example, I invite you to join me and Yonkers-based artist Vinnie Bagwell on Sunday, October 4, to discuss the power of leveraging art in the name of social justice as part of her history-making Central Park commission, Victory Beyond Sims.
It is evident the pandemic has forced us to redefine tourism, time off, and even mental breaks. In Landscape Art and Virtual Travel: Highlights From the Collections of the HRM and Art Bridges, we share artists’ striking ability to transport us to real and imaginary places when we need it most. Experiencing vistas—including through images—benefits us emotionally and physically, demonstrating just one of the ways in which nature can have such a healthy impact on our lives. We are connecting threads in these images to explore ideas such as indigenous connections to landscapes, Hispanic heritage, and the relationships between our life on Earth and the vast skies above. Throughout the season, note that we will be taking advantage of our beautiful outdoor Courtyard to host a number of exciting programs, from dance lessons, to a Día de Muertos altar creation, to new stargazing experiences with our Planetarium team.
Don’t miss your chance to experience the final weeks of We Came to Party and Plan, which closes on October 18! This immersive installation by multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams, which has made its museum world debut at the HRM, brings to life the complex exchanges that take place in spaces of celebration and invites all to not just bear witness, but be part of Adams’ expression of radical Black joy.
Thank you again for being an integral part of the Museum. Your support allows us to keep our doors open, and we are committed, in return, to offer you respite, resilience, and inspiration.
We look forward to seeing you soon,
Director and CEO
Image: Nancy Mendez (American, b. 1985), Patricia Santos (American, b. 1989), and Katori Walker (American). The Garden of The Divine Feminine, 2020. Tempera paint, spray paint, and mixed media. Commissioned for Women to the Fore by the Hudson River Museum.