Hudson River Museum Presents Two New Exhibitions This Summer Celebrating Westchester Artists and Red Grooms’ The Bookstore

YONKERS, NY, May 29, 2024—The Hudson River Museum is excited to present two inspired exhibitions this summer: Neighboring Visions: Westchester Artists Then and Now, which pairs historical landscape and figurative paintings from the Bronxville Historical Conservancy with contemporary works from Westchester artists; and Red Grooms: Drawing “The Bookstore,” featuring never-before-seen preparatory drawings to celebrate the 45th anniversary of this beloved installation, commissioned by the Museum. The exhibitions will be on view June 7–September 29, 2024.

“This summer the Hudson River Museum celebrates meaningful relationships and the profound impact that artists have on communities and institutions,” states Director and CEO Masha Turchinsky. “Our visitors will get to experience American art that stands as a testament to the power of place, revealing how artists from across time and have translated the rich textures of their locales into vividly rendered scenes. We are thankful to the Bronxville Historical Conservancy for loaning us exceptional works of art that many in New York have not experienced. And we are immensely grateful for the talent, generosity, and friendship of artist Red Grooms, and our opportunity to celebrate the 45th anniversary of The Bookstore, which has enriched our institution and brought incredible joy to our visitors—and book lovers everywhere—for decades.”

 

Neighboring Visions: Westchester Artists Then and Now
June 7–September 29, 2024
View press images here.

In Neighboring Visions: Westchester Artists Then and Now, the Hudson River Museum pairs historical landscape and figurative paintings on loan from the Bronxville Historical Conservancy with contemporary works created by Westchester-based artists. Featured artist include the 19th century painters Walter Clark, Ann Brainerd Crane, Bruce Crane, George Will Hicok Low, Milne Ramsey, Charles Louis Hinton, Henry Smillie, and William Thomas Smedley alongside contemporary artists Alvin Clayton, Susan P. Cooper, Francine Hsu Davis, Julianne Farella, Shelley Haven, Alan Haywood, Jamie Kay MacKenzie, Amber Mustafic, Moshgan Rezania, and Susan Richman.

With its proximity to both bucolic countryside and New York City, Westchester has long enabled its residents to make art and access a flourishing art market. During the late nineteenth century, William Van Duzer Lawrence founded an artists colony in Lawrence Park, Bronxville. Often painting outdoors (en plein air), artists including George Henry Smillie and Walter Clark detailed meadows flush with the first blooms of spring, while paintings by Ann and Bruce Crane depicted homes blanketed in luminous snow. Carefully collected by the Bronxville Historical Conservancy, these works demonstrate Westchester’s long-lasting contributions to the American art scene at large.

Neighboring Visions juxtaposes these historical paintings with contemporary works likewise inspired by the region’s verdant forests, crystalline waterways, and pastoral idylls. From Moshgan Rezania’s and Julianne Farella’s abstracted meditations on the solitude of a winter’s day to Susan P. Cooper’s cinematic exploration of a time traveler wandering through the woods, these contemporary works continue the tradition of exploring the relationship between Westchester County’s inhabitants and the natural world.

The exhibition also considers how artists have traveled abroad and returned to Westchester equipped with new aesthetic strategies and techniques. French Impressionism looms large, as artists from Lawrence Park’s Will Hicok Low to current New Rochelle artist Alvin Clayton translate the genre’s emphasis on visible brushwork and bright colors into luscious garden scenes. Placed beside historical artist Charles Louis Hinton’s allegorical tableau and Amber Mustafic’s recent portrait inspired by Albanian folklore, these works cohere around the invocation of myth in order to tell otherworldly stories inspired by nature.

Karintha Lowe, HRM’s Mellon Public Humanities Fellow, and curator of this exhibition states, “This exhibition reflects so many forms of community building. From partnering with the Bronxville Historical Conservancy to collaborating with regional artists to working with Sarah Lawrence College student-interns, I have so enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate Westchester’s role in inspiring our community members to create, preserve, and interpret beautiful art.”

Spanning a century yet grounded by the coordinates of Westchester County, Neighboring Visions confirms art’s ever-evolving capacity to provide new ways of looking at and telling stories about the landscapes that surround us.

#HRMNeighboringVisions

Neighboring Visions: Westchester Artists Then and Now is curated by Karintha Lowe, HRM’s Mellon Public Humanities Fellow, with curatorial assistance provided by Sarah Lawrence College student-interns Tatiana Mezitis, Rachel Pearson, Frank Spillane, and Natalie Taylor.

The exhibition is supported by the Bronxville Historical Conservancy.

Additional support has been provided by Sarah Lawrence College and the Mellon Foundation.

Exhibitions are made possible by assistance provided by the County of Westchester.

 

Red Grooms: Drawing “The Bookstore”
June 7–September 29, 2024
View press images here.

Renowned as a cultural icon since the Pop art movement of the 1960s, Red Grooms has forged an illustrious career marked by his mastery of painting and sculpture and characterized by bright colors, expressionist verve, and theatricality. In 1979, the Hudson River Museum unveiled The Bookstore, a tribute to the allure of books, epitomized through an unexpected yet thrilling mash-up of the stately Pierpont Morgan Library and the eclectic Isaac Mendoza Book Company.

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of The Bookstore, a Hudson River Museum commission that was originally funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the HRM is proud to present never-before-seen drawings, a generous recent gift of the artist and Lysiane Luong. While conceiving The Bookstore, Grooms soaked up the ambiance of each location by sketching for hours and reenvisioning the scenes around him. Many of his recorded vignettes found their way into the final artwork, from the monumental fireplace and ornate ceiling decorations of the Morgan to the overflowing bookshelves and pressed-tin ceiling of Mendoza’s. Grooms’ sketchbooks for the project, as well as the maquette used to guide the installation, will also be on view.

Laura Vookles, Chair, Curatorial Department, says, “Having known Red Grooms and curated The Bookstore for many years, I am delighted and honored that he and his wife Lysiane Luong chose to give these wonderful preparatory drawings to the Museum. I am excited to share them with our visitors, both those who know The Bookstore well and will instantly recognize many details, and others who will encounter it for the first time and find themselves enthralled.”

The Bookstore, which Grooms has termed a “sculpto-pictorama,” incorporates many of the themes that are present throughout his body of work: the marriage of art and commerce, the clash of high and low, and humor—all arranged in a compelling three-dimensional space. The immersive installation holds a special place at the Museum, whose millions of visitors over the decades have experienced this beloved and witty work of art.

#HRMRedGrooms #HRMDrawingTheBookstore

This exhibition is curated by Laura Vookles, Chair, HRM’s Curatorial Department.

Exhibitions are made possible by assistance provided by the County of Westchester.

 

Related Programs

Curator Tour of Red Grooms: Drawing the Bookstore
Saturday, July 13, 1:30pm
Join Laura Vookles, Chair, HRM’s Curatorial Department, for an in-depth look at the drawing process employed by artist Red Grooms in his design for the Museum’s beloved The Bookstore. His close observation of real life may surprise you in view of the whimsical nature of the finished immersive work of art, called a sculpto-pictorama by the artist.

Curator and Artist Tour of Neighboring Visions
Saturday, July 27, 1:30pm
Karintha Lowe, HRM’s Mellon Fellow in the Public Humanities, will lead a guided tour of Neighboring Visions: Westchester Artists Then and Now, a curated collection of exquisite historical and contemporary works inspired by local landscapes. Special attention will be paid to themes of migration, as we explore how artists past and present have traveled abroad and returned to Westchester equipped with new visions, aesthetic strategies, and techniques. Featured artists Alvin Clayton (New Rochelle) and Francine Hsu Davis (Bronxville) will join in conversation, sharing how their experiences living in Paris and Taiwan influenced and have continued to shape their artistic practice.

 

Image: William Thomas Smedley (American, 1858–1920). Seated Woman with Parasol, early twentieth century. Oil on panel. Collection of the Bronxville Historical Conservancy.

 

Press contact:
Jeana Wunderlich
jwunderlich@hrm.org
(914) 963-4550 x240

Samantha Hoover
shoover@hrm.org
(914) 963-4550 x216

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The Hudson River Museum is a preeminent cultural institution in Westchester County and the New York metropolitan area. The Museum is situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Yonkers, New York, with a mission to engage, inspire, and connect diverse communities through the power of the arts, sciences, and history.

The HRM offers engaging experiences for every age and interest, with an ever-evolving collection of American art and dynamic exhibitions that range from notable nineteenth-century paintings to contemporary art installations. The campus, which recently expanded to include a West Wing with exhibition galleries and sweeping views of the Hudson River, features Glenview, an 1877 house on the National Register of Historic Places; a state-of-the-art planetarium; an environmental teaching gallery; and an outdoor amphitheater. The Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting these multidisciplinary offerings, which are complemented by an array of public programs that encourage creative expression, collaboration, and artistic and scientific discovery. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM), an honor awarded to only 3% of museums nationwide.

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