Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art announces “Art & the River” project 2009

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz has announced that it will host a series of five major art exhibitions, a symposium, and educational activities to coincide with New York State’s Hudson 400th celebrations. The museum’s “Art & The River” project will begin in June and extend through December 2009.

The project’s headliner exhibition—“The Hudson River to Niagara Falls: 19th Century American Landscape Paintings from the New-York Historical Society”—will present 45 landscape paintings by Hudson River School artists selected from the permanent collection of the New-York Historical Society (N-YHS). The paintings will highlight 19th century views of specific sites along the Hudson, from Manhattan through the Hudson Valley and on to Niagara Falls by way of the Erie Canal. Curated by N-YHS museum director Linda S. Ferber, and organized by the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and the New-York Historical Society, the exhibit is set to open July 11 and will appear only at The Dorsky Museum.

The “Art & The River” project was made possible with a $143,449 Federal grant from Congressman and New Paltz alumnus Maurice Hinchey (’68, ’70g) and the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The project is also supported by funds from M&T Bank, Jacobowitz & Gubits, the Friends of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, and the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Four additional shows will feature contemporary presentations of the Hudson River and environs. One, also opening at The Dorsky Museum on July 11, will present a complete photographic panorama of the Hudson River, including both banks and stretching from Manhattan to Albany. “Panorama of the Hudson River: Greg Miller” is comprised of recently created photographs, by Monroe, N.Y.-based landscape photographer Greg Miller. The exhibition will include the riverbanks of the Hudson River, paired with a 1912 photographic panorama developed for the Hudson River Day Line Steamer company.

In May, Amsterdam-based conceptual artists Philippine Hoegen and Carolien Stikker were in residence at New Paltz to create a film/video-projection work—titled “Riverbank”—depicting the wetlands and tidal areas along the Hudson in the New Paltz-Highland, New York region. The work, which has been commissioned as part of the museum’s Art & The River presentation, will open at The Dorsky Museum on Sept. 19. A second Greg Miller exhibition featuring his large photographs of mid-Hudson Valley landscapes will also open on Sept. 19 and will run simultaneously with Miller’s Panorama of the Hudson River show.

“We are very excited about our role in this year’s Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial celebration,” said Dorsky Museum director Sara Pasti. “Art & the River’s presentation of artwork by both historic and contemporary Hudson River Valley artists exemplifies our continuing commitment to Hudson Valley art and artists. What makes the Hudson River to Niagara Falls show so special is that several of the paintings have not been exhibited in more than 50 years.”

The Dorsky Museum’s annual Hudson Valley Artists exhibition, organized this year by museum curator Brian Wallace, features artwork, performances and other activities that connect global issues such as sustainability, ecological awareness and bioethics to the Hudson River Valley landscape. “Hudson Valley Artists 2009: Ecotones and Transition Zones” opened June 13.

Among “Art & The River’s” extensive Hudson-related educational programs, The Dorsky Museum will host an academic symposium organized by New Paltz professor Dr. Kerry Dean Carso. The event, Revisiting the Hudson: Nineteenth-Century Landscape Painting in Context, will be held Nov. 7, 2009.

Elegantly illustrated, full-color exhibition catalogs for The Hudson River to Niagara Falls, Panorama of the Hudson, and Riverbank, that include significant essays by exhibition curators, will be on sale at The Dorsky Museum during the exhibition time period.

Suggested admission to The Dorsky Museum is $5. For event details, reservations, accessibility, or directions, visit or call (845) 257-3844. The Dorsky Museum is open from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (closed Mondays, Tuesdays, national and university holidays).

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, located at SUNY New Paltz, is fast gaining wide recognition as “the premier public showplace for exhibition, education, and cultural scholarship about the Hudson Valley region’s art and artists from yesterday, today, and the future.” The museum’s educational mission is also dedicated to collecting, researching, interpreting, and exhibiting works of art from diverse cultures; and it has built an extensive permanent collection including works by Hudson Valley artists and works in the areas of metals, painting, world study and photography.