In late August we took a road trip to the Storm King Art Center and Untermeyer Gardens. While much of Storm King’s art collection is not to my taste, many pieces, once in the landscape, provoke greater reflection. They also change the way you see the landscape and interpret distances and space. In person, I found myself drawn to such simple things as a series of angled, long ledges protruding from a rolling hillside simply because it caught the eye and deepened the natural geometry of the space. We also had some fun with a mirrored picket fence (Alyson Shotz) and Adam Goldsworthy’s winding stone walls.
Untermeyer Gardens was a wholly different experience. Here you find a once magnificent garden, left to fall into complete ruin, slowly regaining a fraction of its former glory. Apparently Mr. Untermeyer was famous for his orchid boutonnieres, refreshed twice a day, from his 60 greenhouses and collection of several thousand orchids. Another article describes a camellia tree that, in season, held 650 blossoms, and Mr. Untermeyer’s penchant for out of season fruit. It’s an exercise in sheer decadence to imagine the site as it once was. Martha Stewart recently visited and posted an informative series of photos.