2005-01-28 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
by Susan Hartenstein

Hudson River Museum
Hudson River Museum Want someplace new and interesting to take the kids for a day trip? Or maybe on the way to or from that skiing vacation up north?

Try the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York. It’s just minutes off the Saw Mill River Parkway, or you can get there by public transportation; it overlooks the beautiful Hudson River; includes a 128-seat recently renovated planetarium; a Hudson Riverama; and exhibits and workshops for the entire family.

The Hudson River Museum has evolved in purpose, location and collections since its founding in 1919. The mission of the museum is to provide for development, preservation and display of 19th and 20th century American art and cultural, scientific and historical material related to the museum’s historic mansion and the wider Westchester County/Hudson River Valley region. In the late 60’s the construction of a new wing allowed for changing exhibitions of art, history and science to be added to the established permanent collections. Contemporary art has found a home in the museum.

For example, in the late 70’s the museum commissioned two permanent installations, one of which is Red Grooms’ The Bookstore , a sculptural environment that doubles as the museum’s gift shop.

Today the museum presents special collection exhibits and loan exhibits in which the permanent collections can play a role. In addition, six period rooms filled with paintings, furniture and decorative arts are on permanent display in the Glenview Mansion, its second floor hall and Lifflande Galleries.

The Hudson River Museum Andrus Planetarium has a 46-foot dome, projection by a Zeiss M1015 and presents a changing roster of more than 12 shows for all ages every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with live presentations by planetarium specialists. To celebrate its recent renovations and its new programming, the planetarium offers free, (with museum admission — adults $5; seniors and children $3), Saturday and Sunday shows in January; reduced 2005 planetarium ticket prices, with museum admission, and a new show, The Friendly Stars that begins February 4 on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 PM. It is designed specifically for pre-schoolers aged 2 to 5. This Saturday: Marsquest narrated by Patrick Stewart for ages 10 and up; this Sunday: Viaje a los Planetas , in Spanish, about the sun’s path in the skies for ages 8 and up.

Hudson Riverama is part of a permanent interactive display that tells the great river’s story and explores the challenges of preserving this historic waterway.

The Riverama is a 30-foot scale model of the entire 315 miles of the river from the Adirondacks to the sea. It is so detailed that one can identify individual neighborhoods along its path.

The complete gallery display relates important concepts of habitat, flora, fauna and history of the Hudson. Dioramas recreate the environment; interactive displays include live animals, a touch-screen computer that teaches how to test for river pollution and identifies various bird adaptations; and virtual tours of ten different sites on the river.

From January 29 to May 15 at the Hudson River Museum, Tiffany by Design will be on view. It explores the design, construction and fabrication of Tiffany lamps made between 1900 and 1925. On display from the Neustadt Museum of Tiffany Art will be 50 lamps and lamp parts and one leaded-glass window. Black and white photomurals showing Tiffany producing his art ware accompany the exhibit.

On Sunday, February 6 a full afternoon of stained glass workshops for children and adults, a ragtime concert, a walk and talk tour of the galleries and a family musical capturing the music of the turn-of-the-century will be presented at the museum.

From February 5 through May 22 Cappy Thompson: Glass Vessels for a Dream Voyage will be on view. Thompson’s distinctive narrative designs incorporate myth, fairy tales and her own personal dreamscape.

On Sunday, February 20 from 3 to 4:30 PM storyteller and dancer Akwesi Asante, accompanied by a percussionist presents a program for young people that explores African folk traditions, music and dance and includes audience participation.

Log onto www.hrm.org or call 914 963-4550 for museum and planetarium hours, directions, schedule of events and further information.

sTudio 6 Gallery highlights: Black and White on Silver begins February 12. The opening reception is Sunday, February 13 from 1 to 3 PM. It will feature live entertainment and refreshments.

The five photographers participating in the exhibition will be present to answer questions about their work. They include William Baker, John Grillo, Joseph Rothenberg, Scott Weingarten and David Williams. A schedule of special events will accompany the run of the exhibition.

Cu@RoCA soon.

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