The Hudson River Valley and Dia:Beacon

This Memorial Day weekend my man and I went upstate with plans to camp, hike, and visit Dia:Beacon. We did it all, even ending the trip on a high with a little late afternoon skinny dipping. Get out of town for not too much! Below is the itinerary we came up with on the fly and my favorite works at Dia:Beacon this Spring.

- sarah


3 Days & 2 Nights in the Hudson River Valley | Nature, Art, & Small Town Living
 

| F R I D A Y

3pm - Drive from Brooklyn to Pollace's Family Resort (clean, basic room, hot tub!)
10pm - Drinks and dinner at Back Bar

| S A T U R D A Y

12pm - Lunch at The Cascades (outdoor seating! cat sculptures)
1pm - Browse the shops on Main St.
2pm - Visit the home and grounds at Olana
3pm - Look at Haines Falls from the car
4pm - Swim and chill at Colgate Lake (lots of families here, but plenty of space to stretch out and explore away from the chatter)
8pm - Drinks and dinner at American Glory BBQ (live country music <3)
10pm - Fireside at the Blue Mountain Campgrounds (busy with younger groups and RV families, but quiet at night)

| S U N D A Y

11am - Brunch at Love Bites (outdoor seating!)
1pm - Swim and chill at Little Deep (clothing optional! and there's a man-made waterfall)
4pm - Arrive at Dia:Beacon
6pm - Head back to Brooklyn


After the camping, creek baths and gas station pit stops we eventually made it to Dia:Beacon late Sunday afternoon, not too busy inside but parking was to capacity, so we hiked it from the train station lot. After an iced coffee and a double chocolate cookie, we entered the musuem and it was everything I had hoped for. On view were some of my favorite artists (Richard Serra and Sol Lewitt in particular) and they weren't showing what we've typically seen from them, so it was an exciting visit. Amongst the well-knowns was also a class of sculpture and light artists that made an impression as well.

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The 2 hour drive from Brooklyn was definitely worth the trip for the museum alone, but as we discovered, the surrounding area has some great natureways, parks, swimming holes, lunch spots and classic diners worth checking out as well. Not to mention there's also a Beer World, Beer Universe and a Beer Planet if you're thirsty :)

Bauhaus Meets New England

In 1934, Walter Gropius and his second wife Ise, fled Germany during the rise of Hitler, landing in London for a short time before moving to a home in Lincoln Massachusetts (a stone's throw from my family home). A German architect, Walter identified with the Bauhaus movement along with fellow designers Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier, becoming the founder of the Bauhaus School and one of the great pioneers of modern architecture.

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Bauhaus combines elements of fine art and design into functional pieces for home and everyday living, through various crafts like metalworking, cabinetmaking, weaving, pottery, typography and painting. With an emphasis on mass production, the school eventually took on the slogan "Art as Industry" and has produced some of the most iconic homes, furniture and everyday accessories that are still in use today.

Walter and Ise moved into a traditional Colonial-style New England home and quickly discovered that the layout and style didn't match their needs or furniture. As a professor of the Harvard School of Design, Walter had many connections and through a fellow architect, ended up receiving a plot of land and financing from philanthropist and supporter of the arts, Helen Storrow. The Gropius family (including a 12 year old daughter currently in boarding school) set about building a new home in the Bauhaus style, leaving us with what we know today as The Gropius House.

Oct 14, 2014 | I've just learned that Walter's adopted daughter Ati has recently died at the age of 88. Ati was an illustrator and design teacher, while also being an adviser to The Gropius House. This article by the Boston Globe reveals a lot about her unique character. I find a lot of similarities in her and admire the way she saw the world. 

 

“She loved nature and loved light. She was so sensitive to light. She would always say to me in August, ‘Don’t you see how different the light is?’ She saw all of that.” - Ati's Daughter

 

Image Credits: Bauhaus School / MR Armchair / Kubus Stacking Containers / Bauhuas Poster / Gropius House Photos