Jailee, OHNY’s program coordinator, recently took a trip to upstate New York and decided to stop off in Purchase, NY, the home of the PepsiCo headquarters. The 168 acre site is home to the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens which features over 45 sculptures by the likes of Auguste Rodin, Alexander Calder, Claes Oldenburg and Isamu Noguchi.
How refreshing to co-mingle with art without having to fight the crowds! A short 45 minute drive from NYC leads you to this wonderful sculpture park, which is completely free to visit. No long lines, no bumping into people – just a lot of open green space with sculptures beautifully scattered among the landscape. The photo above shows the company headquarters building with Alexander Calder’s Hats Off in the foreground.
The sculpture park was created when PepsiCo relocated from Manhattan to Purchase, NY in 1970. The headquarters building was designed by Edward Durell Stone and the original landscape design was by Durell’s son, E. D. Stone, Jr. However, the idea for the sculpture garden came from Donald M. Kendall, Pepsi-Co’s chief executive. He wanted to provide a beautiful outdoor space where art could be enjoyed by both employees and the general public.
A little note: While the focus of my photos and commentary about this site is on the sculptures (since I have a background in art) the building itself is interesting and beautiful. Check out this small post about it from our friends at Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture.
When we arrived at the entrance of the building and park, a guard greeted us with a smile, pointed us to the visitor parking and handed us a map of the grounds. Considering my visit was on a Monday morning, I was surprised to see a few other groups of visitors walking along the grounds admiring the works of art with us. Above is Jean Dubuffet’s Kiosque l’evide.
Having lived in Switzerland, I was delighted to see a pair of sculptures by the Swiss master sculptor Alberto Giacometti. Large Standing Woman II & Large Standing Woman III are actually placed right alongside the building but, I was able to maneuver my camera to make it look like they are standing among the trees surrounding them. These haunting, elongated figures follow Giacometti’s signature style.
Claes Oldenberg’s Large Trowel II
The image above shows how nicely sculpture and landscape interact. The sculpture collection began with only 8 sculptures and Kendall continued to add to the collection. In 1980, the British landscape architect, Russell Page, was brought in to extend the gardens and work on the permanent placement of the sculptures.
Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man
The day I visited it was a very windy day. When I drove up, I noticed this sculpture moving (George Rickey’s Double L Excentric Gyratory II). When I asked the guard about it, he said that this one was the only one that was supposed to move and if I saw any others moving that I should get out of the way!
If you are headed up state and have time to walk around the gardens, I highly recommend it. Before you go, read this New York Times article to get a better idea of how to get there and what else is in the area.
The gardens are open from 7am-7pm daily April-October and from 7am-5pm November-March.
Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens
700 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577