Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York

Mike and I visited Glens Falls, New York this past Saturday. What brought us there was a chance to visit the Hyde Collection, an amazing private collection of European and American fine and decorative art.

Glens Falls is located about fifty miles north of Albany. It was a nice day for a drive, although rain was predicted for later in the afternoon. The Hyde Collection was created by Charlotte Pruyn Hyde, and her husband, Louis Fiske Hyde. It's housed in the family's mansion, one of three that were built on adjoining properties overlooking the Hudson River so that the Charlotte and her sisters could live near each other. Modern galleries have been added on to the mansion; these contain changing exhibits. When we visited there was a collection of Ansel Adams' early works, along with other early photography. There was also a collection of landscapes called "Winter Light: Selections from the Collection of Thomas Clark." This included about 20 paintings of winter scenes in which the light on snow and clouds was particularly interesting and beautiful. The permanent collection includes paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Picasso, Winslow Homer, Van Gogh, Thomas Eakins, Degas, and many more. It's amazing to see these painting displayed in such comfortable, homey settings. I particularly enjoyed seeing the furniture and other decorative works, much of which was imported from Europe.

We had worked up an appetite visiting the Hyde Collection, so on the recommendation of the receptionist we drove back to Glen Street to have lunch at the Gourmet Café. They offered a typical diner menu, and I settled for a Greek Steak salad and Mike had meatball sliders. One of the things that I haven't gotten used to here is the availability of alcohol in restaurants like this. Many small restaurants and diners offer a full bar, or at least wine and beer. Not what we were used to in Pennsylvania! Not that I'm complaining... However, since we were driving, and had plans for later, we decided to forgo alcohol for coffee and soda.

Next to the Gourmet Café was Poor Richard's antiques. It's a standard-sized storefront jam-packed with two floors of antiques. We had a nice time looking at the furniture, glassware, pottery, and other items. I was tempted by a pair of giraffe-shaped lamps, but resisted. We did end up buying a cat-shaped creamer and a turkey platter, something that I'd been on the lookout for.

I recommend a visit to Glens Falls and the Hyde Collection!

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