Autumn arts getaway in Saratoga Springs, New York
Best known for its elegant thoroughbred racing season, Saratoga Springs boasts equally classy museums, a large and lively arts district, and the oldest folk music venue in the country.
Developed as a spa town for the well heeled in the 1800s, Saratoga Springs retains its upscale aura. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery with a calendar of special exhibitions. The Tang focuses on the connection between art and the world around us, looking at themes like biotechnology. Anniversary events include performances based on body resonance and a “sonic massage.” Guided tours give a deeper understanding of the artists and their messages.
Thoroughly traditional are the works at the Hyde Collection Art Museum in Glens Falls. Some 6,000 years of art history are housed in an elegant mansion on a spacious estate. You’ll find everything from Rembrandts to Picassos among the 3,000 paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts on display. Through January, the two special exhibits are “Heroines,” a collection of photo realism of women by Audrey Flack and “Pulled, Pressed and Screened,” a look at American graphic arts and prints from the 1930s through today. Admission is free on the Second Sunday of the month.
Saratoga Arts stages exhibitions in its gallery as well as venues throughout town. Through Nov.7, catch “Many Rivers.” Presented by Black Dimensions in Art, it presents emerging artists from the US, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean exploring the theme of journeys.
The Beekman Street Arts District is a three-block, multi-use, multi-cultural neighborhood that’s the center for Saratoga’s entertainment and shopping. Shops and restaurants offer everything from textiles to tattoos, teas to tacos. The 1st Friday Art Stroll is a monthly casual party at galleries and shops.
The Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council (LARAC) holds its annual juried crafts fair on Oct.31–Nov.1 in Glens Falls. One of the finest shows in the region, with 75 selected artists and craft artisans.
Caffè Lena is widely recognized as the oldest continually operating coffeehouse in the country. BobDylan and Arlo Guthrie are among the “alumni” list.
The National Museum of Dance Hall of Fame is the only museum dedicated to the art of professional dance. Exhibits include 125 years of the tango, costumes and sets from musical plays and movies, and the careers of Rudolf Nureyev and choreographer Mark Morris.
And, of course, there are the horses. The Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame explores three centuries of thoroughbred racing with trophies, equine art, a special kids’ section, behind-the-scenes look at the training track, and memorabilia. The bobblehead jockeys are not to be missed.
You’ll find information about accommodations, dining, and more activities at Discoversaratoga.org.