Taconic Sculpture Park – Chatham, New York - Atlas Obscura

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Taconic Sculpture Park

Chatham, New York

Three acres of mythology-inspired sculptures are visible from the highway. 


The Hudson River Valley is not the least likely place to be watched by Mother Earth, but the appearance of her 19-foot-tall plaster head overlooking the Taconic State Parkway still takes many by surprise.

Her sculpted head was completed in 1996 by self-taught sculptor Roy Kanwit. It is hollow, allowing people to climb through a hole in the top of it and take in her stunning view of the surrounding valley, mountains, and river. Gaea, the Greek Mother Earth is just one of many sculptures in Kanwit’s Taconic Sculpture Park and Gallery.

Kanwit’s more than 30 sculptures, made from materials like marble and limestone, range from gods and goddesses to The Birth of the Sun. There are more giant heads and even a few creatures, including a waving dragon. Created over the course of about 30 years, they are largely inspired by various mythologies, including Egyptian, Native American, Greek, and Roman. They are all for sale.

The gallery is in Kanwit’s 3-acre yard (his nearby house and patio are works of art in themselves), but he has said he accepts that people will want to explore his property to see his work. That’s part of the reason he created such a welcoming Gaea sculpture. Something for curious art seekers and hikers to keep in mind.

Know Before You Go

You can see Roy Hermes Kanwit’s giant white Mother Earth head sculpture atop his mountain (east) from the Taconic Parkway. The sculpture park is open seasonally, please check the times and season before visiting the park.

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