The nonprofit Storm King Art Center was founded and opened to the public in 1960, thanks to the efforts of the late Ralph E. Ogden and H. Peter Stern, co-owners of the Star Expansion Company, based in Mountainville, New York.
The initial gift of what is today the Museum Building and its surrounding property was made by the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, Inc. Over time, Star Expansion Company donated 300 contiguous acres, as well as 2,100 acres of Schunnemunk Mountain (now owned by the State of New York and designated Schunnemunk Mountain State Park) that preserve Storm King Art Center’s viewshed.
Although Storm King was originally envisioned as a museum devoted to Hudson River School painting, by 1961 its founders had become committed to modern sculpture. Early purchases were sited directly outside the Museum Building as part of a formal garden scheme. However, with the 1966 purchase of thirteen works from the estate of sculptor David Smith (1906–1965), Storm King began to place sculpture directly in the landscape. Since then, every work has been sited with consideration of both its immediate surroundings and distant views.
More than fifty years after its founding, Storm King continues to grow and evolve, and is among the world’s leading sculpture parks.