VISIT OPUS 40 – A DAY LIKE NO OTHER

 

Holistic Music and Energy Festival, August 24, 12-5:30 pm

Orleans returns! August 30, 5 pm

In the Gallery:

Contemplating the Mandala
Rita Schwab
through July 31

Outdoor sculpture by Michael Ciccone and Anthony Krauss

“Opus 40 is a cousin of Stonehenge and the long since vanished Hanging Gardens of Babylon.”
Brendan Gill, Architectural Digest
Harvey Fite was a sculptor in wood and stone. His work was acclaimed internationally, with one-man shows in New York, Paris, and Rome.
Quarrying equipment is represented, and so are tools, most of them hand-forged, that the quarryman used every day…
Preservation and Maintenance of the 6½-acre bluestone Sculpture, a National Historic Place….

  • Main view of Opus 40 with the Monolith
  • Opus40 Fall Colors
  • 1950s Harvey Fite
  • Pool  with Woman, one of Harvey's Sculptures
  • 1940s harvey working 08
  • Vanaver performance at Opus 40
  • Orleans Concert at Opus 40
  • Quarry Family and the grounds Opus 40
  • First Graders discovering Opus 40
Main view of Opus 40 with the Monolith1
Opus40 Fall Colors2
1950s Harvey Fite3
Pool  with Woman, one of Harvey's Sculptures4
1940s harvey working 085
Vanaver performance at Opus 406
Orleans Concert at Opus 407
Quarry Family and the grounds Opus 408
First Graders discovering Opus 409


A BRIEF HISTORY In 1938, Harvey Fite (1903-1976), one of the founders of the Bard College Fine Arts Department, purchased an abandoned quarry (reportedly for $250) in the town of Saugerties, NY, in Ulster County, about 100 miles north of New York City. Over a period of 37 years he created the monumental world-acclaimed 6 ½-acre bluestone sculpture now known as Opus 40. During this period he also acquired additional land (70+ acres today) and built several structures, including a beautiful large wood home, a studio, garage, blacksmith shop and the Quarryman’s Museum, home of his unique collection of historic quarrying tools. Constructed by this one man, using dry-key stone techniques adapted from the Mayans, Opus 40 is made from millions of pieces of indigenous bluestone, laid by hand, creating a labyrinthine world of finely fitted stone, swirling with ramps and terraces constructed around pools and trees and fountains, rising out of bedrock a half mile deep. One can walk through, around, and over it, from the deepest recesses of its subterranean pathways (16 feet below ground) and up to the nine-ton monolith that is the epicenter and summit of the sculpture (three stories above ground). Opus 40 is a breathtaking blend of artistry and landscape. After Harvey Fite’s death in 1976, his wife, Barbara, opened the sculpture park to the public and in 1978 she created Opus 40, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, dedicated to showcasing this monumental work as well as Harvey’s individual stone and wood sculptures. Striving to fulfill the mission to develop Opus 40 into a world class arts and cultural destination, Opus 40 has presented numerous concerts (including Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Cliff, Orleans and Pat Metheny), as well as theater and dance performances, lectures and many other educational and community events. Opus 40 has been featured in the New York Times, Architectural Digest, on network TV, and in many other publications and media. Opus 40 has been designated A National Historic Place.