Art historians have called the collection “the greatest collection of modern American art in any single public site that is not a museum.” The collection was formed under the direction of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller during the construction of the Empire State Plaza (1966–1978).
A highlight of the art tours will be Triangles and Arches by Alexander Calder, who is considered by many to be one of the most influential American sculptors of the 20th century. The 55-year-old artwork, which weighs approximately 8,000 pounds, is making its return to the Plaza after being temporarily removed in 2018 for much-needed conservation work. The sculpture is being reinstalled in the reflecting pool in front of the Plaza’s Grand Staircase.
The tour will focus on the creation of this historic collection, as well as highlights of the outdoor works of art on permanent display throughout the Plaza. The Empire State Plaza Art Collection is a public collection owned by the people of New York State and cared for by the New York State Office of General Services.
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED and can be made by calling the Empire State Plaza Visitor Center at 518-474-2418. A maximum of 10 people will be allowed to participate in each tour.
Special Protocols for COVID-19
At the time of the reservation, guests will be informed of safety protocols in place to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, including mandatory wearing of masks or facial coverings, mandatory social distancing, and mandatory verbal screenings on the day of the tour. Guests will be asked:
- If they have recently traveled (or will be traveling) from a State on New York’s mandatory quarantine list.
- If they have any symptoms or are feeling ill.
- If they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past two weeks.
- If they have traveled out of New York State in the past 14 days.
Guests are directed to cancel if they are experiencing any virus symptoms.
For updates visit empirestateplaza.ny.gov or or call (518) 474-2418.