The wine country not only offers fabulous wine and delicious food for you to enjoy, but also notable art collections. Here are some must-see art galleries...
The Hess Collection, Napa CA
The Hess Art Museum, designed by Swiss architect Beat A. H. Jordi and built in 1989 in collaboration with Richard Macrae Architects, is one of my favorite places in the wine country to visit. The galleries house one of the finest pieces of contemporary art in Napa Valley. The amazing collection not only reflects Donald M. Hess' personal passion but also the dialogue with the artists he has built over the years. Immerse yourself and explore the worlds of Magdalena Abakanowicz, Georg Baselitz, Franz Gertsch, Rolf Iseli, Per Kirkeby, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter and many others. There are quite a few pieces that are dear to my heart, Markus Raetz's Metamorphose, 1991 being one of them. Do not miss it on your way out.
To learn more visit Hess Collection.
Cornerstone Gardens, Sonoma CA
Cornerstone Gardens are a unique concept of gallery style gardens featuring innovative designs from the finest landscape architects and designer from all over the world. This site is another favorite of mine. For one both the works of art and the installations are splendid. Second the natural setting is beautiful, especially in winter. And last but not least, since the gardens keep changing with the seasons, they always offer something new to explore.
Free and open to the public seven days a week.
To learn more visit Cornerstone Gardens Designer.
Mumm Napa Winery has one of the finest photography galleries in the wine country. In the main gallery they usually feature temporary exhibits paired with their amazing private collection of superb Ansel Adams photographs - the biggest outside Yosemite National Park.
To learn more, visit Mumm.
Di Rosa, Napa CA
Di Rosa is a non-profit art gallery featuring a broad range of contemporary San Francisco Bay Area art. The collection embodies the shared vision of Rene and Veronica di Rosa and consists of over 2,000 works by more then 800 artists. The Gatehouse gallery features current exhibits and is open on a drop-in basis. To visit the permanent collection, which is on view in the Main Gallery, historic residence and throughout the gardens, guided tours are available. Reservations are highly recommended.
To learn more visit diRosa Collection.
Paradise Ridge, Santa Rosa CA
Off the beaten path, Paradise Ridge Winery offers not only amazing views of Sonoma County but also a splendid sculpture garden. This inspiring exhibit site at home in the four-acre Marijke's Grove shows off the Byck family's passion for sculpture and invites everyone to embark on an explorational stroll. The art works by sculptors based locally and nationally are free to the public seven days a week. Their up-coming exhibit 20@20 will celebrate Paradise Ridge's 20th anniversary featuring 20 works of art installed throughout the winery.
Free and open to the public seven days a week.
To learn more visit Paradise Ridge Winery.
Stonescape, Calistoga CA
Norman and Norah Stone purchased the Stonescape property in 1991 and over years transformed it into a place for the enjoyment of art as well as the contemplation of nature. The site is both an art collaboration of multiple talents and an unconventional project whose catalyst was a sky space by James Turrell.
Tom Leader, Berkeley based landscape architect, designed the landscape of the property including a so called "land bridge" emerging from a forested hillside and a lavender garden. San Francisco based architect Jim Jennings was commissioned for the entertainment pavilion as well as the infinity edge pool working closely with James Turrell to realize the artist's vision. Stone Sky, 2005 is the culminating element of the pool and can only be entered by swimming underwater. Aligned with these components is the entrance to the Art Cave, the work of New York based architects Bade Stageberg Cox, a rare cavernous exhibition building and home for the Stone art collection.
Stonescape is quite unique is its overall design and art collection especially the Stone Sky by James Turrell, whose installations never cease to amaze me. If you get a chance, go to the LACMA in Los Angeles and check out James Turrell's Ganzfeld. It will transform your senses and perception of the natural world.
To learn more, visit Stonescape.
To learn more about James Turrell, click here.
Please note: while the SFMOMA was fortunate enough to arrange a tour for members a few years back, they no longer have an on-going relationship with Stonescape in that capacity.
Maryhill, Goldendale WA
If you happen to be on the Oregon / Washington border driving east towards the Walla Walla wine country, make sure to stop by at the Maryhill Museum of Art on the Columbia River. This cultural resource offers insights into local history, current exhibitions and stunning views of the area. Originally design as a residence by Washington, D.C. architects Hornblower & Marshall for Maryhill Museum's founder Sam Hill (1857-1931), the mansion's destiny was altered in 1917 before it was completed. Hill determined that the mansion should become a museum.