A River Runs Two Ways

Glenview Mansion (photo credit: Yuliya Levit)

What’s it like to have a river in your backyard? It’s inspirational, according to Masha Turchinsky, the Yonkers native and Executive Director of the Hudson River Museum. Perched at the Museum, one can look out and gaze at the mighty Hudson, whose presence continues to fuel the museum’s mission. Up until the 16th century, the Hudson River was known as Mahicantuck, the river that flows two ways. This idea has become a mantra of sorts for the Museum’s closeness with its diverse community. “It’s important for local residents to see themselves on these gallery walls…to participate in the give and take of ideas, to connect to each other and to nature through the continuum of arts, science and history,” says Turchinsky, who values this collaborative identity.

The Museum was started in 1919 by a diverse group of artists and patrons in a small office at City Hall in Yonkers. Later, the City acquired Glenview Mansion as a home for the Museum, which added new contemporary galleries, acquired a collection of 25,000 fine art and historical objects, built a state-of-the-art planetarium, welcomed 75,000 annual visitors, initiated programs for all ages and, in short, earned the mantle of a leading regional institution in the galaxy of preeminent cultural institutions. Now, as it celebrates its Centennial year and sets a course for the future, the Museum is thinking locally but acting globally, aiming to be part of the national conversation on such worldly topics as climate change, social justice and the future of the universe. This is a big agenda for a small but nimble museum. But, like the great river in their name, they are in constant motion, testing their boundaries. For more about Hudson River Museum’s centennial, visit hrm.org.


Hudson River Museum’s Planetarium (photo credit: Yuliya Levit)