The Rockefeller mansion Kykuit (pronounced KIKE-it--it's from a Dutch word, and I had no idea how to say it until the guide told us) is located in Westchester County, in New York State's Historic Hudson Valley. Mom, Dad, Robert, and I visited on Saturday, May 26, 2001, between breakfast in the morning and Maria and Bentley's wedding in the afternoon. After an adventure in the parking lot, we made the 10:35 House & Garden Tour. At first, the sky was grey, and it had been drizzling all morning, but as you can see from these pictures, the day began to get much brighter.

The tour was unique, though we've all been on lots of mansion tours, for three main reasons: 1) the gardens, with their sculpture and greenery, were fantastic (Mom and Dad are going to go back for an extended Garden & Sculpture Tour later this summer); 2) the interior of the house is comparatively small, and very liveable, with most rooms the way they were when Nelson Rockefeller lived here just a few decades ago with his wife and young children; 3) the long passageway-style basement under the house is a series of modern art galleries laid out by Nelson Rockefeller, with some of the most amazing juxtapositions of modern paintings, sculpture, and tapestries I've ever seen. Having both grown up with the famous medieval Unicorn Tapestries (now at the Cloisters) in his family's possession and inherited his family's passion for modern art, Nelson commissioned tapestry copies of over a dozen Picassos, all overseen by Picasso himself, and most of these still hang in the basement.

There are no images here of any of the indoor furniture or art because you're not allowed to take photographs, with or without a flash, inside the house. Instead, I contented myself with taking lots of pictures in the gardens and on the many terraces. Below are six of my favorite shots--click on each one for a larger image. All were taken with our Fuji FinePix 4700 digital camera.

An overhead lamp on the front porch, looking straight up.

On a terrace, looking at part of the gardens--I love the curves in this shot.

On the front porch, two modern statues in archways. I don't know which element in it I like more.

A multi-level fountain with dragons, near the garden house, during a light drizzle.

One of the most famous views of Kykuit: sculpture, columns, trees, and the Hudson beyond. I like the effect of the light beyond the darkness.

This garden view is what I always imagined L.M. Boston's Green Knowe to look like--look up her books if you haven't read them as a child.

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Created: 6/6/01. Last Modified: 6/6/01.