Opus 40 Set to Acquire Harvey Fite House | Chronogram Magazine

Opus 40 Set to Acquire Harvey Fite House

David McIntyre
In July, we reported on the announcement from the management of historic outdoor sculpture park Opus 40 that it had partnered with Bard College and local philanthropists to purchase the adjacent former home of site founder and sculptor Harvey Fite. This week, we’re happy to report that the deal has gone through and that the storied structure will officially be added to the Opus 40 complex.

“All of us at Opus 40 are deeply gratified to have reached this deal with [previous owners Tad and Patricia] Richards and extremely thankful to them for their decades of dedication and commitment to Opus 40,” says Dr. Jonathan Becker, who has chaired the organization’s board of directors since 201. “With the unification of the two properties, which was envisioned when the nonprofit was created by [Harvey’s late wife] Barbara Fite, we are poised to expand all that we do to preserve Barbara and Harvey Fite’s legacy and continue to make Opus 40 a vibrant site of culture, learning, and reflection. We look forward to opening the house to the public.”
click to enlarge Opus 40 Set to Acquire Harvey Fite House
David McIntyre

Besides the planned remaking of the four-bedroom, 3,547-foot home into a visitable component of the larger Opus 40 location, the acquisition, which shields the property from potentially becoming yet another hermetic, high-end B&B, is poetically apt: Fite was a professor at Bard for 36 years and founded the college’s art department before his 1969 retirement. The artist, who created Opus 40’s central 6.5-acre bluestone sculpture and series of bluestone statues, also built the home that bears his name during the 1930s and ’40s.

“It’s an honor to participate in the preservation of this unique sculpture and land art made by an alumnus and long-time faculty member of Bard and our neighbor in the Hudson Valley,” Bard College President Leon Botstein says. “We look forward to expanding joint programming with Opus 40 in the future and are thankful to the Richards family for their efforts preserving Harvey Fite’s legacy.”

“We are thrilled to be able to unify the site as Harvey and Barbara Fite had planned, and are looking forward to finding marvelous ways to expand what we do with this new addition to our site,” adds Opus 40 Executive Director Caroline Crumpacker.
click to enlarge Opus 40 Set to Acquire Harvey Fite House
David McIntyre

The home’s renovation plans include creating an ADA-compliant space for viewing and learning about Opus 40; creating an indoor performance space for workshops, school visits, and artists’ talks; displaying Fite’s artwork and papers; and developing residency opportunities for visiting artists. Bard College will work with Opus 40 to offer educational programs, workshops, and faculty residencies in the historic building.
Location Details

Opus 40

40 Fite Road, Saugerties

845) 246-3400