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COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours (age 12 +) and masks (age 2+) are required for all visitors.

ARRIVALSOctober 3, 2021 – January 23, 2022

Click here to purchase an ARRIVALS catalogue.

Arrivals call forth origin stories. How did we get here? Where did we come from? Americans have remarkably varied stories to share, having come to call this country home in so many different ways: by conquest, displacement, colonialism, the slave trade, voluntary migration, and more.

The exhibition is organized around a series of "arrival moments" Columbus, the Middle Passage, the Mayflower, Ellis Island / Angel Island, WW2, 1965, and Todayin order to explore some of the myths and origin stories that have shaped American identity. ARRIVALS asks how artists over several centuries have helped to construct these stories, disrupt or challenge them, how they have navigated their own arrival stories, and how they are imagining new kinds of stories to tell in future.

Curated by Heather Ewing, ARRIVALS looks at how artists over time have explored some of the myths and narratives around what it means to be American and features more than 50 works spanning the 16th century to the present. Some of the 50+ artists represented include Hannelore Baron, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Enrique Chagoya, Willie Cole, vanessa german, Mohamad Hafez, Dorothea Lange, Titus Kaphar, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Faith Ringgold, Ben Shahn, Roger Shimomura, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Saul Steinberg, Stephanie Syjuco, Hank Willis Thomas, Kara Walker, and N.C. Wyeth.

Their works offer a multiplicity of perspectives on signal moments of arrival, confronting ideas of belonging, othering, storytelling, the memory of ancestors, displacement, race, resilience and perseverance. They shed light on the different ways that the country has responded to societal change and changing demographics, and on the variety of strategies that artists have employed as they grapple with the myths and complexities of America’s most cherished ideals.

Artist Directory

#ArrivalMoments#ArrivalMoments is an examination of the seven "arrival moments"—Columbus, the Middle Passage, the Pilgrims, Ellis Island, the southern border today, among others—and examine how the artists explore some of the myths and narratives around what it means to be American.

1492: Columbus | Colón
1619-1808 (1860s): The Middle Passage | El pasaje medio
1620: The Mayflower
1891-1924: Ellis Island and Angel Island
World War II / Segunda Guerra Mundial
Today / Hoy

In the Learning Center

This fall, the Learning Center will feature original children’s picture book art that shares personal yet universal stories of immigration from around the globe. Told from the perspective of children and families, these stories give a voice to topics such as the struggle to belong in one’s new home and the ties that bind immigrants to their country and culture of origin. This hands-on, family-friendly space is open during regular Museum hours.

The Rothko RoomOctober 3, 2021 – January 23, 2022

Experience a single masterpiece in a room designed for individual reflection. Untitled (1948) is the third in an ongoing series of works by Mark Rothko presented by the KMA. Rothko envisioned the creation of spiritual single work “chapels” along the sides of highways throughout the country where weary travelers could stop and contemplate one of his paintings. This vision inspired the KMA’s The Rothko Room, which offers guests the opportunity to spiritually re-charge in the presence of a single masterpiece, as Rothko intended. 

The Rothko Room is made possible by Christopher Rothko with the support of Rochelle C. and Mark H. Rosenberg.

InstallationBundith Phunsombatlert
Crossing the Border: Beneath the Blue Sky
October 3, 2021 – January 23, 2022


Crossing the Border: Beneath the Blue Sky is an installation of fabric flags created by a cyanotype process. The project employs the transparent quality of film and sunlight, and a custom algorithm, to render geometric designs from country flags in a blue tone, capturing the color of the sky.

Bundith Phunsombatlert,
Crossing the Border: Beneath the Blue Sky, Cyanotype on fabric mounted on museum board, hung on cable lines,7 x 4 1/4 inches (Each flag), Site-specific installation, With support from Puffin Foundation West, Ltd., Joseph Robert Foundation, and the Katonah Museum of Art.


Sound InstallationSuzanne Thorpe
Border Fandango
October 3, 2021 – January 23, 2022

Thorpe recorded Border Fandango in 2017 at Friendship Park, a park that straddles the border between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. The park has historically been a meeting place for those living in the two countries, but today the U.S. side is heavily guarded and open only a few hours a week. The wall at this border, once a simple barbed wire fence, is now a thick steel mesh that allows only the touching of fingertips. The effect of these changes has severely minimized the park’s connective function.

Thorpe visited for a special annual event designed to increase connection: the Fandango at the Wall. Musicians came from far and wide to sing Mexican folk songs through the border wall, playing to the rhythms provided by Zapataedo performers (a Latin American style of dancing performed on wooden platforms to amplify the sound). Thorpe’s field recording documents the sounds of her arrival at the park, as well as those of others arriving, warming up, and finally uniting in a long sonic exchange.  

Suzanne Thorpe, Border Fandango, 2017, Field recording, Courtesy of the artist.

Norman Akers (Osage) (American), Alien Conquest, 2014, Lithograph, 20 5/8 x 15 inches (52.4 x 38.1 cm, Courtesy of the artist © Norman Akers.
vanessa german (American), 2 ships passing in the night, or i take my soul with me  everywhere i go, thank you, 2014, Mixed media assemblage, 47 x 27 x 12 inches (119.4 x 68.6 x 30.5 cm),Courtesy of the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art © vanessa german.
Annie Lopez (American), Show Me Your Papers and I’ll Show You Mine, 2012, Cyanotype prints on tamale wrapper paper, thread, cotton fabric, elastic, metal hooks, Bra 10 x 11 x 9 inches (25.4 x 27.9 x 22.9 cm), Panty 15 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 14 inches (39.4 x 41.9 x 35.6 cm), Courtesy of the artist © Annie Lopez.
Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara/Lakota) (American), Regalia from Future Ancestral Technologies, 2020, Mixed media, Two at 70 inches (177.8 cm) high each, Courtesy of the artist © Cannupa Hanska Luger.
Titus Kaphar (American), Columbus Day Painting, 2014, Oil and mixed media on canvas, 67 3/4 x 90 3/4 x 4 inches (172.1 x 230.5 x 10.2 cm), The Heiskell Family Collection © Titus Kaphar.
Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1948, Oil on canvas, 54 1/8 x 38 3/8 inches, Collection of Christopher Rothko, ©1998 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko.


ARRIVALS is made possible in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Humanities New York, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and the International Fine Print Dealers Association Foundation. Support for the exhibition catalogue is made possible by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art. Support for the exhibition, publication, and programs is also provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Additional support for the exhibition has been provided by Yvonne Pollack and the Katonah Museum of Art Exhibition Patrons, including Judith and Anthony B. Evnin, Ellen and Bob Grimes, and Betty Himmel.




The Rothko Room
is made possible by Christopher Rothko with the support of Rochelle C. and Mark H. Rosenberg.

The Katonah Museum of Art’s online public programming has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
The Katonah Museum of Art is proud to be a grantee of ArtsWestchester with funding made possible by Westchester County government with the support of County Executive George Latimer.
The Katonah Museum of Art’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Ronald BladenOngoing

Ronald Bladen (1918–1988) was regarded as an artistic forerunner by Minimalists like Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt and Carl Andre. But in contrast to the matter-of-fact work of these artists, Bladen’s sculptures are charged with emotional power. Their themes include the force of gravity, the dynamism of planar surfaces, the impact of scale and confrontation with the viewer.

After a competition that included entries by Richard Serra and Claes Oldenburg among others, the important European collector and gallery director Alfred Schmela commissioned Bladen to create Flying Fortress to stand in front of the engineering school at the University of Düsseldorf. The project was cancelled after Schmela’s sudden death. Bladen wrote tellingly of Flying Fortress at the time of the commission, “The motivation of this form was to produce the illusion of a stationary object moving through space yet anchored to the earth. Not to give one that much time to dwell on it but more to feel as it rushes by. There is a front and a back and two sides but only one direction.
Host of the Ellipse is notable for the difference between its two elements. Both parts, executed in aluminum and painted semi-gloss black, comprise trapezoidal lower areas that have deep notches cut into them. From these trapezoids, blade-like arms extend, one vertically while the other projects horizontally. Bladen referred to them as “two dancers.” Indeed, the vertical and horizontal projections, like gestures into space, remind us that modern dance influenced Bladen’s sculptures throughout his career.

Watch and learn more about American painter and sculptor Ronald Bladen.

Image Credits:
Ronald Bladen, Flying Fortress (Mid Scale), 1974-1978, Painted aluminum, 90 x 264 x 12 inches, Edition 1 of 3, Courtesy of Loretta Howard Gallery, New York
Ronald Bladen, Host of the Ellipse (Mid Scale), 1981, Painted aluminum, 85 x 118 x 52 inches, Edition 1 of 3, Courtesy of Loretta Howard Gallery, New York