The Empire State Plaza Art Collection features 92 works of modern art. Displayed in the office buildings, quarter-milelong underground concourse, and outdoor spaces that comprise the plaza, these paintings and sculptures were intended to complement the architecture of this “Capital City,” designed by Wallace K. Harrison (architect of the Metropolitan Opera House) in the 1960s. The collection, which consists almost entirely of abstract expressionist art of the 1960s and ‘70s, was the brainchild of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, an ardent collector who wished to recognize—and pay homage to—the art movement that began in New York. Nearly all of the works were created by artists who worked and lived in the state, including Jackson Pollock, Ellsworth Kelly, Beverly Pepper, Isamu Noguchi, George Segal, and David Smith. Some of the most famous pieces of art are in the Corning Tower which also has an observation deck.
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