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“Although lovely” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Union Church of Pocantico Hills

Union Church of Pocantico Hills
555 Bedford Road, Route 448, Pocantico Hills, NY 10591
+1 914-366-6900
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Owner description: This unassuming country church contains a stained glass window by Henri Matisse, his last work of art, and nine windows by Marc Chagall.The works create a dramatic combination of light and color, art and spirituality.Visitors marvel at the colorful rose window created for the church by Henri Matisse. The design for the window was his last work of art before his death in 1954. The commission, spearheaded by Nelson A. Rockefeller, honors the memory of his mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. Mrs. Rockefeller, one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art, admired Matisse, collected his work, and entertained him in her home in New York City.The glorious Good Samaritan window by Marc Chagall is a memorial to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller's husband, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Their son David Rockefeller masterminded the commission in 1963, which later expanded to include all eight windows in the nave of the church. They memorialize, among others, Michael Clark Rockefeller, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, Peggy Rockefeller (Mrs. David Rockefeller), and Mary Rockefeller (Mrs. Laurance Rockefeller). Chagall and members of the Rockefeller family carefully selected the subject matter for the windows from Biblical texts.The enthralling story of the windows, and how they came to be here, is the story of relationships among distinguished patrons and collectors of modern art, two great 20th-century artists, and the leading connoisseurs and tastemakers of the day.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Although lovely”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

Although a beautiful church with amazing windows, the admission charge of $7.00 per person to see a handful of windows is a little steep. You can't take pictures and all guides are addition cost which is also very disappointing. If you visit Kykuit your fee is included which is probably the better way to go, unfortunately we went on a weekend and all tours of Kykuit were sold out, so that wasn't an option (you can pre-book on line if you have enough advance notice) Download the free app, it's helpful.

Visited October 2013
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49 reviews from our community

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NJ
Top Contributor
162 reviews 162 reviews
67 attraction reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
“Fine windows and humanizing stories”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

We spent the better part of an hour in this small non-denomination Protestant church that is closely connected with the Rockefeller family. Most visitors come for the 10 windows, one by Matisse, his last creation - dominated by petal and kidney bean-shaped panes in yellow, green and white, and the rest by Chagall. Our guide was a little distracted by a somewhat noisy party that hovered near the door but she delivered a lot of interesting information mostly about the allegories in the windows and the various Rockefeller's who were associated with each. Chagall's windows (a large one on the gable opposite Matisse's and 8 smaller ones along the sides) favored blue glass in many shades and included the artist in miniature inserts. The tragedy of one Rockefeller son and a poignant story about the bond between another and his dead wife's memorial window were effective in linking viewers with the extraordinary family that is remembered here. At $6 each for those who combine this site with others in the area, this is a good place to spend some contemplative moments.

Visited August 2013
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Fort Lee, New Jersey
Top Contributor
251 reviews 251 reviews
107 attraction reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
165 helpful votes 165 helpful votes
“Matisse windows, what else is there to say.....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

Aside from this being such a huge part of the history of Tarrytown, Pocantico Hills, the estate of Rockefeller, there is a ton to learn about the church itself. While it is still a church of active worship, pair this with a trip to the Rockefeller Estate and you will leave in awe. The Matisse stained glass windows are literally breathtaking, you must see them for yourself, no word or picture will ever do them justice.

Visited June 2013
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New York
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Beauty near Manhattan”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

What a lovely day we had in Tarrytown. We went to see Union Church and were so glad we made the trip. A quick ride from Manhattan, this is a glorious sight. Our guide was outstanding, giving us plenty of time to look on our own and very knowledgeable about the church, its history and the Rockefeller family. The windows are divine. Later we had a wonderful lunch at Bridge View Tavern and discovered the most charming gift shop, Whimsies. We highly recommend all three as a great NYC getaway afternoon. Just lovely!

Visited April 2013
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Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“If you are a modern art fan...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

This church is for a short visit. The docent on duty was very knowledgeable and willing to answer questions. We were very awed by the stain glass. I think the average traveler would pair this visit with a visit to the nearby Rockefeller Mansion, but we had a bored child so had to skip.

Visited July 2013
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