Where in the Hudson Valley Contest: Marble Maiden “Barefoot Kate”

This beautiful sculpture of a nymph is the highlight at an oft-visited Valley garden


Nestled among leafy green trees in the extensive gardens that surround it, this brick alcove reveals a graceful sculpture — which just happens to be one of the most photographed features at one of the most frequently visited National Historic Sites on the Hudson’s eastern shore.

Carved from white marble by sculptor Antonia Galli in the mid-19th century, this semi-nude nymph was purchased in Italy and installed in this garden between 1904 and 1910. Though she was fondly nicknamed “Barefoot Kate” by garden workers, a closer look shows that a pair of sandals adorn her “feet.”

Kate’s owner, who acquired a considerable fortune via his family’s connection with the American railroad industry, was a passionate gardener who had a degree in horticulture from Yale. In 1902, he enlisted the help of the well-respected landscape architect James L. Greenleaf to revamp his estate’s original garden beds, which were first laid out in the early 1800s.

The owner worked closely with Greenleaf and two additional landscape architects to create several formal gardens on his property — including the Italian-style site dominated by this statue. His interest in plants and shrubs also extended outside of his gated property: He and his staff were renowned for the impressive vegetables and perennial flowers they exhibited each year at the Dutchess County Fair.

Stretching from Fifth Avenue to Newport, this family owned more than a few palatial properties; they used this manse as their summer house. As a result, garden workers were instructed to plant only flowers that bloom from the spring into the early fall. These days, the gardens are maintained by a volunteer association devoted to preserving the plantings and statuary so they look as they did during their Gilded Age heyday.

Do you know on which estate this chiseled beauty resides? Submit your answer in the form below; the first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!

Where in the Hudson Valley...?

Do you know the answer to the question above? Submit your best guess to our editors below; the first reader to guess correctly wins our prize. Good luck!

Full name:



Zip code:

Email (to contact you if you win):

Where in the Valley answer (subject/location):

Personal story or comment (optional):

Sign up for our free e-newsletters:

HVM Today: Delivered every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, our editors hand-pick the region’s top stories — from hot ticket events and pop culture buzz, to recipes and restaurant reviews, to the latest headlines and tips on living well.

HVM VIP Invitations & Special Offers: Get special offers on local events, products, and services we think you’d like.

Click here to subscribe to Hudson Valley Magazine (opens in new window)

This page requires javascript. It seems that your browser does not have Javascript enabled. Please enable Javascript and press the Reload/Refresh button on your browser.


Edit Module