Opus 40: A Masterpiece in the Catskills


On August 6, 2015, Preservation League staff spent a beautiful summer morning at Opus 40. Sculptor Harvey Fite’s masterpiece, Opus 40, sits at the base of the Catskill Mountains in Ulster County.

The Opus 40 sculpture sits within a quarry, so as one experiences the work, you also see the site’s geologic and historic evolution. As Fite built Opus 40, he left reminders of the site’s industrial past, along with rock that reflects past geologic eras.

The site includes a Quarryman’s Museum, as well as an exhibit space and other outbuildings used by Fite when he lived at the site. The museum has a large arrangement of quarry tools and artifacts, all arranged so the exhibit itself is a work of art. The tools displayed in the museum are like those Fite used to create Opus 40.

Opus 40 sustained damage following Tropical Storms Irene, Lee, and Sandy. They are accepting donations to their restoration effort online, but we encourage all to experience the site firsthand! Opus 40 is open seasonally Thursday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.