Mount painting hits the road

Mount painting hits the road

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‘Dance of the Haymakers’ by William Sydney Mount, 1845

Stony Brook native William Sidney Mount’s familiar painting “Dance of the Haymakers,” currently on display at the Long Island Museum, will take off on a national tour next spring as part of an exhibition organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The exhibition, titled Dance: American Art, 1830-1960 will feature more than 90 objects and works of art that depict American dance, ranging from Native American art to the rise of professional dancers and female artists in the early 20th century and beyond. It opens at the Detroit Institute of Arts in March 2016 and from there will travel to the Denver Art Museum and finally to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The painting, completed in 1845, represents William Sidney Mount’s successful return to genre painting after the death of his beloved mother and older brother Henry in 1841. For a time, he seemed to have lost the will to paint and completed only a few genre pictures between 1840 and 1844.

With “Dance of the Haymakers” and subsequent works, Mount reaffirmed his reputation as a premier painter of American life.

“Dance of the Haymakers” was “adopted” by museum member Elizabeth Kahn Kaplan this year as part of the Long Island Museum’s Visionary Society program. The LIM Visionary Society is a naming opportunity for donors who want to take a leadership role in sustaining the museum as an important cultural institution.

“I’m glad to show my support of the Long Island Museum and its collection of the works of this premier 19th century American genre artist, a native of the Three Villages,” said Kaplan.

Visitors to the Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook, will have one last chance to see the painting through Jan. 3, 2016, as part of the current exhibition Young Island: William Sidney Mount’s Scenes of Childhood, before it begins its U.S. tour. The painting will return home to the museum in early 2017.