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Long Island Museum

A temporary sign asking for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Stony Brook University Hospital, April 2019
Face masks (top to bottom): surgical, N95, and handmade, Port Jefferson, May 2019

The Long Island Museum (LIM) in Stony Brook has announced that they will be seeking the collection of objects, images and stories as related to the COVID-19 coronavirus to document for future generations on how Long Island responded during the crisis. 

Titled Collecting Our History: Long Island During COVID-19, the compilation will serve as a record of the community’s shared history, and will influence future exhibitions, programs, research, and other projects. The LIM is particularly interested in seeking material that exemplifies how the virus has impacted victims, medical personnel and other frontline workers, the operation of businesses, schools, religious and cultural organizations, and the structure and interactions of our daily lives both large and small.  

“The COVID-19 coronavirus is the most severe pandemic to impact Long Island since the Spanish Influenza of 1918-1919,” said Jonathan Olly, Curator at the LIM. “It is affecting our lives in dramatic and sometimes tragic ways.”

People living or working on Long Island, in Brooklyn and in Queens are invited to offer contributions of any digital or physical item that documents their experience and that of their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Material may include photographs, audio, and video, signs and posters, artwork, masks and other personal protective equipment, home recipes, journals, and planners. 

An empty paper goods aisle at Stop & Shop, Setauket, March 2019

Digital items can be emailed to [email protected] Photos should be in JPG, PNG, or TIF format, audio in MP3 or WAV, videos in MP4, AVI, WMV, or MOV, and documents in PDF, TIF, PNG, or JPG. All submissions must be by persons 18 years or older, and convey copyright (if applicable) to the Long Island Museum and include a description and contact information. 

“The LIM helps to preserve the experiences of Long Islanders and so we’re reaching out to our community to share with us the objects and images that help tell this story. In the coming years Collecting Our History: Long Island during COVID-19 will allow us to be able to look back on this time and see how it changed us, and how we persevered,” said Olly.

Select online submissions may be featured on the LIM’s website and/or social media platforms. Due to the volume of submissions the LIM may be unable to individually notify people if or when their digital submissions will be posted. The LIM prefers not to have objects sent to the Museum at this time, as the offices are currently closed. 

For further questions, please email the LIM’s Assistant Collections Manager, Molly McGirr at [email protected], or LIM’s Curator, Jonathan Olly at [email protected]

The Long Island Museum (LIM) has recently partnered with the Long Island State Veterans Home (LISVH) at Stony Brook University for a letter writing project. 

In conjunction with the Museum’s At Home With LIM projects, a series of online family art and history activities based on the museum’s collection, historic buildings and grounds, the Student/Veteran Pen Pal Project takes young people on a journey through the art and history of penmanship in the 19th century.

Long Island students from kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to participate and are asked to follow the instructions from the printable activity guide that can be downloaded from the museum’s website. 

The penmanship lesson teaches students how to write a letter, preferably in Spencerian script, to one of the veterans by using the greeting “Dear Veteran” and sharing with them what school is like today, and asking them what school had been like for them.

“In the 1800s there was no such thing as email, phones, or FaceTime. The main way people were able to communicate with others who didn’t live near them was to write letters,” said Lisa Unander, Director of Education at the LIM. 

“During these difficult times, the LIM believes in the power of the arts to unite us. The Student/Veteran Pen Pal Project allows for children to connect with veterans who are in need of connection and support while they are socially isolated because of the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.

Once the letter is written, it can be either scanned or photographed and then sent to [email protected], and [email protected] The LISVH will then print out the letters and distribute them, and the veteran pen pal can respond to the student by a letter sent through email as well.

“The project is a wonderful collaboration between the registrants in the Adult Day Health Care program at the Veterans Home and local community school children,” said Jean Brand, Program Director of Adult Day Health Care at the LISVH. “The heartfelt letters are a fun educational bridge that celebrate the best of who we are as a community. During this time of social distancing the project creates relationships that inspire the human spirit.” 

The Student/Veteran Pen Pal Project is currently ongoing and the activity guide will remain on the Museum’s website as the LIM remains closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on this project or other At Home with LIM projects visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

Ellis Paul. Photo by Tim Rice

STORIES FROM A SUITCASE

Ellis Paul heads to the Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook on Feb. 23 for his 13th appearance in WUSB’s Sunday Street Series. The concert, held in the Carriage Museum’s Gillespie Room, will take place at 3 p.m. The program will feature many of the songs from Ellis’ latest album, “The Storyteller’s Suitcase.” Tickets are $25 in advance at www.sundaystreet.org through Feb. 21, $30 at the door. Call 751-0066 for more information.

 Photo by Tim Rice

 

'Black Opal,' acrylic on canvas, by Bill Durham

By Melissa Arnold

Running a museum is far from simple. Consider this: The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook is home to more than 2,500 pieces of artwork done on paper, 500 paintings and 100 pieces of three-dimensional art. Each piece must be catalogued, maintained, protected and stored. It’s a delicate and meticulous process that takes a lot of work.

Recently, the LIM received a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to expand and upgrade its storage facilities. They’ll need to clear out some of their existing storage space to prepare for renovation, and fortunately its visitors will reap the rewards of the process.

From Feb. 22 to June 26, the museum will present Off the Rack: Building and Preserving LIM’s Art Treasures, an exhibit of approximately 90 works of art from its permanent collection, in the main gallery of its Art Museum. Many pieces in the exhibit are only put on view rarely, if at all.

‘Dance of the Haymakers,’ 1845, oil on canvas mounted on wood, by William Sidney Mount

“We could have taken the artwork to off-site storage, but we thought, ‘Why not put it on display?’ In order to make more space, we thought this would be a great time to assess the state of the collection and share its history and highlights with our visitors,” said LIM Deputy Director and Curator Joshua Ruff. “This is an opportunity for people to see things they may not have seen before.”

Ruff said that choosing pieces for Off the Rack was a team effort by the museum staff, who sought to put together a cohesive story of how the museum’s collection has grown and evolved over the years.

Visitors will be able to explore a time line of the LIM’s conservation efforts. In addition, each work in the exhibit will include its accession number, which will help teach visitors how the museum keeps track of each piece.

Off the Rack is divided into loose sections celebrating particular themes and standout artists. Not to be missed is a section dedicated to one of the museum’s “anchor” artists, William Sidney Mount. Among Mount’s included works are an 1841 painting of Crane Neck Marsh, which Ruff says is “an example of his extremely detailed craftsmanship while creating a natural setting,” and “Dance of the Haymakers,” a painting of a fiddler playing music for dancing farmhands, which made Mount a household name in 1845. 

Other high-profile artists with dedicated spaces in the exhibit include Arnold Hoffman, Samuel Rothport, Winslow Homer, Joe Reboli and Helen Torr, among others.

There are also sections of artwork focused on coastal and marine environments, abstract work and contemporary artists, including some local Long Islanders like Janet Culbertson, Bruce Lieberman and Dan Pollera.

Ty Stroudsburg of Southold also has artwork at the LIM — her 2000 oil painting on linen “Pumpkin Field at Sunset” is one of many views that have caught her eye on the North Fork.

“I love color. I used to drive around with a sketch pad in my car, and it was always color that would lead me to pull over and either do quick sketches with pastels or take a photograph to use for later,” said Stroudsburg, whose work has hung in exhibits and museums throughout New York and New Jersey for more than 60 years. 

“I didn’t strive for notoriety, I just painted because I love to paint and it keeps me going. I feel extremely fortunate that curators believe my art is worth being a part of their museums,” she added.

For LIM Executive Director Neil Watson, Off the Rack provides the chance to see their continuously evolving collection in a new light.

“As we began to do the work required for the renovations and take pieces out of storage, there were things in the collection I hadn’t seen in several years, and even some pieces I didn’t even know we had,” he recalled. 

“That’s the beauty of this exhibit -— we get to share parts of our collection that people may have never even seen before. Of course, there will be plenty of ‘old friends,’ like the work from William Sidney Mount, but there is so much more to see. Ours is a living collection — it’s not sealed or stagnant, and it continues to grow.”

The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook presents Off the Rack: Building and Preserving LIM’s Art Treasures, from Feb. 22 through June 26. The museum is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $10; discounts are available for children, college students, seniors and the disabled. For more information, visit www.longislandmuseum.org or call 631-751-0066.

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook hosted an artist reception for its latest exhibit, Anything Goes!, on Dec. 6. The exceptional exhibit features artwork created by 104 participating members of LIMarts, the LIM’s special membership initiative for artists. 

Joshua Ruff, deputy director at the Long Island Museum, welcomed the artists and guests to the reception.“It’s quite amazing and impressive how, just within a space of a few miles, we have such incredible talent. I think this is our best show yet − it’s colorful, it’s wonderful.” Most of the artwork is for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the museum’s exhibitions and programs. The show is on view in the museum’s Visitors Center through Jan. 5. 

For more information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

Photos by Heidi Sutton

Ron Hoffman with LIM’s Sarah Abruzzi, Regina Miano and Neil Watson. Photo from LIM

The Long Island Museum, located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, kicked off the holiday season with its premier fundraising event, the annual Holiday Celebration Gala and Silent Auction, on Nov. 9 with over 150 people in attendance. The tradition raises funds necessary to support the museum’s award-winning educational programs and exhibitions. 

Betsy Palmedo and Neil Watson. Photo from LIM

The museum’s History Museum was transformed into a decorative winter wonderland with an enchanting display of hundreds of decorative works by local artists and artisans, including ceramics, paintings and a beautiful selection of home goods and fine art. 

Now in its 26th year, the event honored Ron Hoffman of Bliss Restaurant in East Setauket with the Community Leader Award and North Shore Pro Musica with the Patron of the Arts Award.

Hoffman has been dedicated to the Three Village community since becoming a local business owner in 2003 when he first purchased Village Bistro. “Ron Hoffman has the ability to make everyone feel like family when they walk through the door of his restaurant,” said Neil Watson, executive director of the LIM. “But his generous nature goes beyond his business establishment. Ron has been a loyal supporter of the museum for many years. He truly puts his heart and soul into Bliss’ surrounding community.”

Founded in 1980, North Shore Pro Musica has been bringing live chamber music performances to the Three Village community for the past four decades and has been recognized for innovative programming and diversity of repertoire.

“I’m so grateful to the leadership of North Shore Pro Musica,” commented Watson. “Not only does this group continue to make a contribution to the cultural life of Long Island but North Shore Pro Musica is also making the Long Island Museum a destination for an entirely new audience.” 

Betsy Palmedo, founding member and director of North Shore Pro Musica accepted the award on the group’s behalf.

Photo from LIM

COLOR, CREATIVITY AND CULTURE

Artist Carol Hummel and her daughter Molly Sedensky from the [email protected] tree project wrapped a tree on the grounds of the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook with a dedication ceremony on Sept. 15. Using over 250 skeins of nylon yarn, the community-based project began in June with 40 volunteers crocheting the individual elements needed to cover the silver maple that stands adjacent to the Carriage Museum on Route 25A. Five other trees on the museum grounds were wrapped in 2015. “The Long Island Museum trees are truly art by the people, for the people, and should be cherished as symbols of community pride,” said Hummel.

1969, orbiting Earth, three astronauts Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin set out on a likely death mission that could only end in one of three ways: land, abort, or crash.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook invites the community to join them on Saturday,  July 20 for a free screening of @SmithsonianChannel’s “The Day We Walked on the Moon” in the Carriage Museum’s Gillespie Room at 5 p.m. Admission is free.

For further information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

 

In celebration of its 80th anniversary, The Long Island Museum hosted a Mount House Summer Soirée at the Hawkins-Mount House in Stony Brook on June 28. The Americana-themed party featured signature cocktails dinner, live music and tours of artist William Sidney Mount’s childhood home, which had been closed to the public for three decades. 

Photos by Karen Romanelli

On Saturday, May 18 the Long Island Museum invited members of its LIMarts collaborative arts group to participate in a plein air painting and sketching opportunity on the grounds and inside galleries.

Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of the studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. It’s a technique that was made popular by French Impressionists (think Monet’s Garden at Givernay) in the 19th century.

Visitors to the museum enjoyed seeing the artists at work, taking inspiration from the museum’s beautiful gardens and world-class exhibitions. The day concluded with a reception where the artists had an opportunity to sell their work.