Tags Posts tagged with "Long Island Museum"

Long Island Museum

By Tara Mae 

In celebration of the 27th Annual Charles Dickens Festival in Port Jefferson Village on Dec 2 and 3, the Long Island Museum (LIM) has collaborated with the Greater Port Jefferson Arts Council (GPJAC) to present  Come In! — Come In! And, Know Me Better, Man! at the LIM’s Carriage Museum on Saturday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Dec. 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. Over a dozen costumed Dickensian characters will roam among antique carriages as they magically transform the galleries into a London of a bygone century. The event is included with museum admission.

“Some of the beloved longtime Dickens Festival characters are venturing further afield from Port Jefferson Village and heading toward the Long Island Museum to spread some joy in the holiday season, and to share with LIM visitors some of the aspects of their life during the middle of the 19th century,” said GPJAC Program Director Amy Tuttle. 

Portraying a number of the author’s archetypes such as those who populate A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist, they carry the patrons back in time by immersing themselves in their roles. Being surrounded by transportation of yesteryear only enhances the effect. 

“The actors will be wandering around and doing performances as Dickensian characters-situational performances,” explained LIM’s Public Programs Coordinator Emma Backfish. “We have never had something like this, where we have these performers near the actual carriages. It will be interesting to see the actors play off of the different carriages, many of which are tied into that era. And, it will be an unique experience for them.”

“Because the actors are so immersed in their characters, they can not only bring scenes in the Dickens canon to life, they also interact spontaneously with the public. Several of the actors are also very much involved with historical re-enactments, and have appeared in period films,” added Tuttle.

Like the museum itself, the actors are committed to exploring the artistry of enlivening history. Through historical interpretation, a performance art rooted in realism, the actors invite the audience to participate in their play and appreciate history from a more interpersonal perspective. 

“I am excited to see people acting amongst our vehicles. They are bringing the era to life, putting vehicles in motion in people’s minds. Having people there, speaking and acting as they are part of that time, brings them to life in a lot of ways,” Backfish said.

Wardrobes are provided by either the actors or through the estate of Nan Guzzetta, the late proprietress of Antique Costumes and Props by Nan in Port Jefferson. 

These events are the latest act in an ongoing partnership between the GPJAC and LIM. Previously the organizations jointly focused on live musical performances, specifically the Sunday Street Concert Series which is held at the museum’s Gillespie Room. 

“It’s exciting being part of a collaboration which is so unique, enlightening and fun for everyone,” said Tuttle.

The Long Island Museum is located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook. For more information, visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

Image from LIM

Culinary Historian Sarah Lohman returns to the Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook on Sunday, November 12 at noon to talk about endangered American food traditions featured in her latest book, Endangered Eating: America’s Vanishing Foods. Lohman has traveled the country learning about and documenting ingredients at risk of being lost to time, from those who are passionate about keeping those traditions alive.

After her talk, join Sarah in the LIM Visitors Center for an Author Meet & Greet and Book Signing! Copies of the book will be available to purchase on the day of the event.

The event is free with Museum admission. No registration required.

For more information, visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

The Songs Of Jimmy Webb concert will be held on Oct. 15.

By Rita J. Egan

Local musicians are preparing to celebrate the music of a Long Island songwriter, composer and singer.

WUSB’s Sunday Street Concert series at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook on Oct. 15 will showcase the music of longtime Nassau County resident Jimmy Webb. 

The singer/songwriter has enjoyed worldwide success with hits such as “Up, Up and Away,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “MacArthur Park” and more sung by iconic singers, including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Art Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, Tony Bennett, Josh Groban and countless others.

The only artist ever to have received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics and orchestration, Webb was inducted in the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2018.

Co-producers Charlie Backfish and Pete Mancini have lined up Long Island musicians Gene Casey, Caroline Doctorow, Andrew & Cole Fortier, Delaney Hafener, Claudia Jacobs, Brian Kachejian, Ray Lambiase and Tom Moran for the concert titled The Songs of Jimmy Webb.

Mancini, who has worked with Backfish and Webb, is a singer and musician who will also perform two of Webb’s hits, including “Met Her on a Plane.” His favorite rendition is from country rock/folk rock musician Iain Matthews, who recorded the song on his album Journeys from Gospel Oak.

“I’ve been kind of modeling my version after his just because it’s guitar-based and his vocal is incredible,” Mancini said. The musician described learning about Webb’s discography as a “mind-blowing experience.”

“There are so many tunes that go under the radar,” he said.

Caroline Doctorow said she was thrilled when Backfish called her. Among her favorite Webb songs is Wichita Lineman, sung by Glen Campbell.

“To my ears, it’s still one of the best records I’ve ever heard,” she said. “It has that very iconic electric guitar part. A lot of people have sort of borrowed from that sound.”

She described Webb as a “master” comparable to Bob Dylan and folk singer and songwriter Nanci Griffith. 

“When you study their songs, there’s a lot of magic to them, and you can’t quite dissect them in terms of songwriting technique,” she said.

Doctorow is working on “If These Walls Could Speak” and “Galveston.” She said the key to singing an iconic song is picking one that fits the singer’s voice and listening to other versions to get an idea of what one likes and doesn’t like.

Gene Casey said when asked to perform, he knew he wanted to sing “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” a song he has performed in his solo acts.

“I always marvel at the fact that Jimmy Webb was like 23 years old, or around that age, when he wrote a very, very mature song,” he said. “There are thousands of songs about people being left behind, but it’s rare to find a good song about the person who was leaving. I’ve always been attracted to what a great song that was.”

He said he was surprised when Backfish called again and asked if he would consider performing “MacArthur Park,” too. Backfish told him about the Waylon Jennings version. Casey described it as a “stripped down and more countrified” version compared to Richard Harris’ song with orchestrated strings.

“A good song is a good song. It doesn’t matter what arrangement is used,” Casey said.

Backfish described Webb’s music as “a catalog that transcends different genres” and said he is looking forward to hearing what the musicians have planned.

“Each artist will pretty much put their own stamp on a Jimmy Webb song, so it may not be exactly the way it initially was recorded, but it will be an interpretation of it, which I think makes it an interesting evening,” he said.

The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook presents The Songs of Jimmy Webb in the Carriage Museum’s Gillespie Room on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance at www.sundaystreet.org, $25 (cash only) at the door.

By Kelynn Z. Alder

Up next for Gallery North, 90 North Country Road, Setauket is a unique exhibit titled Animal Spirits and Ancient Rituals: New Work by Kelynn Z. Alder, on view from October 5 to November 12.

Animal Spirits and Ancient Rituals is Kelynn Z. Alder’s first solo exhibition at Gallery North. It features paintings, monoprints, and drawings that all reference Alder’s Mexican cultural heritage. Many of the paintings are from the artist’s personal experiences in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico during the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities in Chamula, a town run entirely by the Tzotzil speaking Maya. In Chamula, as in most of Mexico, festivities and religious practices are a merging of ancient Indigenous rites, rituals and beliefs, meshed with Catholicism.

By Kelynn Z. Alder

Día de los Muertos is a celebration of both the living and the dead,” Alder states, “And the underlying theme of this work has much to do with the cycle of life and death — My reaching back to my ancestors… My rising consciousness of my own mortality… The continuation once I’m gone and become myself an ancestor.”

Blending the styles of the Mexican muralists and the impressionists, each painting in Animal Spirits and Ancient Rituals evokes the artist’s ancestral searching, yearnings, experiences, emotions and opinions — while encouraging others to reflect upon their own ancestry and personal journeys. Alder’s prints feature the artist’s personal interpretation of La Lotería – a traditional Mexican board game as well as an inspirational templet commonly used by many artists.

The daughter of an immigrant, Alder skillfully weaves the rudimentary pictures of La Loteria into Indigenous, political and religious iconography to create a complex arrangement of memory, political commentary, and symbolism. Indeed, through vivid paintings of Chiapas and the bold imagery of La Loteria, Animal Spirits and Ancient Rituals transports us to Alder’s inner visual world, while also offering important messages confronting the migrant crisis between the Mexican and U.S. border.

An opening reception will be held Saturday, October 7, from 5 to 7 p.m.

By Kelynn Z. Alder

As a complement to the exhibition, Gallery North will present a multi-site, guided tour in collaboration with the Long Island Museum on Sunday, October 15, from noon to 3 p.m. The collaborative event will include guided tours of Alder’s exhibition, Animal Spirits and Ancient Rituals, and SOMOS/We Are: Latinx Artists of Long Island, an exhibition guest curated by Alder at the Long Island Museum.

Gallery North’s portion of the event will include a printmaking demonstration with Alder and Lorena Salcedo Watson, followed by a tour of Alder’s solo exhibition. Gallery North will also host an ArTalk with Alder and Lyn Pentecost, former Director and Co-Founder of the Lower Eastside Girls Club on Saturday, November 4 at 3 p.m.

The exhibition, reception, and ArTalk will all be free and open to the public. Information on registering for the guided tour and print demonstration can be found at gallerynorth.org.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by bld Architecture, Jefferson’s Ferry, and Suffolk County’s Department of Economic Development and Planning.  The exhibition, reception, and ArTalk will all be free and open to the public. Information on registering for the guided tour and print demonstration can be found at gallerynorth.org. For more information, call 631-751-2676.

Photo from LIM

It’s time to play ball! Preservation Long Island and the Long Island Museum have teamed up to host Baseball on the Farm featuring an authentic 19th-century ballgame with the New York Mutual Base Ball Club against the Atlantics.  With live music, games, prizes, food and more, this one-day special event will take place on the grounds of historic Sherwood-Jayne Farm, 55 Old Post Road in East Setauket on Saturday, Sept. 16 from noon to 4 p.m. Rain date is Sept, 17.

Baseball on the Farm is a FREE community event for the whole family featuring an authentic 19th-century ballgame pitting the New York Mutuals Base Ball Club against the Atlantics Base Ball Club, games and craft activities, prizes including Long Island Ducks signed baseball and 4-pack of tickets for 2024, bounce house, live music by The Other Two and food and beverages (available for purchase) from Exotic Bowls, Maui Chop House and Root + Branch Brewing.

Advance registration is recommended. For more information and to reserve tickets visit: https://preservationlongisland.org/baseball-on-the-farm/

This special day of vintage baseball at Preservation Long Island’s Sherwood-Jayne Farm in Setauket is a collaboration inspired by two exhibitions currently on view at The Long Island Museum in nearby Stony Brook:

Picturing America’s Pastime (May 18-October 15, 2023): Since the 19th century, baseball and photography have grown up together.  This exhibition of 51 historic photographs has been developed by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museums, the world’s premiere repository of baseball photographs.

Home Fields: Baseball Stadiums of Long Island and New York City (May 18-October 15, 2023): This exhibition features exciting objects from several private collectors of historic baseball memorabilia.  Many original items from Ebbetts Field (the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers) Polo Stadium, and Yankee Stadium are on view.

'Lost on an Island' by Edward Acosta. Image courtesy of LIM

The Long Island Museum (LIM) has announced its latest exhibit, SOMOS/WE ARE: Latinx Artists of Long Island, a groundbreaking show celebrating the rich cultural heritage and artistic contributions of the Latinx community of Long Island. 

The exhibition, which opens on Sept. 14, includes works by over 80 participating artists—historic, established, and contemporary—and offers a unique opportunity to explore their diverse styles, media, compelling personal stories, and familial national origins.

‘Ride on a Flushing Train’ by Esteban Najarro

From Brooklyn to Montauk, SOMOS showcases the works of creators who have grappled with questions of identity, history, and the many meanings of community. Guest-curated by Mexican-American artist Kelynn Alder, SOMOS situates Latinx artists within the historic fabric and the actively changing shape of the Long Island neighborhoods in which they live.

“When I first moved to Long Island thirty years ago and attempted to exhibit my paintings celebrating my Mexican ancestry, there was very little understanding or appreciation for Latinx art,” says Alder. “I felt very alone. For too long contemporary Latinx art has been marginalized, undervalued, and almost invisible. SOMOS/WE ARE is an overdue opportunity to exhibit a vibrant, diverse array of artwork that shows we not alone. Our cultures can no longer be ignored or thought of as irrelevant as these works bring light to the abundant talents of Latinx communities thriving across this very long island.” 

The exhibition, which will be entirely bilingual in English and Spanish, is a testament to the vibrancy and diversity of Long Island’s Latinx community, which according to the 2020 US Census, comprises approximately 1.75 million people residing in Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. In addition to works on loan from private collectors and the artists themselves, artworks are also on loan to SOMOS from the Brooklyn Museum and the Parrish Art Museum. 

Some participating artists are Lidya Buzio, Darlene Charneco, Eugenio Cuttica, Hector deCordova, Esly Escobar, Marisol (Marisol Escobar), Virginia Jaramillo, Miguel Luciano, Esteban Najarro, Juan Carlos Pinto, Adrián Román, Freddy Rodríguez, Cinthya Santos-Briones, and Juan Sánchez.

“Under the vast umbrella of Latinx artists, there is so much diversity and talent,” said Nina Sangimino, Curator at the Long Island Museum. “We are excited for the public to see the beautiful, poignant, and at times challenging artwork being created within our local Long Island communities.” 

SOMOS/WE ARE: Latinx Artists of Long Island will be on view at the Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook from Sept. 14 to Dec. 17, filling the entire 4,000 square feet of the Art Museum.

A full slate of programming and events will accompany this exhibition throughout its run at the LIM. These events are mentioned below:

1) Thursday, September 21st (5:30-7:30 pm) – Summer Thursday Concert – Mariachi Nuevo Amanecer

2) Sunday, September 24th (2:00 pm) – National Museum of American History Curator Margaret

Salazar-Porzio talks about ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las

grandes ligas

3) ¡ESTAMOS! Symposium

Saturday, September 30th, 2023 (10 am – 3:00 pm)

The LIM hosts a one day symposium featuring a varied group of artists and scholars with

discussion revolving around the exhibition SOMOS/WE ARE: Latinx Artists of Long Island. This

symposium will consist of performances, a panel discussion, gallery tour and much more for a

robust day of art and culture.

4) Tuesday, October 3rd (all day) – East End Bus Trip to artist studios and gallery space.

5) Sunday, October 15th (12 pm – 3:00 pm) – SOMOS tour/Gallery North collaboration featuring

printmaking demonstrations by master printmakers.

6) Sunday, October 29th (1:00 – 4:00 pm) – Halloween Family Fun and Día de los Muertos – crafts (including Ofrenda decoration), music, and much more!

The SOMOS exhibition and associated programming is being supported by the Suffolk County Office of Cultural Affairs (SCOCA). Latino Arts of Long Island (LALI) is a community partner for the project. For more information, visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

Culper Spy Day. Photo by North Island Photography

By Heidi Sutton

Mark your calendars! Culper Spy Day returns on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  (rain date is Sept. 10). Presented by the Three Village Historical Society (TVHS) and Tri-Spy Tours in collaboration with more than 30 local historical and cultural organizations, the day will feature activities related to the Culper Spy Ring which was founded by Benjamin Tallmadge, George Washington’s chief intelligence officer during the Revolutionary War.

Now in its 9th year, the annual event is the brainchild of Margo Arceri, who first heard about Washington’s Setauket spies (including her favorite spy Anna Smith Strong) from her Strong’s Neck neighbor and local historian, Kate W. Strong, in the early 1970s. 

“My love of history grew from there,” said Arceri who today runs Tri-Spy Tours offering walking, bike and kayak tours of the Setauket area. “Everywhere you turn in the Three Villages you are looking at an artifact, and as the historical society believes, the community is our museum and I would really love to put that on the forefront of people’s minds. History is constantly evolving and new information is being discovered everyday. We don’t know what is waiting to be unearthed next and that fills me with excitement.”

Participants will have the opportunity to visit 9 locations in Setauket, Stony Brook and Port Jefferson (see list below) to learn about Long Island’s brave Patriot spy ring. Admission to all locations, with the exception of the Sherwood-Jayne House tour and the Spies! exhibit tour at the TVHS, is free.

“Guests at Culper Spy Day can expect to learn about American Revolutionary history in their own backyard. The hometown heroes who risked their lives and turned the tide of the war lived here on Long Island, working with George Washington right under the noses of their British neighbors. Through re-enactors, storytellers, demonstrations, and self-guided and docent-led tours, visitors at Culper Spy Day will enjoy information and inspiration at all of our historic sites,” said Mari Irizarry, Director at the TVHS.

According to Irizarry, several new exciting events have been added to the roster this year. “We’re proud to host George Washington, Martha Washington and their Squire in his field tent / oval office on the grounds of the historical society; we have partnered with Preservation Long Island to create a deluxe scavenger hunt across all sites for excited clue seekers to learn along the way; and Drowned Meadow Cottage Museum will present their new exhibit, Privateers: Pirates with Permission with guided tours, privateers re-enacting the plundering of the Roe family and colonial-themed storytelling for children.” 

Colonial cooking demonstrations by Diane Schwindt from the Ketcham Inn will feature an authentic recipe from Mary Floyd Tallmadge, who was the wife of Benjamin Tallmadge and daughter to William Floyd, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Visitors may sample the food and take home the recipe.

In addition, The Long Island Museum will have the recently discovered Culper Spy letter on display throughout the day. “The handwritten letter dated November 8, 1779 from Benjamin Tallmadge (using his alias, John Bolton) to Robert Townsend (alias, Samuel Culper Jr.) is the only known surviving letter between the two,” said Arceri.

The event also marks the launch of the Three Village Historical Society’s brand new 1776 Augmented Reality app through the generous donation of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

If you don’t have time to visit all the locations, Arceri recommends visiting the Sherwood Jayne Farm and the Drowned Meadow Cottage as they are not open to the public very frequently “so it is a treat to step back in time and visit these sites” as well as the Caroline Church of Brookhaven and the Setauket Presbyterian Church and their historical cemeteries.

Arceri is looking forward to welcoming new visitors to Culper Spy Day. “Last year was such a huge success — we had over 1100 people visit ‘Culper Country’ and we expect to have those numbers grow as more and more of the mainstream are getting Culper fever,” she said. “Setauket has really become a tourist destination and Culper Spy Day is certainly a highlight for these visitors as they are able to see many of the sites and visit with many of the organizations that make up our Revolutionary story.”

Irizarry agrees and is committed to continuing this event for years to come.

“At the Three Village Historical Society, our mission is to preserve our shared history. The Culper Spy Ring is an essential part of how we won the Revolutionary War and became a country — that’s a history we can ALL share! Culper Spy Day is a celebration like no other, and we love seeing history come to life year after year. As more sites and organizations get involved, this incredible event gets better and better.”

The 9th annual Culper Spy Day is made possible by the generous support of Heritage Spy Ring Golf Club. For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.culperspyday.com

Visit the grave of Culper Spy Abraham Woodhull in the Setauket Presbyterian Church cemetery. Photo by Heidi Sutton

1. THREE VILLAGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 93 North Country Road, Setauket. Located in the circa 1800 Bayles-Swezey House. Here you can take part in outdoor events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. including “building” a timber frame house with Abraham Woodhull; children’s story hour; colonial crafts; an invisible ink demonstration;; Culper Spy-themed authors and book signings; Anna Smith Strong’s famed clothesline, a colonial cooking demonstration; 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers in America) and Huntington Militia encampment; and much more. Docent led tours of the Spies! exhibit will be held every 30 minutes at $10 per person. Food trucks will be on site. 631-751-3730.

2. SETAUKET NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE, 95 Main St., Setauket. The original part of the house, where the central chimney is located, was built in the early 1700s. In 1820 it was moved to its present location from its original site on Setauket (Conscience) Bay by Dr. John Elderkin. The building has served as an inn, and has housed a general store, post office, bank and a Franklin Library. Docents will give tours of the historic home from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 631-751-6208.

3. PATRIOTS ROCK HISTORIC SITE, Main Street, Setauket (across from the Setauket Post Office). This glacial erratic boulder is said to be the location of the Battle of Setauket on Aug. 22, 1777. Stop here between 10 a.m. and  2 p.m. to meet representatives from the Three Village Community Trust who will discuss the importance of Patriots Rock and its local and environmental history. 631-689-0225.

4. CAROLINE CHURCH AND CEMETERY, 1 Dyke Road, Setauket. Built in 1729, this timber frame building has maintained its Colonial appearance. Now an Episcopal church, during the Revolutionary War the Caroline Church was Anglican and a Colonial extension of the Church of England. The graveyard contains the remains of six Patriot soldiers as well as soldiers from World War I and II. The inside of the church will be open for guided tours from noon to 4 p.m. and tour the cemetery your leisure with a docent present for questions.  631-941-4245. 

5. SETAUKET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND CEMETERY, 5 Caroline Ave., Setauket. The previous church (1714–1811) was a part of British fortifications during 1777. The fort was under the command of Loyalist commander Col. Richard Hewlett. The present building dates from 1812. Come tour the interior of the church from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and then tour the cemetery with the grave of Abraham Woodhull of  Washington’s spy ring at your leisure. 631-941-4271

6. EMMA S. CLARK MEMORIAL LIBRARY, 120 Main St., Setauket. The library (circa 1892) will display Revolutionary War soldiers’ equipment in the lobby, enjoy live music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and kids can enjoy an outdoor craft from noon to 3 p.m. 631-941-4080 

7. SHERWOOD-JAYNE HOUSE, 55 Old Post Road, East Setauket. Originally built around 1730 as a lean-to saltbox dwelling, the house and farm were maintained as an operational farmstead for over 150 years by members of the Jayne family. Visit with Big Bill the Tory aka William Jayne III, who will explain the noble intentions and virtuosities of King George III and tells you the TRUTH about Washington’s pesky band of renegade spies! Tours run continuously from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. $5 per person. 631-692-4664

8. THE LONG ISLAND MUSEUM, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook. The museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate with permanent and changing exhibitions on American history and art, along with the finest collection of horse-drawn carriages in the country, some of which belonged to Revolutionary War heroes. Visit the History Museum between noon and 5 p.m. to view the newly uncovered Culper Spy Ring letter by Benjamin Tallmadge to Robert Townsend. Tour the museum’s galleries and grounds for free. 631-751-0066

9. DROWNED MEADOW COTTAGE MUSEUM, corner of West Broadway and Barnum Avenue, Port Jefferson. The Revolutionary War-era Roe House was originally constructed circa 1755 and Phillips Roe, a member of the Culper Spy Ring along with his brother Nathaniel and cousin Austin, was known to have lived there. Visit the Revolutionary War-era Roe House between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. with a new exhibit, Privateers: Pirates with Permission, tours, privateers re-enacting the plundering of the Roe family and colonial-themed storytelling for children. 631-473-4724

* Please note: Public restrooms are located in the Setauket Neighborhood House and Emma S. Clark Memorial Library.


By Tara Mae

The chaos of creation yields the quietude of reflection. 

Newly installed at the Long Island Museum of Art, History, & Carriages (LIM), the Little Free Library came from just such a process. It was assembled by Brownie Troop 1343, which consists of fourteen local 3rd graders from the Three Village School District and horticultural art therapist/mediations instructor Fred Ellman, with troop co-leaders Lisa Unander, Kaethe Cuomo, and Christine Colavito offering practical support.

Cultivated from a sort magical mayhem on a series of manic Mondays as the girls painted their projects and maybe themselves, the Little Free Library is the result of artistic exuberance and pragmatic craftsmanship. Ellman previously worked with Unander on LIM’s In the Moment programs, which are garden activities designed for people with memory loss.

“To my pure delight, he volunteered to help us design and build the project! It was Fred’s idea to use the popcorn wagon [design], inspired by the Popcorn Wagon, 1907, C. Cretors & Company, Chicago, which is prominently featured in our carriage museum collection,” Unander, who is also LIM’s Director of Education, said.

Ellman donated his time, talents, and materials, functioning as artistic advisor, serene supervisor, and pragmatic visionary. He created a digital template and used that as the blueprint for the actual pieces of wood.   

“Lisa told me about this incredible project, and I really enjoy working with her. I wanted this library to be very playful and encourage children to come use books and connect to the  collection. With this installation, we are using a fresh way of looking at a free library, inviting and enticing patrons with its welcoming appearance,” Ellman said. 

This  22”x24” box, made of birch and cedar, is a blend of functional fun, with its bright colors and and unique shape. Installed adjacent to LIM”s aromatic herb garden, visitors will be able to take a book and immerse themselves in the stories as they settle in the tranquility of nature.

This visage belies the Brownies determined diligence in creating and maintaining the free library. A requirement for being formally recognized as an officially chartered member of the nonprofit Little Free Library network is that the girls are stewards of this installation. Each Brownie will be assigned certain weeks of the year to check on the library, including cleaning, maintaining, and restocking it as well as reporting any needs to Troop 1343.  

“To have a long term project that [the troop] could get excited about and work on collaboratively created responsibility and pride in what they accomplished,” Unander said. “Since all the girls live in the Three Village area, we know they will grow up helping keep the library well maintained and bring friends and family to see what they helped create.” 

For the Brownies, its motivations for the Little Free Library are multifaceted. Starting when the girls were Daisies, the Girl Scouts program for kindergarten-first grade, their meetings frequently commenced with a co-leader reading them a story that related to a project on which they were working.

“They always responded in a positive way to each book that was read to them and we felt it created a strong bond between the girls and the badges that they were about to take on,” said Unander. 

Then last year, the group began working on its World of Journey badges, a four part certification that focuses on “girls around the world and how stories can give you ideas for helping others,” according to Girl Scouts USA’s website.

Inspired by a pamphlet that depicted girls traveling the world in a flying bookmobile to learn about different cultures, and having recently read a book about Little Free Libraries’ founder Todd Bol, Troop 1343 decided to create a Little Free Library of its own in pursuit of the badges.

“Many troops do a simpler project to complete this journey, but we felt the girls in our troop were willing and ready to make a true and lasting impact,” Unander added. 

They were not the only ones embarking on a new adventure; it was Ellman’s first time constructing a free library too, though he anticipates it will not be his last. “I definitely want to build another one,” he said.  

As reading invites the imagination to explore, facilitating LIM’s free library has alerted everyone involved in this endeavor to other possibilities: Troop 1343 and its co-leaders are discussing developing a book about this process.  

“Fred had the idea of the girls creating a book that would tell visitors a little bit about them and some of their favorite books; I loved it,” Unander said. “Next year the girls will be Junior level Girl Scouts, and we plan to incorporate this project into our meetings. Ideally, this book would be attached to the Little Free Library onsite for all to read.”

In the meantime, the girls collected and donated their own books to launch the library. Given its location, Unander believes that as the library continues to expand its collection, visitors will be particularly inclined to leave books about art and history; its public accessibility binds the library to the community and encourages any visitor to the museum to indulge in the exchange of ideas. 

“We are grateful to our Co-Executive Directors Sarah Abruzzi and Joshua Ruff for enthusiastically giving us the green light to use this magnificent space to host our Little Free Library. We all feel this small structure will bring a large amount of joy to all who see it,” said Unander. 

To take a book, leave a book, visit the Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook Thursdays to Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. To learn more about the museum’s exhibits and other programs, visit www.longislandmuseum.org. 

File photo

Did you know? The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook offers docent-led tours of its state-of-the-art Carriage Museum on July 22, July 23 and July 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. Visit eight galleries and learn about the world before cars through conversation, photographs and artifacts. All ages welcome. Free with paid admission to the museum. For more information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

Lou Gehrig with his teammates June 21 1939. Photographer unknown

By Daniel Dunaief

‘The greatest of all, the game which seems to breathe the restless spirit of American life, that calls for quick action and quicker thinking, that seems characteristic of a great nation itself, is baseball.’

Photographer Charles M. Conlon, 1913

Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente and pictures of numerous other legends of the baseball diamond are coming to the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook.

Starting May 18 and going through October 15, the History Museum at the LIM is featuring two baseball exhibits.

In one, called Picturing America’s Pastime, the museum is showcasing a collection of images from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Archive. In the other, called Home Fields, the museum has brought together objects and photos from the Ducks field in Central Islip, the new and old Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Citi Field, Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds. The objects come from regional private collections, including some from the Shea family for whom the home of the original Mets was named.

The museum, which charges $10 admission, is hosting a members only opening reception on June 15. Membership costs $40 for an individual and $60 for a family. At the reception, the museum will serve baseball-inspired food, including Cracker Jacks and popcorn.

Picturing America’s Pastime

In one of the pictures, photographer Charles Conlon captured a determined Ty Cobb successfully stealing third base on July 23, 1910, with the throw going by New York Highlanders third baseman Jimmy Austin. Unlike the instant gratification of modern-day digital photographs, Conlon didn’t know he caught and immortalized the moment until later, when he developed the picture.

The exhibit mixes intimate photos of heroes and legends, with a picture from an unidentified photographer of Yankee legend Lou Gehrig holding court in the dugout with his teammates on June 21, 1939 at Yankee Stadium after returning from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Diagnosed with amyotropic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which is now widely known as “Lou Gehrig disease,” Gehrig gave his speech in which he declares himself “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth” 13 days after the photographer snapped the dugout picture.

“He’s having this semi-private moment with his second family,” described Joshua Ruff, the Co-Executive Director of Collections and Programming at the Long Island Museum. “It’s just amazing that somebody had the wherewithal to capture that photographically and to save that memory for us.”

The pictures also feature an image of Jackie Robinson, clad in a Montreal Royals uniform, entering the Dodgers clubhouse on April 10th, 1947, five days before Robinson became the first black player in Major League Baseball and seven years before the Supreme Court struck down segregation in public schools in Brown vs. the Board of Education. In the photo, taken by William C. Greene, Robinson is holding up a baseball glove in the air and entering a door with the words “Dodgers Club House” above and “Keep Out” below.

The pictures featured in the exhibit are “much more than about the history that’s being achieved on the field,” Ruff added.

The Picturing America’s Pastime exhibit also includes a photo of the 1920 St. Louis Giants from the Negro League, as well as the Muskegon Lassies with the team bus in 1947.

In a snapshot from Chicago’s Comiskey Park in May 1916 by an unidentified photographer, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson sits on the ground with four bats across his right knee. The photo was taken four years before Baseball Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis banned Jackson and seven of his teammates for life from the sport for the Black Sox scandal of 1919.

The pictures also include more recent heroes, such as Japanese sensation Ichiro Suzuki, photographed by Brad Mangin in 2006 at Oakland’s McAfee Coliseum. In his trademark move before he hit, Suzuki is tugging at the right shoulder of his uniform with his left hand while holding the bat vertically in his right.

Home Fields

The Home Fields exhibit, meanwhile, features a collection of paraphernalia from local ballparks, such as a bleacher from the old Yankee Stadium, and seats from the Polo Grounds (where the Yankees and, for two years, the Mets played), Shea (home of the Mets) and Ebbets Field, where the Brooklyn Dodgers played before leaving in 1958.

The museum, which has a Derek Jeter bat from 2007, will display a World Series ring from 1969, when the Miracle Mets defeated the heavily favored, 109-win Baltimore Orioles that included stars Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer.

A replay of seven minutes of the fifth and final game from the 1969 NBC radio broadcast will play in the background, providing ambient baseball sounds for guests. The museum is coordinating a revolving slide show of images from that game in the Home Fields exhibition.

The museum also has a piece of the outfield fence from Shea and pieces of the scoreboard from Yankee and Shea stadiums.

A private collector loaned the museum the on deck circle from 2000 subway series between the Mets and the Yankees. In that series, which was the third consecutive World Series victory for the Yankees, Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens threw a piece of Met Mike Piazza’s broken bat towards the Mets catcher as he made his way towards first on a foul ball, bringing both teams out of their dugouts.

Ruff suggested that the exhibits could spur a range of memories from fans of all ages. Born in Baltimore, he calls himself a “lifetime baseball fan” whose favorite players are Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray. He has loved attending Mets and Yankees games.

Ruff likens these two exhibitions to “playing in the sand box. Hopefully, that will be the same for people that walk through. Whether you’re a fan of the Mets, the Yankees, the Reds or whoever your team is, there’s a lot to appreciate and enjoy when you come see these shows.”

The Long Island Museum is located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook. For more information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.