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The American West tells the story of the aftermath of the Civil War and how the United States transformed into the "land of opportunity." The series tells the stories of the Old West’s greatest names—Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Colonel Custer, and others.

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Visions From an American Dreamland

 


"Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland" will be the first major exhibition to use visual art as a lens to explore the lure that Coney Island exerted on American culture over a period of 150 years. An extraordinary array of artists viewed Coney Island as a microcosm of the American experience, from its beginnings as a watering hole for the wealthy, through its transformation into an entertainment mecca for the masses, to the closing of Astroland Amusement Park following decades of urban decline.

From early depictions of “the people’s beach” by Impressionists William Merritt Chase and John Henry Twachtman to modern and contemporary images by photographers Diane Arbus and Walker Evans, Red Grooms, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Reginald Marsh, Joseph Stella, Swoon and George Tooker, Coney Island will investigate America’s playground as a place and an idea.

Coney Island was the birthplace of the modern American mass-culture industry, and the constant novelty of the resort made it a seductively liberating subject for artists. What these artists saw from 1861 to 2008 at Coney Island and how they chose to portray it varied widely in style and mood over time, mirroring the aspirations and disappointments of the era and of the country. Taken together, these tableaux of wonder and menace, hope and despair, dreams and nightmares, become metaphors for the collective soul of a nation.

Coney Island features more than 140 objects—paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, posters, architectural artifacts, and carousel animals—supplemented by ephemera and film clips.


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Book: How to Recognizing and Refinishing Antiques for Pleasure and Profit
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