ROSLYN HARBOR, N.Y. – From its earliest years, New York City was the stage on which the transformation of the United States played out, reflecting economic and historic upheavals that led to the city’s place as both the financial and art capitals of the world.
“New York, New York,” on view the Nassau Museum of Art July 22-November 5, presents the city’s grit and glamour, its excitement and bustle, and the heartbeat of a great metropolis through the work of John Sloan, Reginald Marsh, Childe Hassam, Red Grooms, Robert Henri, Fairfield Porter, Berenice Abbott, Milton Avery, Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Leipzig and many others. Guest curated by director emerita Constance Schwartz, the exhibition includes more than 140 works of art.
From the extraordinary to the everyday, “New York, New York” reveals the daily life of the city’s populace at work, in their homes, on the streets and at leisure, enjoying the parks, the beaches, the clubs and the bars of the city. In oils, works on paper, photography, prints and sculpture, the works on view explore the city from the early years of the last century almost to the present day. The exhibition is organized thematically to focus on areas of New York City life such as transportation, entertainment, work, home, leisure and more.
Everett Shinn’s watercolor shows the patrons of McSorley’s as the famed bar and its customers appeared in 1908, while Francis Luis Mora’s 1914 oil “Evening News” glimpses people reading the paper as they ride home from work on a train, an innovation of the time that revolutionized travel throughout the city.
New York’s café society of old is represented in Reginald Marsh’s watercolor “Memories of the Stork Club.” Marsh contrasts this image of the city’s elites in his oil “The Bowery,” depicting a male-only group of drinkers. Mora’s work is seen again in the large-scale series titled “Manhattan Cocktail 1626-1938,” created in 1938 for the 1939 World’s Fair.
Harold Roth’s “Water Street” showing kids dashing through the waters of an open hydrant and Rebecca Lipkoff’s “Street Play Monroe Street” portraying youngsters in street games are both photographs depicting city streets during the 1940s. Romare Bearden’s 1972 collage “110th Street Harlem Blues” dramatically portrays the city’s famed African American community. Red Grooms is represented by several pieces, including his massive 1984-85 installation, “The Alley.”
The iconic Brooklyn Bridge, a favorite subject for artists since its opening in 1883, is seen in several works and media, while another frequent subject, Washington Square, is pictured in several works, as is Coney Island, New York’s much-loved playground.
Nassau County Museum of Art is at 1 Museum Drive, just off Northern Boulevard, Route 25A.
For additional information, www.nassaumuseum.org or 516-484-9338.