Nassau County Museum of Art
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Exhibits: The Sea Around Us

Dates: June 5, 2010 through September 12, 2010

Sponsored by David Lerner Associates
Additional sponsorship by Astoria Federal Savings

Our current exhibition “The Sea Around Us” with the featured painting of Maurice de Vlaminck, is on loan from The Great Art Fund, LLC and made possible by the generous sponsorship of David Lerner Associates, Inc. one of the museum’s most generous supporters.

NCMA’s newest exhibition portrays the magnetism we feel for bodies of water alongside the dangers, even the terror, that seas often present. This exhibition examines the romantic fascination artists have always had for expanses of water through American and European artists working in many styles from the mid-19th century to the present. Organized by Director Emerita Constance Schwartz, the exhibition opens on Saturday, June 5 and remains on view through Sunday, September 12. The Sea Around Us is sponsored by David Lerner Associates with additional sponsorship by Astoria Federal Savings.

The Sea Around Us celebrates the oceans and waters that cover much of the earth’s surface. With our increasing awareness of environmental issues, this exhibition provides an examination of how artists have portrayed both the attractions and dangers of oceans and waters as well as their qualities as metaphor.

Waterscapes provide the frontier in this exhibition. Offering a fresh look at marine art, The Sea Around Us includes artistic styles from 19th-century American landscape and Impressionism to those of modern and contemporary artists. They depict water as a natural phenomena that seems to overpower mankind. Imagery in the exhibition ranges from placid seas, quiet lakes and sun-filled beaches to the dramatic dangers inherent in angry seas, tsunamis and creatures of the sea. Man-made objects such as ports and seaside villages, boats and ships, wharfs and docks are dwarfed by the grandeur of nature. The imagery of men dominated by the natural force of water has frequently fueled the artist’s imagination. These are subtle allegories of the span of life and of the struggle and joy experienced as mankind attempts to conquer that which is unconquerable.

Included in The Sea Around Us are works by Jasper F. Cropsey, Thomas Buttersworth, Childe Hassam, Red Grooms, Edward Hopper, Louis Comfort Tiffany as well as other masters of seascapes. The works on view are on loan from such prestigious institutions as the Newark Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and other major public and private collections.

In addition to an illustrated catalogue of the exhibition, NCMA offer several public programs to add to the enjoyment of the exhibition. Among these are Private Tea & Tour of the Exhibition (July 14 and August 25), Sea Fever with Charles A. Riley II, Ph.D (July 18), Highlands of the Hudson with Stephen P. Rice, Ph.D. (August 7) and a family boat-making workshop, What Floats Your Boat? (July 24). Select EVENTS on the left-hand side of the page for details.

Pierre Bonnard

Mediterranean, 1935
Gouache on paper
9 3/4x 13 inches
Nassau County Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Lewyt


Maximilien Luce

Port of Rotterdam, 1903
Oil on canvas
Nassau County Museum of Art Permanent Collection


Maurice Prendergast

By the Seashore, ca. 1902-04
Oil on cradled wood panel
17 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches
Gift of John R. Mitchell and Eleanor R. Mitchell
Collection of the Mitchell Museum at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon, Illinois


William Glackens

Summer Day,
Bellport, Long Island, 1913
Oil on canvas
33 7/8 x 40 inches
Gift of John R. Mitchell and
Eleanor R. Mitchell
Collection of the Mitchell Museum at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon, Illinois


Jasper F. Cropsey

Long Beach, 1882
Watercolor on paper
10 3/4 x 20 inches
Courtesy of the Newington-Cropsey Foundation