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The Brush is My Pen:Art that Tells Stories

February 26, 2016 through July 30, 2016

The Brush is My Pen explores American art in the narrative tradition, from the 1820s through today.  From the classically-influenced historical and genre paintings of 19th century artists to powerful contemporary narrative work, artists have long created richly evocative stories.  In this exhibition’s 18 paintings, prints, and photographs, chosen primarily from the Long Island Museum’s permanent collection, artists have explored every aspect of the human condition, just as writers of literary and stage productions.  The exhibition explores narrative art through four separate themes – work, satire, drama, and hope – and includes a range of work from artists of every era.  William Sidney Mount’s Loss and Gain, 1847, a satirical work in support of the American temperance movement, is a typically striking example of the artist’s multi-layered storytelling.  Edward Lamson Henry’s Home Again, 1908, a nostalgically-tinged work expressing longing for an America that was rapidly fading, tells the tale of a family reunion.  And Margery Caggiano’s Michael as Don Manuel Osorio de Zuñiga, 1978, is both an expression of love for the artist’s Spiderman-t-shirt-wearing grandson and a sly reference to the famous Francisco de Goya painting of a similar title.  Whether exploring an aspect of history or simply appealing to the viewer’s sense of humor, all of these works prove the old adage that a “picture is worth a thousand words.”


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