Artists who depicted Long Island in the nineteenth century continually focused on the island as an edible Eden: its carefully tended fields, its bountiful orchards, its healthy livestock, and its diverse wildlife both in the forest and nearby coast waters. Each was attainable in great quantity, seemingly limited only by how hard one was willing to work. The Mount family, Charles Yardley Turner, Harry Roseland, Frederick William Kost, Gaines Ruger Donoho, and other artists serve as guides to the cornucopia of foods that Long Islanders grew, raised, hunted and gathered. Collectively, these works of art are also a testament to rural America’s resourcefulness and success at working the land and water.
This beautiful and important exhibition focuses on the creative productivity and shared aesthetics of a unique East End Long Island couple who have achieved high levels of artistic success. Judith Leiber (b. 1921) is an internationally celebrated designer of handbags and accessories, whose client list includes almost every First Lady from Mamie Eisenhower to Laura Bush, the opera singer Beverly Sills and many other celebrities. Gerson Leiber (b. 1922) is an Abstract Expressionist artist with a large body of oil canvases, etchings, prints and sculptures to his credit.
Married for 70 years, the Leibers have had a profound support and influence on one another that is best seen in a pairing of their work. The exhibition will provide a retrospective examination of each and examine how this confluence of creativity has led to their continued achievements. Both have fascinating biographies. Judith Leiber (nee Peto) was born in Budapest, the daughter of upper-middle class Jews, and survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary. In 1946 she met and married Gerson Leiber, a young American GI from Pennsylvania who had aspirations of becoming an artist. While Judith built her career working for Nettie Rosenstein (the Brooklyn-based designer who created the little black dress) and then launched her own company, Gerson continued to evolve as an artist, exhibiting his paintings, etchings and lithographs in many American galleries.
Brilliant Partners includes a selection of approximately 130 of Judith’s handbags and nearly 50 works of art from Gerson. This exhibition provides a wide-angle lens on both their lives and influences upon one another.
The Long Island Museum
Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian affiliate, dedicated to American history and art with a Long Island connection.
The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and Sunday from noon to 5.
Regular admission is $10 per person, $7 for seniors and $5 for students ages six to 17. Children under six and museum members are free.
For more information call 631-751-0066