Walt Whitman’s Arcadia: Long Island Through the Eyes of a Poet & Painters
February 15 through September 2, 2019
Walt Whitman’s writing reveled in a 19th century America that swept far past, in place and reference, the Long Island region that had once been his childhood home. Still, Whitman’s prose and poetry often reveals the Long Island that he loved: a place of farmers, fishermen, and uniquely beautiful landscapes and seascapes. This exhibition, marking the great American bard’s 200th birthday celebration, pairs Whitman’s words with contemporary artist’s painted depictions of Long Island. From “the wild unrest” and “tossing waves” of Montauk Point to the “isle of sweet brooks of drinking-water—healthy air and soil,” Whitman often returned to “fish-shaped Paumanok,” a region that also inspired growing numbers of artists throughout the 1800s. Walt Whitman’s Arcadia will present chosen passages from Whitman’s writings alongside more than 20 paintings by William Sidney Mount, John F. Kensett, Lemuel Wiles, and more. The stunning wooded landscapes, rustic scenery, and rugged shoreline that so captivated Whitman was equally fascinating to artists from across the region.
Admission is free opening weekend, February 15 through 17, 2019.