Coney Island : Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008 - the exhibition catalogue from Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Coney Island : Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008

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'This book looks at Coney Island's enduring status as inspiration for artists over many years, from its inception as an elite seaside resort in the mid-19th century, to its evolution into an entertainment mecca for the masses, with the eventual closing of Astroland, in 2008, after decades of urban decline' - Publishers Weekly 

An engaging coffee table book looking at Coney Island's status as an inspiration for artists

Coney Island is a world-famous resort and national cultural symbol that has inspired music, literature, and films. The modern American mass-culture industry was born at Coney Island, and the constant novelty of the resort made it a seductively liberating subject for artists. This groundbreaking companion book to an exhibition at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the first to look at the site's enduring status as inspiration for artists throughout the ages. 

What these artists saw from 1861 to 2008 at Coney Island and how they chose to portray it varied widely in style and mood over time from early depictions of 'the people’s beach' by Impressionists William Merritt Chase and John Henry Twachtman to modern and contemporary images by photographers Diane Arbus and Walker Evans and artists Red Grooms, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Joseph Stella and George Tooker.

This beautiful catalogue highlights more than 200 images from Coney Island's history, including paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, posters, film stills, architectural artefacts, and carousel animals. Essays by prominent scholars analyse Coney Island through its imagery and ephemera as both a place and an idea.

This exhibition catalogue won the New York City Book Awards Hornblower Award in December 2015.

Details
  • Author: Robin FrankChief Curator and Krieble Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
  • Hardcover: 304 pages | 228 colour and 77 black and white illustrations
  • Date published: March 2015
  • Language: English
  • Delivery: Allow 1-2 weeks
  • ISBN: 978-0300189902
  • Product Dimensions: 28.0 x 24.0 cm
Reviews

'[Coney Island] memories are occasioned by the publication of a dazzling, dizzying new book/exhibition catalog Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008' - Brooklyn Daily Eagle

'As befits a dreamland, the exhibit--curated by Robin Jaffee Frank, who also wrote much of the show's excellent, richly illustrated catalogue--is a mix of artifacts and artworks and a trove of suggestive juxtapositions.' - The New York Review of Books 

'Students of both social history and American art history will be richly rewarded by this book, which is a valuable resource for anyone interested in American visual culture' -  Panorama Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art

'This book looks at Coney Island's enduring status as inspiration for artists over many years, from its inception as an elite seaside resort in the mid-19th century, to its evolution into an entertainment mecca for the masses, with the eventual closing of Astroland, in 2008, after decades of urban decline' - Publishers Weekly


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