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Nassau County Museum of Art Examines the Romantic Fascination of the Sea
Maximilien Luce, Port of Rotterdam, 1903. Oil on canvas. Nassau County Museum of Art Permanent Collection.

ROSLYN HARBOR.- Nassau County Museum of Art’s (NCMA) 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, Claude Monet, Louis Comfort Tiffany and N.C. and James Wyeth 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.

Nassau County Museum of Art | Emerita Constance Schwartz | "The Sea Around Us" |

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