Tea & Talk – “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861 – 2008”

August 6, 2019 @ 4:00 pm
$28 with advance reservation; $32 day of

Author and museum curator Robin Jaffee Frank will give a presentation on “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861 – 2008,” the subject of a traveling art exhibition for which she was the curator and lead author of the accompanying catalogue and succeeding hardcover book.  Frank will take her audience for a visual ride here at the mansion. During a Victorian tea following her presentation, the speaker will autograph copies of the book.

Called “America’s Playground,” Coney Island is a world-famous resort and national cultural symbol that has inspired music, literature and films.  The groundbreaking book is the first to look at the site’s enduring status as inspiration for artists, from its inception as an elite seaside resort in the mid-19th century to its evolution into an entertainment mecca for the masses and to its decline and eventual closing.

How artists chose to portray Coney Island between 1861 and 2008 – in tableaux of wonder and menace, hope and despair, dreams and nightmares – mirrored the aspirations and disappointments of the era.

Frank, considered an innovative art museum curator, has organized exhibitions, lectured and published widely on American visual culture from the colonial to contemporary periods.  As chief curator of the Wadsworth Athenaeum, she oversaw the museum’s reinstallation of its newly renovated galleries, opened in 2015.  Before then, she was a curator at the Yale University Art Gallery.

The summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Tickets for the tea & Talk are $28 for advance reservations and $32 day of the event.  Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.  For reservations call us at 413-637-3206.