Wild, hot, roaring, and free, the Jazz Age is immediately identified as the decadent heyday of such heroes as Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter, Josephine Baker, e.e. cummings, Langston Hughes and other rebels who would “live it up to write it down” in New York, Paris and the Riviera. The gang’s all here in one multimedia exhibition that combines art, literature and music. Explore the masterpieces and experiments of a generation that changed the history of Modernism. The giants among the artists of the Twenties were Picasso, Léger, Miro, Gaston Lachaise, Stuart Davis, Florine Stettheimer and Tamara de Lempicka. Composers such as Gershwin and Porter were taking syncopation and the blues to new heights, while the Ballets Russes broke all dance conventions. The literature of the era included such masterworks as James Joyce’s Ulysses and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, which was begun in nearby Great Neck and inspired in part by a painting by Francis Cugat that is one of the highlights of the show. A gallery dedicated to the super-heroes of the age includes memorabilia related to Lindbergh and the original Hobey Baker trophy, college hockey’s highest honor named for a World War I flying ace who was the real-life inspiration for some of Fitzgerald’s characters.
With powerful paintings and sculpture, intimate drawings (some never before exhibited), bold posters, sheet music, fashion, eye-dazzling jewelry, sleek furniture, and musical instruments (including Victrola turntables and a piano playing Gershwin’s own piano rolls), the exhibition brings the Jazz Age vividly to life. “Living well is the best revenge” was the motto of an extraordinarily fortunate generation, anything but “lost,” that remains today the epitome of sheer creative freedom.
The exhibition has been underwritten by a generous gift from Americana Manhasset and Wheatley Plaza, with additional funding provided by the Ritz-Carlton Residences and Charles Scribner III.
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The grounds of the Nassau County Museum will never be the same after the installation of Marko Remec’s monumental and thrilling new works, commissioned for the Museum and sited by the artist himself: Field Totem and Tall Totem. Along the sinuous drive, rising and falling with the gentle contours of a pair of hills, the elegant Field Totem stretches like a diamond tennis bracelet over the landscape. The entrance of the main building receives a fanfare in brilliant mirrors soaring twenty-six feet into the sky with Tall Totem.
Remec is an internationally renowned figure in contemporary art whose recent triumphs with similar site-specific works have included immensely popular works at Mass MOCA and the Long House Reserve. A former investment banker turned sculptor, Remec is a graduate of Williams College. This is the first phase of a major program of new works planned for the grounds of the Museum, long renowned as one of the region’s most important collections of outdoor sculpture.
Nassau County Museum of Art
One Museum Drive
Roslyn Harbor, NY 11576