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Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford, CT 06103-2911)
Robin Jaffee Frank (Project Director: August 2012 to April 2016)
Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008

Implementation of a traveling exhibition, a catalog, and public programs about the history of Coney Island and its depiction in art and popular culture over the last 150 years.

"Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008" will be the first major art exhibition to investigate America's playground as a place and an idea, from its beginnings as a watering hole for the wealthy, through its transformation into an entertainment mecca for the masses, to the closing of its last amusement park, Astroland, following decades of urban decline. The exhibition will feature approximately 140 objects--many of them revered icons of American art--including paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, posters, architectural artifacts, and exuberant carousel animals. A world-famous resort and a national cultural symbol, Coney Island has inspired not only groundbreaking art, but also music, literature, and films. Therefore, in this multimedia exhibition, works of art will be supplemented by film clips, sound recordings, and ephemera that will immerse visitors in the popular culture of Coney Island.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

America's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants

Public Programs

$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2013 – 12/31/2015