McNay Art Museum presents Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008
The spirit of Coney Island will come alive in South Texas when the McNay Art Museum presents Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008.
The exhibition explores and celebrates Coney Island, the most iconic, uniquely American amusement park in the United States, which has served as national cultural symbol inspiring artists, musicians, novelists, poets, and filmmakers. From Coney Island’s beginning as a watering hole for the wealthy, through its transformation into an entertainment mecca for the masses, to the closing of Astroland Amusement Park following decades of urban decline, this first-of-its-kind exhibition uses visual art as a lens to explore 150 years of Coney Island.
Coney Island was organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut. The McNay is the exhibition’s only Southwest venue. It will feature more than 140 objects, comprised of both celebrated icons of American art and rarely shown works from both public and private collections, including paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, circus posters, sideshow banners, architectural artifacts and carousel animals. Visitors to the exhibition will be immersed in the culture of Coney Island through memorabilia, sound recordings and film clips, including documentaries and popular films.