Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Got some things that need getting done.

Not at all sure what the developments have been in the mindnumbingly short-sighted decision to fire all the staff at the Islip Museum yesterday. Joy Garnett interrupted her summer vacation to help raise awarness.

Anyone got any updates?

Labels: art museums, summer


Blogger Tom Hering said...

The only item on Google News, 10 hours old.

8/11/2009 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Larry said...

Long Island has several small but decent museums. In Nassau there is the somewhat hit-and-miss Nassau County Museum of Art and the Hofstra University Gallery, which recently hosted an excellent 5-person print show. Suffolk has the Heckscher Museum in Huntington, home to Huntington resident George Grosz's Empire of the Sun and some other very fine work; just a few months ago they had a spectacular show of prints from ULAE (Larissa Goldston's gallery), with work by Rauschenburg, Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Kiki Smith, Cecily Brown, and more; as well as a fine show by Esphyr Slobodkina. They had some rocky times some years ago when they threatened to sell their best-known George Grosz, but there's a new director and right now I would rate this the best museum on Long Island. Suffolk also has the University Art Gallery at Stony Brook, which is unfortunately open during weekdays, but their Elizabeth Murray show six months ago was a knockout. Stony Brook also has its own museum, which has some interesting Long Island art exhibits but is most notable for an outstanding collection of historical carriages. There is also the Parrish Museum in Southampton, which has some good shows but requires you to travel to the Hamptons, which I try to avoid like the plague especially in summer.

And then there is the Islip Museum. Confession: I have lived within 10 minutes of that museum for almost 20 years but was not even aware of it until a year ago, when I read a review by Benjamin Genocchio in the Times of a show that sounded like a must-see. Islip is a blue-collar area, not a university town like Stony Brook or a mini-Manhattan like Huntington, and the first thing you notice (or rather don't notice) driving is that there is no signage from County Road 50 that there is any kind of museum - unlike the Nassau Museum, for example, which has big signs from NY Route 25A and usually gets decent crowds (and sometimes huge ones when it hosts a show for a popular artist like Red Grooms). The Islip Museum is off a side street, and when I got there, the front door looked badly in need of a paint job and inside there was a musty smell. The show itself, a retrospective of their 50 years of collecting, was absolutely great, but I was the only visitor there on a Sunday afternoon and the staff member at the entrance way seemed bored and was unable to answer any questions about the collection. I don't know how much of this is due to funding, and I will certainly write a letter and call the town. But considering the lack of advertising and the less than auspicious location, it's not surprising the museum has fallen on hard times.

8/11/2009 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Larry said...

"unfortunately open during weekdays"


"unfortunately open ONLY during weekdays"

8/11/2009 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Larry said...

"the first thing you notice (or rather don't notice) driving is that there is no signage from County Road 50 that there is any kind of museum"

Obviously this thread was of no interest to most of the participants, but in the interest of accuracy, I drove by the area the other day and yes, there is a small sign from Route 50 just before you need to turn right onto Irish Lane for the museum. A really small sign. But there was a sign.

I am very glad I posted this. I am now relieved that I did not slander the museum. I can go through the day with a lighter heart.

8/15/2009 10:26:00 AM  

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