Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008 at Brooklyn Museum, through March 13, 2016

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

“The modern American mass-culture industry was born at Coney Island, and the constant novelty of the resort made it a seductively liberating subject for artists. What these artists saw from 1861 to 2008 at Coney Island, and the varied ways in which they chose to portray it, mirrored the aspirations and disappointments of the era and the country. Taken together, these tableaux of wonder and menace, hope and despair, dreams and nightmares become metaphors for the collective soul of a nation.” — Dr. Robin Jaffee Frank, exhibition curator

20151118-EW6A0004-Edit

Exhibition entrance

20151118-EW6A0035

If you’re feeling lucky, give our wheel of chance a spin and let it guide you on your way into the world of Coney Island…

20151118-EW6A0049-Edit-Edit

Steeplechase Funny Face

20151118-EW6A0063

Right: W. F. Mangels Co. Carousel Works, Windmill Shooting Gallery Target and Shooting Gallery Target, ca. 1907-1920

20151118-EW6A0054

Leo McKay, Steeplechase Park, 1903-5

20151118-EW6A0059

Left: Mae West and Jimmy Durante, ca. 1910. Right: Nieman Studios, Inc., Shackles The Great, sideshow banner, 1940

20151118-EW6A0043-Edit

Center: Quito, Human Octopus, sideshow banner, 1940

20151118-EW6A0046

Left: Lisette Model, Coney Island Bather, New York, ca. 1939 – July 1941

20151118-EW6A0051-Edit

Joseph Stella, Battle of Lights, Coney Island, Mardi Gras, 1913-–14

20151118-EW6A0065

Installation view

20151118-EW6A0066-Edit

Installation view

20151118-EW6A0048

Solomon Stein, Harry Goldstein. Left to right: Armored Horse and Carousel Horse with Raised Head

20151118-EW6A0053

Left: Harry Roseland, Coney Island Fair Amusement Palace, Night in Egypt, 1932. Right: Reginald Marsh, Wonderland Circus, Sideshow Coney Island, 1930

20151118-EW6A0062

Installation view

20151118-EW6A0060

Left: Charles. I. D. Looff, Arabian Camel Stander, ca. 1895

20151118-EW6A0064

Frank Stella, Coney Island, 1958 © 2013 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York