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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

Exhibition entrance

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…

Steeplechase Funny Face

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

Leo McKay, Steeplechase Park, 1903-5

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

Center: Quito, Human Octopus, sideshow banner, 1940

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

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

Installation view

Installation view

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

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

Installation view

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

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

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