19th-Century Themes, Some Resonant Today
AT first glance, an 1839 oil painting, “Catching Rabbits,” showing two boys with a dead rabbit and a wooden trap, does not seem to have a political message. Likewise, an 1835 canvas, “The Sportsman’s Last Visit,” depicting a young woman coquettishly listening to one man as she ignores another in the room, seems to have no agenda beyond an amusing look at a suitor spurned.
Both, however, are part of “Facing the Issues: William Sidney Mount and Current Events,” an exhibition at the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages that seeks to link paintings by Mount, who lived in Stony Brook and did much of his work here, with the political, economic and social events of his time. Some of them even have relevance today.
This is one exhibition in which it is important to read the texts on the wall and pay attention to details in the pictures. Some knowledge of American history helps, too....
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