Nassau County Museum of Art
Ranked among the nation’s most important suburban art museums, Nassau County Museum of Art (NCMA) is located 25 miles east of New York City on the former Frick Estate, a spectacular 145-acre property in Roslyn Harbor in the heart of Long Island’s fabled Gold Coast. The main museum building, named in honor of art collectors and philanthropists Arnold and Joan Saltzman, is a three-story Georgian mansion that exemplifies Gold Coast architecture of the late 19th century.
In addition to the Arnold & Joan Saltzman Fine Art Building, Nassau County Museum of Art includes the Sculpture Park, Formal Gardens of historic importance, the Pinetum, ponds, woodlands, an architecturally-significant restored trellis, rare specimen trees, and marked walking trails.
Nassau County Museum of Art presents major rotating exhibitions, many of which are original to the museum and are organized by the museum’s own curatorial staff. Always adventurous in scope, exhibitions have reached across a broad spectrum of artistic concerns—European and American art movements (Surrealism, September 2000 & May 2007; Reflections of Opulence, May 2001, A Century of Prints, March 2003, La Belle Epoque, June 2003, European Art Between the Wars, May 2004, Picasso, February 2005, Picasso and the School of Paris. November 2006, Pop and Op, February 2008: Miró/Dubuffet/Basquiat, March 2010; Milton Avery & The End of Modernism, January 2011; Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos, September 2011; Sculpture/Jim Dine/Pinocchio, March 2012; Marc Chagall July 2012;Alex Katz, June 2013 Peter Max, October 2013); epochs of American history (The Revolutionary War, January 2000, Window on the West, February 2002, The World of Theodore Roosevelt, November 2002, The WPA Era, August 2004, The American Spirit, August 2006, The Civil War in Paintings by Mort Künstler, September 2010), the influences of one art form on another (Dance, Dance, Dance, June 2000, Explosive Photography/Photorealism, January 2004, Geoffrey Holder: A Life in Art, Theater and Dance, November 2007), the impact of Long Island artists on contemporary art (The Hamptons Since Pollock, April 2000), and the influence of dynamic world leaders on the arts (Napoleon And His Age, January 2001, Napoleon & Eugenie, June 2009). In addition to these major exhibitions, the museum mounts original exhibitions Second Floor galleries and regularly showcases work by some of today's most intriguing established and emerging artists in the Contemporary Collectors Gallery.
The permanent collection of more than 500 art objects spans American and European art of the 19th and 20th centuries. Encompassing all types of media, the collection includes works by Rodin, Braque, Vuillard, Bonnard, Lichtenstein, Rivers, Rauschenberg, Chaim Gross, Moses Soyer, Frank Stella, and Alex Katz among many others.
The 145 acres of the former Frick Estate constitute one of the largest publicly accessible sculpture gardens on the East Coast. Among the more than 40 sculptures sited on the property to interact with the natural environment are works by Tom Otterness, Fernando Botero, Chaim Gross, Alejandro Colunga, Masayuki Nagare, Richard Serra, Manolo Valdes and many others. The Sculpture Park was founded in 1989.
Accredited by the New York State Board of Regents as a museum and educational institution, NCMA serves more than 18,000 Long Island school children and their teachers who visit the museum each year for exhibition tours and art-related activities. The Education Department additionally sponsors extensive programming for children, adults and family groups and also offers professional development to Long Island’s educators. Regular programs for families and children include the popular Family Sundays at the Museum, an interactive afternoon of gallery talks and hands-on art making. NCMA’s professional education staff is augmented by more than 300 volunteers including 40 docents who provide informative exhibition tours for the public and who extend the museum's reach by offering exhibition talks in community-based venues such as libraries and senior citizen centers.
Commissioned in 1925 by Frances Frick, an avid horticulturist and garden club member, the Frick Estate’s Formal Gardens have been restored to the original design of the famed landscape architect, Marian Cruger Coffin. Coffin considered these Formal Gardens to be among her finest creations. In recent years, the historic garden trellis and water tower have been restored to original condition. Additionally, many pathways through the 145-acre property are now marked as guided nature trails.
HISTORY OF THE ESTATE
In 1919, Henry Clay Frick, the co-founder of U.S. Steel, purchased the property once owned by the poet and preservationist, William Cullen Bryant, for his son, Childs Frick. The architect Sir Charles Carrick Allom was commissioned to redesign the facade and much of the interior of the home which the Fricks named Clayton. The younger Frick and his wife Frances lived at Clayton for almost 50 years. Following Childs Frick’s death in 1965, the estate was purchased by Nassau County which then converted it to a museum, now the Nassau County Museum of Art.
Once administered by Nassau County’s Office of Cultural Development, the museum became a private not-for-profit institution in 1989 and is governed and funded by a private board of trustees which includes many of Long Island’s prominent business, civic and social leaders.
The museum is chartered and accredited under the laws of New York State as a not-for-profit private educational institution and museum. The museum is funded through income derived from admissions, parking, membership, special events and private and corporate donations as well as federal and state grants.
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Nassau County Museum of Art is located at One Museum Drive in Roslyn Harbor, just off Northern Boulevard, Route 25A, two traffic lights west of Glen Cove Road. Admission to the main building, the Arnold & Joan Saltzman Fine Art Building, is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62+) and $4 for students and children ages 4-12. Members are always admitted free of charge. Docent-led tours of the exhibition are offered at 2 p.m. each day; tours of the mansion are offered each Saturday at 1 p.m.; meet in the lobby, no reservations needed. Tours are free with museum admission. Family art activities and family tours are offered Sundays from 1 pm; free with museum admission. Call (516) 484-9338, ext. 12 to inquire about group tours. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Weekends only there is a $2 parking fee (members free). The Museum Store is open 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Periwinkles Café at the Museum is open Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (516) 484-9337 for current exhibitions, events, days/times and directions or log onto nassaumuseum.org.