Nassau County Museum of Art

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Nassau County Museum of Art
Established 1969
Location Roslyn Harbor, NY, USA
Coordinates 40°48′35″N 73°38′34″W / 40.80965°N 73.64286°W / 40.80965; -73.64286
Type Art
Visitors 200,000[1]
Director Karl E. Willers, Ph.D.
Website Nassau County Museum of Art

The Nassau County Museum of Art (NCMA) is located 20 miles east of New York City on the former Frick Estate, a 145-acre (59 ha) property in Roslyn Harbor in the heart of Long Island’s Gold Coast. The main museum building, named in honor of art collectors and philanthropists Arnold A. Saltzman and his wife Joan, is a three-story Georgian mansion that exemplifies Gold Coast architecture of the late 19th century.[citation needed] In addition to the mansion, NCMA, which receives nearly 200,000 visitors each year, includes the Art Space for Children, the Sculpture Park, the Formal Garden, rare specimen trees, marked walking trails and the Art School where an extensive array of beginning to advanced art classes are held for adults and children.


NCMA annually presents major rotating exhibitions, many of which are original to the museum and are organized by the museum’s own curatorial staff.[citation needed] The museum's exhibitions have reached across a broad spectrum of artistic concerns—from European and American art movements,[Exh 1][Exh 2][Exh 3][Exh 4][Exh 5][Exh 6][Exh 7][Exh 8][Exh 9] to epochs of American and European history,[Exh 10][Exh 11][Exh 12][Exh 13][Exh 14][Exh 15][Exh 16] to the influences of one art form on another [Exh 17][Exh 18][Exh 19] and to the impact of Long Island artists on art and design.[Exh 20][Exh 21] In addition to these major exhibitions, NCMA mounts smaller original exhibitions in the Library Gallery and the Second Floor galleries and regularly showcases work by today’s artists in the Contemporary Gallery.

NCMA’s collection of more than 600 art objects spans American and European art of the 19th and 20th centuries. Encompassing all types of media, the collection includes works by Auguste Rodin, Georges Braque, Édouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Rivers, Robert Rauschenberg, Chaim Gross, Moses Soyer, Audrey Flack, Frank Stella, George Segal and Alex Katz among many others. Particularly notable are the museum’s holdings of works by Latin American artists of the 20th- and 21st-centuries. Among those represented in this collection are Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Fernando Botero, Alejandro Colunga, Luiz Cruz Azeceta, Arnaldo Roche-Rabell and Efrain Almeida.

A major reorganization of the former Tee Ridder Miniatures Museum resulted in a facility that is dedicated to art and art-related activities for children and their families. Reflecting its new mission, the building is now called the Art Space for Children. A grassroots funding campaign has been launched by the museum to expand and completely transform the Art Space for Children.[citation needed]

NCMA's 145 acres 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, Alexander Calder, Fernando Botero, Chaim Gross, Alejandro Colunga, Masayuki Nagare, Richard Serra, Manolo Valdes and many others. The Sculpture Park was founded in 1989.[citation needed]

The museum's gardens and walking trails are also notable.[citation needed] 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.


The land that eventually became the museum grounds was previously the undeveloped portion of Cedarmere, poet William Cullen Bryant's retreat from his busy life in New York City. In the 1890s, his family sold all but seven acres to former congressman Lloyd Bryce, who hired Ogden Codman, Jr. to build a Georgian Revival mansion on the high ground in the middle of the property, overlooking nearby Hempstead Harbor. He named it Clayton.

In 1919 Bryant’s heirs sold the estate to Henry Clay Frick, the co-founder of U.S. Steel, for his son, Childs Frick. The architect Sir Charles Carrick Allow was commissioned to redesign the facade and much of the interior. The Fricks named their home Clayton. Childs Frick and his wife Frances lived at Clayton for almost 50 years, until his death in 1965. The county bought the estate four years later and converted it into a museum, called Nassau County Museum of Art. In 1989, NCMA became a private not-for-profit institution and since has been governed and funded by a private board of trustees which includes many of Long Island’s most prominent business, civic and social leaders.

The Fine Arts Museum of Long Island, which spun off from the Nassau County Museum of Art, operated from 1978 to 2003.[2]

Past exhibitions[edit]

  1. ^ Surrealism, September 2000 & May 2007
  2. ^ Reflections of Opulence, May 2001
  3. ^ A Century of Prints, March 2003
  4. ^ La Belle Epoque, June 2003
  5. ^ European Art Between the Wars, May 2004
  6. ^ Picasso, February 2005
  7. ^ Picasso and the School of Paris, November 2006
  8. ^ Pop and Op, February 2008
  9. ^ The Subject is Women: Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, January 2010
  10. ^ The Revolutionary War, January 2000
  11. ^ Napoleon And His Age, January 2001
  12. ^ Window on the West, February 2002
  13. ^ The World of Theodore Roosevelt, November 2002
  14. ^ The WPA Era, August 2004
  15. ^ The American Spirit: Paintings by Mort Künstler, August 2006
  16. ^ Napoleon and Eugenie, June 2009
  17. ^ Dance, Dance, Dance, June 2000
  18. ^ Explosive Photography/Photorealism, January 2004
  19. ^ Geoffrey Holder: A Life in Art, Theater and Dance, November 2007
  20. ^ The Hamptons Since Pollock, April 2000
  21. ^ Tiffany and the Gilded Age, September 2008


  1. ^ "Annual Statement". Nassau County Museum of Art. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  2. ^ Julia C. Mead (2003-06-22). "Art; It's the End of the Road for a Treasured Museum". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 

External links[edit]