- By Robin Jaffee Frank Charles Denson Josh Glick John F. Kasson Charles Musser

Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008

  • Title: Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008
  • Author: Robin Jaffee Frank Charles Denson Josh Glick John F. Kasson Charles Musser
  • ISBN: 9780300189902
  • Page: 277
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Coney Island Visions of an American Dreamland Called America s playground Coney Island is a world famous resort and national cultural symbol that has inspired music literature and films This groundbreaking book is the first to look at the site

    Called America s playground, Coney Island is a world famous resort and national cultural symbol that has inspired music, literature, and films This groundbreaking book is the first to look at the site s enduring status as inspiration for artists throughout the ages, from its inception as an elite seaside resort in the mid 19th century, to its evolution into an entertainCalled America s playground, Coney Island is a world famous resort and national cultural symbol that has inspired music, literature, and films This groundbreaking book is the first to look at the site s enduring status as inspiration for artists throughout the ages, from its inception as an elite seaside resort in the mid 19th century, to its evolution into an entertainment mecca for the masses, with the eventual closing of its iconic amusement park, Astroland, in 2008 after decades of urban decline How artists chose to portray Coney Island between 1861 and 2008 in tableaux of wonder and menace, hope and despair, dreams and nightmares mirrored the aspirations and disappointments of the era This dazzling catalogue highlights than 200 images from Coney Island s history, including paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, posters, film stills, architectural artifacts, and carousel animals An extraordinary array of artists is represented, from George Bellows, William Merritt Chase, Reginald Marsh, and Joseph Stella to Diane Arbus, Jean Michel Basquiat, Robert Frank, Red Grooms, Weegee, and Swoon Essays by prominent scholars analyze Coney Island through its imagery and ephemera as both a place and an idea one that reflected the collective soul of the nation.

    1 thought on “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008

    1. A beautiful book filled with incredible paintings and photographs. A definitive history of Coney Island and a metaphor for how Americans enjoyed themselves for 150 years. The book ends, sadly, with the boardwalk being turned into a cement walk and the last remaining park, Astroland, closing so million dollar condos can be built. It tells how, for many years, Coney Island was a place where the rich and poor could mingle, where the gorgeous towers of Dreamland once towered, with gleaming electric [...]

    2. One of the best exhibition catalogues I have ever encountered. A careful balance of actuality and visualisation. Exhaustive research for images of the tawdry and the garish and ending with a golden glow of understanding. Given the tendency in American Society for the popular acceptance of the Snake Oil Salesman (Huey Long, Donald Trump), Coney Island has all my fears and hopes in microcosm.

    3. I saw the exhibit on which this book is based, which is terrific. The book is well-produced and beautiful to behold.

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