Seventy years ago, SPLIA was founded. At its center was Howard C. Sherwood, a wealthy urban antiquarian who bequeathed to the Society his collection of American antiques and the 18th-century Sherwood-Jayne Farm.
In 1976, SPLIA curator, Dean Failey, mounted the first exhibition to explore Long Island’s rich decorative arts heritage. More than forty years later, its groundbreaking discoveries continue to inspire and inform. Collecting Long Island follows the continued efforts of collectors to expand our knowledge of Long Island’s complex material past.
#MyLongIslandLandmarks was inspired by an Instagram hashtag. What resulted was a wonderful assemblage of well-known historic “landmarks” as well as Long Island places that, on the surface, may seem ordinary but become meaningful once their stories are known.
This exhibition explored how the art of cartography was used during the 19th and 20th centuries to define the geography of Long Island as a place for investment, industry and commerce, home-building, and ultimately, substantial growth and profit.
Dedicated to the late Huyler Held, a Preservation Long Island past president, this exhibition featured many of our most significant acquisitions, ranging from eighteenth-century masterworks of Long Island decorative arts to 20th-century ephemera.
Step back in time to see how Long Island was in the early 1900s through the ever-before-seen images of photographers Clarence A. Purchase, Arthur S. Greene, and Harry R. Gelwicks.