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The Long Island Museum is dedicating to inspiring people of all ages with an understanding and enjoyment of American art, history, and carriages, as expressed through the heritage of Long Island and its diverse communities.
The Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages is located in the village of Stony Brook on the North Shore of Suffolk County, Long Island. The organization was established in 1935 by volunteer educators and historians to preserve artifacts representative of America’s heritage and to enrich community life through educational programs for children. The museum was incorporated in 1939 as a non-profit educational organization and was chartered in 1942 by the State of New York Education Department. It has evolved into the largest privately supported museum on Long Island (Suffolk and Nassau counties). The museum has been accredited by the American Association of Museums since 1973. In 2006 the Long Island Museum became a Smithsonian Affiliate.
Three separate museums on nine acres exhibit American art, horse-drawn carriages, and historic artifacts. Several historic buildings have been moved to the museum grounds to assure their preservation. Since the 1940s, facets of the museum’s collection have evolved into holdings of national and international importance. The art collection numbers over 4,000 paintings, sculptures and prints dating from the early 1800s to the present, including the largest collection of paintings by America’s premier genre artist, William Sidney Mount. Works from the permanent collection and changing exhibitions are displayed in the Art Museum’s two galleries. The History Museum features exhibitions with historical and cultural themes. Permanent exhibits include a delightful miniature rooms gallery, and The Bayman’s Art, an outstanding collection of waterfowl decoys in an environmental setting. The Carriage Museum displays an internationally acclaimed collection of historic American and European horse-drawn vehicles. Over 100 carriages are on view, including royal coaches, stagecoaches, gypsy wagons, phaetons and a fire-fighting pumper. The three museum buildings house a total of 13 galleries, which feature exhibitions, developed by the museum or borrowed from other organizations.
The Long Island Museum is dedicated to the promotion of life-long learning. The historic structures, collections and special exhibitions provide the basis for mission-based educational programs that serve students, children, families and adults. Students are served through on-site and outreach programs for grades Pre-K through 12 and through sessions for the developmentally and physically challenged. High school and college students are involved with programs developed in conjunction with special exhibitions and with subject focus sessions drawn from the collections. The museum also offers teacher-training sessions for credit through the Suffolk County Organization for the Promotion of Education (SCOPE). The museum is a vital educational force on Long Island. Last year, school programs served nearly 13,000 children from 47 school districts and 28 private schools and learning centers from Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Afternoon, weekend and vacation programs for children ages 3 and up involved 2,500 participants in hands-on learning opportunities developed from the collections and special exhibitions; examples being preschool story hours, discovery programs; scout programs and special exhibition-related workshops.
Programs for families and adults are held on the museum grounds as a part of the general museum experience and include living history sessions, demonstrations of traditional craft and industry, musical events exhibition tours, workshops and festivals. Last year, public programs attracted more than 7,500 participants. The museum is fully accessible to the disabled.