Long Island, one of the most demographically diverse regions in the state and nation, boasts a large and growing Hispanic population — one that is currently estimated to make up 16.3 percent of all residents.
In its efforts to create greater connections with Long Island’s Spanish-speaking residents, the Nassau County Museum of Art sought funding to translate educational, interpretive and promotional exhibition materials for “New York, New York” into Spanish. The successful grant request makes it possible for the Museum for the first time to reach newer populations in their native tongue.
Through a grant from the Art Bridges Foundation, visitors to the museum’s current exhibition, “New York, New York,” will have the option of reading the exhibition’s interpretive wall titles and supportive materials in Spanish. Exhibition materials provided to the Museum’s partner school districts will also be available in Spanish.
It is particularly fitting that “New York, New York” is the Museum’s first exhibition to have bilingual supportive materials. The city’s population has always reflected successive waves of immigration. Many of the 140 works of the exhibition depict immigrant communities throughout the city, as well as the city streets and landmarks that greeted immigrants on their arrival.
One of the exhibition’s signature works is John Sloan’s Bleeker Street, Saturday Night, a 1918 oil painting which portrays a slice of the immigrant experience in New York, inviting connections to explore that experience.
Earlier this month, arts patron and philanthropist Alice Walton announced the formation of Art Bridges, a foundation focused on sharing outstanding works of American art with museums and institutions of all sizes and in all regions of the country; an example of this is the loan of Sloan’s Bleeker Street, Saturday Night from the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
“Our country’s significant works of art should be available for all to see and enjoy,” Walton said. “Outstanding artworks are in museum vaults and private collections; let’s make that art available to everyone, and provide a way to experience these cultural treasures.”
“New York, New York” remains on view at Nassau County Museum of Art’s Saltzman Fine Art Building through Nov. 5.
Call (516) 484-9338, ext. 12 to inquire about private group tours. The museum shop is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call (516) 484-9338 for current exhibitions, events, days/times and directions or visit nassaumuseum.org.