Two rare editions of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” from Special Collections are currently on view through September 2 at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook. Featured in the new exhibition “Walt Whitman’s Arcadia: Long Island Through the Eyes of a Poet & Painters” are a 1860 edition and a 1930 edition of the iconic literary work.
According to the museum website: “Walt Whitman’s writing reveled in a 19th century America that swept far past, in place and reference, the Long Island region that had once been his childhood home. Still, Whitman’s prose and poetry often reveals the Long Island that he loved: a place of farmers, fishermen, and uniquely beautiful landscapes and seascapes. This exhibition, marking the great American bard’s 200th birthday celebration, pairs Whitman’s words with contemporary artist’s painted depictions of Long Island. From “the wild unrest” and “tossing waves” of Montauk Point to the “isle of sweet brooks of drinking-water—healthy air and soil,” Whitman often returned to “fish-shaped Paumanok,” a region that also inspired growing numbers of artists throughout the 1800s. Walt Whitman’s Arcadia will present chosen passages from Whitman’s writings alongside more than 20 paintings by William Sidney Mount, John F. Kensett, Lemuel Wiles, and more. The stunning wooded landscapes, rustic scenery, and rugged shoreline that so captivated Whitman was equally fascinating to artists from across the region.”
The Long Island Museum is located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook. More information is available on the museum website.