Immersive, One-Night Media Arts Event, Thankful Thursday, Halloween Fun for Preschoolers

Media Arts Experience: ‘A Guided Sublimation’

The Vanderbilt Museum will premiere A Guided Sublimation – a media arts experience developed by transdisciplinary artist Laura Splan in collaboration with the theoretical biophysicist Adam Lamson – on Saturday, October 21. The work will be projected onto the Reichert Planetarium dome.

A twenty-five-minute full-dome artwork, A Guided Sublimation explores the connections between the natural world and the built environment through a reflection on biotechnics and the language of scientific representation. In exploring these themes, Splan draws inspiration from emerging research in epigenetics, or the study of environmental influences over gene expression, as part of her examination of the relationships that exist between processes that are invisible and objects that lay in plain sight.


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Splan and her collaborators use a range of technical, scientific, and aesthetic strategies to give expression to this conceptually challenging but ubiquitous condition of contemporary society. In an immersive media environment, she allows the mirrored surfaces of 3D molecular models to reflect AI-generated landscapes built from carefully chosen scientific prompts. Splan selects these prompts from clinical source material—publications on the effects of trauma, climate change, and other external factors on public health—to invite viewers to a meditation on the microcosmic space and dramas of the human body. In doing so, Splan creates a moving multimedia experience that reveals how, at the most minute level, we are at once biological and technological, autonomous from and deeply entangled with the wider world.

A Guided Sublimation is the latest artwork to play with the unique technical parameters of the Vanderbilt Planetarium and its full-dome projection system. By participating in the logic of a machine that is equally appropriate for science communication and musical light shows, Splan’s daring artwork establishes the conditions for an engagement with phenomena that are otherwise beyond direct experience.

About Laura Splan

Laura Splan is a transdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of science, technology, and culture. Her research-driven projects connect hidden artifacts of biotechnology with everyday life through embodied interactions and sensory engagement. Her work has appeared at the Museum of Arts and Design, Pioneer Works, and the New York Hall of Science, and is represented in the collections of the Thoma Art Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, NYU Langone’s Art Collection, and the Berkeley Art Museum.

The Vanderbilt Museum’s commission of A Guided Sublimation is the organization’s latest effort to bring world-class scholars, authors, and artists to Suffolk County’s first public park and museum. The Vanderbilt, as an organization dedicated to the education and enjoyment of the people of Long Island, commissioned this new work by Laura Splan to reflect its commitment to making innovative and thought-provoking culture accessible for everyone, regardless of location, background, or life experience.

Additional support for A Guided Sublimation is made possible by the Simons Foundation, NEW INC at the New Museum, Beall Center for Art+Technology, Wave Farm Media Arts Assistance Fund, New York Council on the Arts, and the Rochester Community Foundation.

Another ‘Thankful Thursday’:  A Gift from BAE Systems  


Thankful Thursdays, sponsored by BAE Systems. Join us for a free family-friendly planetarium show on Thursday, October 26th. We will open the observatory after the show, weather permitting. Tickets must be reserved online in advance.The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Reichert Planetarium are proud to present the latest in a series of Thankful Thursdays, set for will be October 26 at 7:00 pm. Funding provided by BAE Systems.




The evening includes a FREE planetarium show, the Halloween-themed Haunted Skies, produced by the Planetarium staff. After the show, the Observatory, weather permitting, will be open to the public and an astronomy educator will invite visitors to look through a telescope at the night sky.


Free online registration is required. 


Free Registration


 Haunted Skies: Take a journey of exploration into the origins of this magnificent and often misunderstood holiday. We travel to the ancient past to uncover the origins of Halloween and give some insight as to why we still celebrate this autumn tradition today. Then, discover spooky constellations and mysterious phenomena throughout the universe. Narration by Ray Adell.

Spine-tingling and certainly not for the faint of heart, this program echoes the spirit of the holiday in an enjoyable, intelligent and often “frightening” planetarium production. Find out for yourself what lurks in the starry skies above. Recommended for ages 8+.

‘Laser Michael Jackson’ Returns to Planetarium

Laser Michael Jackson. Friday, October 27 at 9:00pm. $17/individual, free for members, sponsored by AARP Long Island.Enjoy timeless hits from the King of Pop’s legendary career in this exciting laser show, returning to the Reichert Planetarium for a limited time. First showing: Friday, October 27, at 9:00 pm. Don’t miss it! Showing every Friday night through December 1.

Generously sponsored by AARP. 

The Laser Michael Jackson setlist features many of his greatest hits, including ABC, The Way You Make Me Feel, Thriller, Bad, and many more.


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Lecture: ‘Immigrants and the Evolution of the American Landscape’

Wambui Ippolito, an award-winning landscape designer and author, will give a lecture at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on the contributions immigrants have made to the American landscape – on Thursday, November 2, at 7:00 pm in the Reichert Planetarium.

In a relatively short period of time, American landscapes have been altered, reshaped, and diversified by intense immigrant activities. Much like waves of earlier settlement, today’s immigrants continue to change the land through their gardening activities. These individuals introduce plants and practices that are beneficial and problematic to the land, forever transforming the American terrain.

In her lecture “Immigrants and the Evolution of the American Landscape,” Ippolito will take us through various immigrant garden landscapes and histories—from the early Scottish and Irish gardeners at great estates to today’s largely Central American workforces—with hopes of inspiring a new understanding and approach to immigrant land management.

The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium theater. Support for the lecture series is generously provided by a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.


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Wambui Ippolito is a horticulturalist, landscape designer, and author based in New York City. She is a graduate of the prestigious New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture, and she has designed gardens for commercial, residential, and public spaces. Her design for the 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show won the competition by unanimous decision.

Ippolito is the author of an upcoming book on the contributions of immigrants to the American landscape. In 2022, she was invited to design a new Exhibition Courtyard for the expansion of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia. Her commission marks the first time that an African-born female designer has been asked to create a permanent installation for a North American botanical garden.

CEED Biologist-Ranger to Lead Three Owl Prowls

Biologist and ranger Eric Powers, co-founder of the Center for Environmental Education & Discovery (CEED), has planned three Owl Prowls on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Estate and Museum – at 6:00 pm on Saturday, October 21; Friday, October 27; and Friday, November 17.

After a presentation on the owls of Long Island, Powers will lead a walk on the estate grounds, during which he will attempt to call in nearby owls. Flashlights are not permitted. Sturdy footwear is recommended as the hiking trail is uneven and it will be dark.

Tickets: Members, free; non-members, $12.




CEED, based in Brookhaven, Long Island, is a nature center that inspires connections to the joys of nature through education and experience. CEED serves children, youth, and adults through public nature programs and events, school and community-based environmental education, conservation projects, live animal ambassadors, and more.

‘Strings Under the Stars’ Live in the Planetarium

Strings Under the Stars. Sunday, November 12 at 5:00pm. Relax and unwind at Long Island Chamber Music’s annual evening of string quartets under the stars. Amplified through the planetarium’s sound system for an immersive surround-sound experience. PRESALE: $30 individuals, $25 members. AT THE DOOR: $35 individuals, $25 members.The Long Island Chamber Music’s string quartet will present a live performance in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium on Sunday, November 12, at 5:00 pm.

Relax and unwind at Long Island Chamber Music’s annual evening of string quartets under the stars. Talented musicians will play a selection of classical music, amplified through the Planetarium’s sound system for an immersive surround-sound experience.

Beautiful panoramic views of the stars projected onto the 60-foot planetarium dome will complement the music at this unique event.

Tickets are available now.

Pre-sale: Individuals $30.00 | Vanderbilt Museum Members $25.00

Door price: Individuals $35.00 | Vanderbilt Museum Members $25.00


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‘Us and Floyd’ To Play Two Live Shows in Planetarium

Join Us and Floyd at the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium on Saturday, November 4, for a dazzling combination of live music and laser lights. The band will perform live and in sync with two of our stunning Pink Floyd laser light shows: The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon.

7:00 pm: The Wall Laser Show, featuring hits from Dark Side of the Moon


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9:00 pm: Dark Side of the Moon Laser Show, featuring hits from The Wall


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Us and Floyd is a tribute band that strives to perform accurate recreations of the timeless music of Pink Floyd. These professional musicians have grown up as avid Floyd fans and incorporate their knowledge of the band and its history into every live show. Their collective appreciation for Floyd is evidenced by the passion and precision of their performances.

There are limited opportunities to catch this music performed live. So, join Us And Floyd and honor the works of the greatest progressive rock act of all time; Pink Floyd!

Popular Morning, Evening ‘Birdwatch and Architecture Tours’ Resume

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum once again will offer more morning and evening Birdwatch and Architecture Tours, led by the Museum’s director of curatorial affairs. Next tours: September. Morning: October 28. Evening: October 20.

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum once again will offer morning and evening Birdwatch and Architecture Tours, led by the Museum’s director of curatorial affairs, beginning in early September.

Participants will enjoy the unique opportunity to view the Vanderbilt estate in the early dawn hours and at dusk, when the grounds are closed but the birds are active.

Tickets are free for members, $12.00 for non-members. Early Registration is Suggested

Sturdy hiking footwear is strongly suggested. Participants are asked to bring their own binoculars.

Morning Birdwatch

Saturday: October 28


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Evening Birdwatch

Fridays: October 20 | November 3


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Birdwatches are semi-regular touring events offered during the fall and spring months, when local and migratory bird species are at their most active and visible – during the waves of migration along the Atlantic flyway.

Each Birdwatch will feature aspects of the estate’s architectural history while participants view the Vanderbilt’s resident avian species and hear their calls and songs. Some of the species observed and identified recently at the Vanderbilt Museum include red-tailed hawks, osprey, merlin, brant, northern flickers, great-horned owls, grackle, white-breasted nuthatch, mourning doves, and more.


American Rascal: How Jay Gould Built Massive Wall Street Fortune

On Thursday, December 7, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will host Greg Steinmetz, author of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger, for a lecture adapted from his latest publication American Rascal: How Jay Gould Built Wall Street’s Biggest Fortune (Simon & Schuster, 2022).

In American Rascal, Steinmetz recounts the gripping life of Jay Gould, one of the nineteenth century’s most infamous robber barons, whose brilliance, greed, and bare-knuckled tactics made him wealthier than Rockefeller and led Wall Street to institute its first reforms. Steinmetz shares how Gould quickly became a notorious figure at the age of twenty-four, when he paralyzed the economy and nearly topped President Ulysses S. Grant in the Black Friday market collapse of 1869 as he sought to corner the gold market.

American Rascal shows Gould’s complex, quirky character. He was at once praised for his brilliance by Rockefeller and Vanderbilt and condemned for forever destroying American business values by Mark Twain. He lived a colorful life, trading jokes with Thomas Edison, figuring Thomas Nast’s best sketches, and commuting to work on a 200-ft. yacht.

The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium theater. Tickets are available online at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s website. Support for the lecture series is generously provided by a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.


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Greg Steinmetz is an American journalist, author, the securities analyst. He was born and raised in Clevland, Ohio. He attended Colgate University, earning degrees in History and German, before attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Steinmetz spent fifteen years working as a journalist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Newsday, and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger (Simon & Schuster, 2015), a highly regarded biography about wealth, politics, and religion.

Tours Explore Vanderbilt Architecture and Collections

Take an intriguing walking tour of the Vanderbilt Estate with knowledgeable Museum educators

Learn about the history of the Eagle’s Nest estate; Warren & Wetmore’s design and exterior architectural details of the 24-room Spanish Revival mansion; and the striking ironwork of Samuel Yellin, considered the greatest iron artisan of the early 20th century, and visit the marine, natural history, and cultural artifact collections

Created by the Vanderbilt Museum Education Department, the next of these tours will be offered on Sunday, November 5, from 12:00 to 1:30 pm.

Tickets, which include general admission, are available for purchase only at the door: Adults $16; seniors/students $15; children under 12, $14; and members free.


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‘Raptors & Recycled Art’ for Children Grades K-2

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum Education Department will offer Raptors & Recycled Art, a workshop for children in grades K-2 on Saturday, November 4, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Beth Laxer-Limmer, associate director of education, said “Participants will explore the Bird Room and learn about the birds of prey in the collections, dissect an owl pellet, and make art out of egg cartons.”

Fee: $20 per person, $18 for Members.

Registration is online only.


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Next Classic Car Show: Porsches, October 29

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has honored William K. Vanderbilt II’s automotive and racing legacy for more than three decades by hosting shows of beautiful, restored vintage automobiles on the estate grounds.

The last show of this season will be presented on Sunday, October 29, by the Porsche Club of America, Inc.

Visitors pay only general admission to the museum – adults $10; seniors (62 plus) $9; students (with ID) $9; children 12 and under $7; military and children under 2 are free.

Vanderbilt, a pioneer race driver who competed in Europe, brought auto racing to the United States. He inaugurated the famous Vanderbilt Cup Races in 1904. That same year, he set a new land-speed record of 92.3 miles per hour in a Mercedes at a course in Florida. He also spurred the development of the American auto industry and built the prototype for the first toll road, the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway on Long Island.

Raptor Day: Meet Live, Rescued Birds Up Close

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will hold its annual Raptor Day on Saturday, November 11, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The event will offer identical sessions – at 10:00 and 11:00 am and at 1:00 and 3:00 pm. Featured: a live exhibit of rescued raptors, with a bald eagle, falcon, golden eagle, owls, and hawks. Ticket prices include general admission to the Museum.

The event will be held on Veterans Day weekend – and the Vanderbilt will offer free admission for veterans and active-duty military and their families.

The event, which will benefit WINORR – Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation – and the Vanderbilt Museum will be held rain or shine in the Vanderbilt Celebration Tent. The event also will support Museum programs. WINORR will do a short presentation and Q&A about its Eurasian owl. A member of the Shinnecock tribe will offer a blessing for a Centerport father eagle that died this year.

WINORR houses the birds and rehabilitates them. This is an opportunity for visitors of all ages to get an up-close look at these magnificent birds that can no longer be released into the wild. Bring your camera!

Activities for children will include an arts and crafts table, plus free face painting, and the showing throughout the day of a short movie, Bald Eagles of Centerport. Vendors will include  Westfield Farms (selling their local honey), the Sierra Club, and the Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society.  A raffle table will feature a raptor created by a local wood carver, as well as pictures donated by Bald Eagles of Centerport photographers.

Tickets: adults $20, children 12 and under $10. Members: adults $10, children $5. All tickets include general admission to the Museum.


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‘Haunting Menagerie’, Museum’s First Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

Gericroix (Pegasus)
Wendy Klemperer

On Earth Day, April 22, the Vanderbilt Museum debuted Wendy Klemperer: Wrought Taxonomies, the first exhibition of outdoor sculpture at the historic summer estate of William Kissam Vanderbilt II.

Wendy Klemperer’s sculptures—a haunting assemblage of animal forms that span imaginary, endangered, familiar, and exotic species—celebrate natural history and the nonhuman world through evocative interactions with the surrounding environment.

Using materials salvaged from scrapyards, she composes ecological narratives that respond to the history and collections of Suffolk County’s first public park and museum. Her brilliant use of gestural lines captures the spectator’s attention and invites museumgoers to reflect on the relationship between an interest in animal life and the incessant push of human industry.

Wrought Taxonomies is the inaugural exhibition in the Vanderbilt Museum’s outdoor sculpture program and the institution’s second exhibition of contemporary art focused on the relationship between culture and animals. Visitors will see large pieces visitors as they stroll the grounds of the Vanderbilt, one of the few remaining Long Island Gold Coast mansions. Smaller pieces suspended from trees wait to be discovered along the Vanderbilt’s hiking trail. Other works will be found near garden areas and the Marine Museum.

The Vanderbilt Museum occupies the former Gold Coast mansion and estate of William Kissam Vanderbilt II, the great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt and a pioneer of American motorsport. Located in Centerport on the north shore of Long Island, it is renowned for its extensive marine and natural history collections, Spanish revival architecture, and picturesque parklands.

All sculptures are viewable with general admission to the Museum grounds. Educational programs and workshops associated with the themes and content of Wendy Klemperer: Wrought Taxonomies will be offered throughout the exhibition. Special thanks are due to the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, whose generous support made Wrought Taxonomies possible. The exhibition will run through April 22, 2024.

Visitors are encouraged, during these weeks of mild autumn weather, to enjoy a picnic on the grounds.


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For Members Only: ‘Child’s Life at Vanderbilt Estate’

The Vanderbilt Museum Education Department will offer a members-only program, A Child’s Life at the Vanderbilt Estate, on Saturday, December 2, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. For children in grades K-5.

Children will tour the decorated mansion with an educator and hear stories about the Vanderbilt children and their family history. Like the young Vanderbilts, workshop participants will listen to 1930s radio programs and jazz, play period games such as jacks, marbles, and checkers throughout the house, and make a snow globe.

Fee: $10. Advanced registration is required.


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Laser Shows Premiere This Weekend: Foo Fighters, The Weeknd

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium has just premiered two new laser-light shows from Laser Fantasy, a leading laser entertainment creator: Laser Foo Fighters is shown at 9:00 pm on Friday, and Laser The Weeknd at 9:00 pm on Saturday.


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Alternative Rock, Post-Grunge, Hard Rock, however you want to categorize them, the Foo Fighters fill arenas and melt faces. Fronted by Dave Grohl, previously known as the powerhouse drummer for Nirvana, Foo Fighters brilliantly combine melody and punk energy to create their award-winning sound. Laser Foo Fighters captures the power and intensity of a concert and pours it onto the dome in spectacular laser light.

Set list: Something From Nothing, Learn to Fly, Times Like These, Wheels, Best of You, Everlong, My Hero, Walk, All My Life, The Pretender. Encores: This is a Call, Monkey Wrench.

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Laser The Weeknd! With a stunning display of choreographed lasers, you’ll be taken on a journey through the chart-topping artist’s most iconic hits. From the Grammy-award winning Blinding Lights to the dance floor anthems Can’t Feel My Face and Starboy, this show will transport you to a world of mind-blowing visuals.

Set list: I Feel It Coming, Save Your Tears, Die For You, Call Out My Name, Can’t Feel My Face, Party Monster, Earned It, Heartless, The Hills, Pray For Me, Starboy. Encores: Blinding Lights, Take My Breath.

‘Laser Taylor Swift’ Extended to September

Showings of the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium‘s wildly popular new show, Laser Taylor Swift, have been extended through December 30 – every day at 4:00 pm. If you can’t score tickets to the Eras tour, Laser Taylor Swift is the next best thing!

With more than 200 million records sold, a shelf full of Grammys, and an army of fans, Taylor Swift is an inspiration for generations. This dynamic show takes her biggest hits and brings them to life in dazzling laser light.

Tickets: $18. (Free for Museum members.)


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Setlist: You Need To Calm Down, Love Story, Anti-Hero Exile, Look What You Made Me Do, Willow, Lavender Haze, I Knew You Were Trouble, Blank Space, You Belong With Me, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Shake It Off.

Vanderbilt Wine Supports Education, Preservation

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has partnered with Old York Cellars to create a special selection of wines – your purchase will support the Museum’s preservation efforts and education programs.

Eagle’s Nest, the waterfront estate of William K. Vanderbilt II, is the home of the Vanderbilt Museum and Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.

Help us preserve this vital piece of local and national history. STEM education programs are based on Vanderbilt’s marine, natural history, and cultural-artifact collections. Educational planetarium offerings are provided to more than 25,000 schoolchildren each year. Please purchase wine today and support our mission.


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