New Laser Shows, Storytime, Lunar New Year

New Laser Shows: Lady Gaga and David Bowie

The Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium is offering two great new laser shows: Lady Gaga and David Bowie. Enjoy your favorite songs by these legendary performers, set to exciting laser imagery.

Laser Gaga – Fridays at 9:00 pm

With her meteoric rise to fame, Lady Gaga is an undeniable force in modern music and entertainment. Bring some glam to your night with Laser Gaga! Songs include Bad Romance, Telephone, Applause, Born This Way, and more.

Laser Bowie – Saturdays at 9:00 pm

Celebrate the dazzling musical legacy of David Bowie with the glam and spectacle of lasers. Songs include Let’s Dance, Under Pressure, Life on Mars, Heroes, Space Oddity, and more. Recommended for adults.


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Storytime Under Stars: Good Books and Stargazing

Storytime Under the Stars. Sponsored by Bank of America. Your favorite bedtime storybooks come to life in the planetarium theater! Children are invited to wear their most comfy pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animal. Sunday, February 11th at 6:00pm. $8 for guests, $6 for members. Ages 2+.The Vanderbilt’s next Storytime Under the Stars will be on Sunday, February 11, at 6:00 pm. A live narrator reads books as selected pictures are projected on the Planetarium dome.

Sponsored by Bank of America

Join us for a special evening of storytelling and stargazing in the Reichert Planetarium. All children are invited to wear their comfiest pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animal.

A live narrator at the front of the theater will bring selected picture books to life, with pages projected onto the Planetarium dome so families can enjoy the illustrations and follow along. Between stories, an astronomy educator will explore seasonal constellations visible from here on Long Island.

Admission fee: $8 per person | $6 for members.


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Living Pictures: Gilded Age Portrait Photography

Erin Pauwels, an author and historian of American art and visual culture, will give a lecture at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, February 7: Living Pictures: Gilded Age Portrait Photography. Her research explores portraiture and identity formation, celebrity culture, and intersections between theater and the visual arts.

Pauwels is an Associate Professor of American Art at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture with a special interest in photography, media theory, and ecocriticism. Her first book, Napoleon Sarony’s Living Pictures: The Celebrity Photograph in Gilded Age New York (Penn State University Press, 2024), recontextualizes the legacy of a prominent nineteenth-century artist to reveal how the emergence of mass media and celebrity culture reshaped traditional definitions of art and artistic authorship.

Her lecture will examine the vibrant history of Sarony, a celebrity photographer once known as “the father of artistic photography in America.” During the last three decades of the nineteenth century, Sarony’s opulent portrait studio on Union Square was a New York City landmark visited by famous figures such as Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, and Mark Twain.

“Sarony was best known for his fusion of theater and photography,” Pauwels said. “He constructed elaborate studio settings, invented a special posing stand that created the illusion of motion, and encouraged subjects to perform for his camera.”

Pauwels’ lecture will describe Sarony’s innovative artistic methods, his colorful encounters with Gilded Age clientele, and his lasting impact on the art of photography. Her book offers the first comprehensive account of a major American photographer and the global reach of his work.

Tickets: $10 | Members free


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Erin Pauwels earned a Ph.D. in Art History and American Studies at Indiana University in 2015 and an M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought at New York University in 2008. Her work appears in the journals American Art, Panorama, and History & Technology, as well as in edited volumes such as Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography (University of California Press, 2020) and Beyond the Face: New Perspectives on Portraiture (Smithsonian Institution, 2018).


Come Celebrate the ‘Year of the Dragon’ at Vanderbilt

新年快樂!Xīn nián kuài lè!

Join us in celebrating the Year of the Dragon!

Make a paper lantern, learn Chinese calligraphy, create a traditional good luck decoration, and visit the collections to see one of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac.

Sunday, February 11, from 10:00 am to 12 pm

Tickets: $20 guests | $18 members


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February School Break Workshops for Pre-K-Grade 4

When schools close for February break, the  Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Education Department offers fun, creative workshops for pre-kindergarten children and those in grades K-4.

This year, the Museum’s winter programs include visits to the wildlife dioramas and creative projects.

Monday, February 19 | 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Polar Bears & Snow Globe – for preschool children and their caregivers.


Register: Polar Bears & Snow Globe


Wednesday, February 21 | 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Animals in Winter & Wonderland Painting – a drop-off program for grades K-4

Tickets: $20 | $18 Members


Register: Animals in Winter & Wonderland Painting


New Digital Mapping Project Reveals the Human Patterns That Shaped New York City

Gergely Baics and Rebecca Kobrin will give a lecture, Mapping Historical New York: A Digital Atlas, at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum at 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 7, in the Reichert Planetarium.

The project visualizes Manhattan’s and Brooklyn’s transformations during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Drawing on 1850, 1880, and 1910 census data, the Digital Atlas shows how migration, residential, and occupational patterns shaped the city.

The Digital Atlas breaks new ground by locating each person counted in the Census at their home address, sometimes before the street grid was even established.

The creators used preserved historical maps and city directories, and even traced census takers’ steps, to locate residences. The Atlas is a living project that will expand to include all five boroughs up to the 1940 census.

Baics is Associate Professor of History and Urban Studies and Helman Faculty Chair of Urban Studies at Barnard College. Kobrin is Russell and Bettina Knapp Associate Professor of American Jewish History at Columbia University.

The creators invite visitors to use the website’s interactive features to map and visualize the residential geographies of New Yorkers and Brooklynites. Many histories of New York may be found in the maps. The Digital Atlas includes a few case studies to show how selected data may be visualized to tell a story – and visitors are invited to create their own. Those interested in more in-depth research and alternate methods of visualizing data may access the digital layers and underlying data of the assembled maps.

Baics and Kobrin are co-principal investigators for the project, the result of a multi-year interdisciplinary collaboration between Columbia University’s Department of History and the Center for Spatial Research at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Funding for the project is provided by the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation.


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Give a Long-Lasting Gift to your Valentine

Looking for a fresh, unique, everlasting gift for your Valentine?

Purchase and engrave a brick that will become a permanent part of the Vanderbilt Museum.

Your donation will help the Vanderbilt to bring outstanding science, history, and art education to more than 25,000 students annually.

Your brick will be installed and displayed in your favorite brick walkway around the Vanderbilt Mansion and Terrace, or on the 43-acre grounds of the beautiful waterfront Estate.

For more information, email


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Name a New Chair in the Reichert Planetarium

When you name a new chair in the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium chair, you support innovative planetarium education and entertainment programming.

Observe a milestone, honor a loved one, or name a chair for your family or organization.

Dedicate | Celebrate | Recognize | Memorialize

Your nameplate will remain in place for the life of the seat. (It does not reserve the use of the seat.)

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‘Laser Taylor Swift’ Extended through April 5

Showings of the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium‘s wildly popular new show, Laser Taylor Swift, have been extended through April 5. If you were not able to see one of her shows on 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.

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

Gericroix (Pegasus)
Wendy Klemperer

On Earth Day, April 22, 2023, 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 2025.

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

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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