Spring at the Museum: Astronomy Day, Gatsby-Era Estates, Watercolor Painting

Astronomy Day: Demos, Projects, Telescope Viewing

The Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium and National Grid will present Astronomy Day 2022 on Saturday, May 7. Daytime and evening activities and viewing through telescopes and solar scopes (weather permitting) are free to all visitors who pay general admission.

The event is made possible by a Project C Workforce Development Grant from National Grid.





Astronomy Day at the Vanderbilt is part of a nationwide celebration of educational programs designed to engage audiences in the awe-inspiring fields of Earth and space science.

The Moon will be visible in the evening sky, high in the South. This will provide optimal viewing for visitors to see the Moon with telescopes, and to observe the depth of its craters and mountain ranges. This event will be held in the Planetarium and in the adjacent Rose Garden.

Daytime program – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Astronomy educators will perform free earth science and astronomy demonstrations for adults and children. Toolkits for these demonstrations were developed by the National Informal Science Education Network.

Evening program – 8:00 to 11:00 pm

This includes observation of the night sky with telescopes and full-dome Planetarium shows.

This Vanderbilt STEM education event will include exciting science, take-home materials, and engaging discussion about science and society. Participants will make clouds, create nebula spin art, investigate Moonquakes, explore craters, and much more! These fun activities introduce guests to the ongoing research happening at NASA in the fields of Earth science, planetary science, and astrophysics.

Enjoy Sunset Yoga Flow on Vanderbilt Great Lawn

Pop Up Prana Yoga again will offer Sunset Yoga Flow, on Friday, May 13, beginning with check-in at 6:30 pm for the 7:00 session on the Great Lawn overlooking Northport Harbor. All props and mats will be provided upon request.

“Kick off your weekend with a beautiful view of the harbor,” said Jenn Eagen of Pop Up Prana Yoga. “This is an open-level yoga practice, so if you are new to the practice, feel free to join us. If you’re an advanced yogi and seek growth, no worries! You will be given an opportunity to shine and improvise your own variations throughout the session.”


Christopher Tennant, Vineland, 2022, mixed media, 25 x 35 x 8 inches.
Image courtesy of the artist.

Christopher Tennant Related Searches: Inaugural Art Exhibition Opens 

The Vanderbilt Museum recently debuted its inaugural contemporary art exhibition, Related Searches, the first solo museum exhibition by New York artist Christopher Tennant.

Tennant’s artwork—a mix of avian and aquatic dioramas and vitrines, handmade lamps, and collected specimens—reimagines natural history as an extension of commodity culture and the decorative arts. His brilliantly illuminated cases combine antique taxidermy with discarded consumer products to provide a stark visual representation of the beauty and terror of an ecology altered by human industry and the algorithmic marketplace.

Related Searches is the inaugural exhibition in the Vanderbilt Museum’s newly launched contemporary art program and runs through June 30.

The museum occupies the former Gold Coast summer estate of William K. Vanderbilt II, Gilded Age scion, global explorer, and pioneer of American motorsport. Located on the shores of Northport Bay on the north shore of Long Island, it is renowned for its extensive marine and natural history collections, Spanish revival architecture, and picturesque parklands.

L.I. Estates That Inspired Fitzgerald’s ‘Great Gatsby’

Best-selling author, architect, and historian Gary Lawrance will speak on Thursday, May 26, at 7:00 pm. His lecture, Long Island Estates of the Great Gatsby Era, examines the real Long Island mansions that inspired Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby.

Best-selling author, architect, and historian Gary Lawrance will speak at Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on Thursday, May 26, at 7:00 pm. His lecture, titled “Long Island Estates of the Great Gatsby Era,” will introduce listeners to the real Long Island mansions that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic The Great Gatsby. Light refreshments will be served in the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium after the lecture.

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Gary Lawrence is the principal of Lawrance Architectural Presentations, a firm that provides design presentations, architectural models, digital renderings, and design development services to architects, landscape architects, and interior designers. He has an extensive background in the history of Gilded Age architecture, landscapes, and society, and co-authored the book Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 with Anne Surchin (Acanthus Press 2007, Revised Third Printing 2013). He is currently working on his next book, Houses of Palm Beach, 1900-1950, which is due to be published soon.

Lawrance’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, and New York Social Diary. In addition to his writing and public lectures, he regularly plans conferences on Gilded Age society and serves as the Vice President of the American Country House Foundation.

Maggie’s Mission Fifth Anniversary Gala 

Maggie’s Mission, which promotes awareness, funding, and research for pediatric cancer, will hold its fifth Angelversary Gala at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on Friday, June 3, from 6:00 to 10:00 pm.

The organization was founded in honor of Long Island teenager Maggie Schmidt, who died on June 1, 2017, just after her 17th birthday, from a rare and aggressive cancer called Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor.

Donna DeSousa-Schmidt, founder of Maggie’s Mission, said, “Before Maggie died, she asked her family to help other children and families dealing with this devastating disease. All proceeds support our mission to raise awareness of pediatric cancers, fund cutting-edge research that will improve outcomes for children with cancer around the world and assist families and children currently affected.”

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Maggie’s Mission thanked the Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation and the Vanderbilt Museum for hosting the event.

Gala program: 6:00 pm, passed hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and the Illuminate String Quartet performs in the Vanderbilt Courtyard (weather permitting); 7:30, champagne toast in the Celebration Tent; 8:00, top-shelf full open bar, dinner, music, dancing, and exclusive silent auction items and raffles.

Shakespeare Festival Opener: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

The Carriage House Players (CHP) will open the 33rd annual Summer Shakespeare Festival on the Vanderbilt Mansion Courtyard stage with A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Friday, May 13, at 8:00 pm and on Sunday, May 15, at 7:00 pm.

Much Ado About Nothing – June 5-26

Troilus and Cressida – July 1-24 (excluding July 15 and 22)

The Comedy of Errors – July 29-Aug14

Henry V – Aug 26-Sept 18

Performances: Every Wed and Fri at 8:00 pm, Sunday at 7:00 pm. Tickets: Adults $20; children 12 and under (member child 18 and under) $15; senior (age 62-plus) $15.




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Evan Donnellan, director of CHP, said, “We are so excited to return to the Vanderbilt Courtyard for their annual Summer Shakespeare Festival. With a wide mix of comedy and tragedy, the festival has something for everyone. Join us under the stars for nights of timeless magic as these classical stories come to life before your very eyes.

Engraved Vanderbilt Bricks Mark Milestones, Memories

Celebrate your family, a loved one, a special anniversary, or other milestones and memories with us by sponsoring a commemorative brick with a custom engraving. Your donation will help us to bring outstanding science, history, and art education to more than 25,000 students annually.

Your message will be displayed permanently in one of the brick walkways around the Vanderbilt Mansion and Terrace, or on the grounds of the beautiful waterfront Estate. For more information,

call Sue Madllinger at 631-854-5558, or email: sue@vanderbiltmuseum.org

Bring Your Watercolors, Paint in the Hall of Fishes

Join us in the Hall of Fishes for a watercolor workshop for adults on Sunday, June 4, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. A museum educator will discuss Vanderbilt’s marine expeditions and the work of his curator and artist William Belanske. Participants will sketch and paint from the collection.

On Sunday, November 7, the Vanderbilt will offer a watercolor workshop for adults, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. A museum educator will discuss William Vanderbilt’s expeditions, his contributions to marine science, and the work of his curator and artist William Belanske. Participants will sketch and paint from the collection.


Summer STEAM Workshops for Children Grades K-6

Vanderbilt Museum educators are offering astronomy, science, and history workshops for children. Junior Explorers is for grades K-4 and Junior Astronomer is for grades 3-6. Sessions for both age groups will be offered July 11-15 and Aug 15-19, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Fee: $200 non-members | $180 members. Space is limited and spots fill quickly. Advance registration is required. Facemasks are required indoors.

Junior Explorer, grades K-4

Explore the world at the Vanderbilt Museum in a week of creative science and history workshops. We will sail the seas, dive the deepest oceans, soar among the tallest trees, and make unique art inspired by nature and the collections. Registration is open for children entering kindergarten through 4th grade.

(Please note: July and August sessions of each workshop feature the same activities. Therefore, we recommend against registering a child for the same workshop twice.)

Junior Astronomer, grades 3-6

This exciting program for young astronomers features multiple astronomy topics including the solar system, using a telescope, and identifying constellations seen from Long Island backyards. The focus on hands-on learning includes STEAM activities and crafts supplemented by immersive live and pre-recorded full dome presentations in the Planetarium theater. Registration is open for children entering grades 3-6.

For more information and to register, please contact dawn@vanderbilltmuseum.org.


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