A new book entitled "Staten Island Scenery: 1679-1900" explores Staten Island's rich history in the arts. According to reporter Michael Fressola of The Staten Island Advance, in the 1800's there was a rich artistic community that drew praise and commissions.
"Staten Island's appeal during the heyday of the Hudson River School, a 19th Century explosion of enthusiasm over the American landscape, is well-documented.
Looking at the place in the 1800s, painters (who were in New York because there was work here, collectors and commissions, dealers and publications) noticed that the Island had remarkable contrasts," added Fressola.
"It was green and unspoiled and there were terrific views in every direction, from the high central hills and green fields and meadows to the shoreline and the spectacular harbor. Best of all, it was close," according to the report in The Advance.
Historian Barnett Shepherd explores our artistic roots
"Historian Barnett Shepherd, who has already written definitively about Tottenville, Sandy Ground and Sailor's Snug Harbor, knows his way around the borough and its history," added Fressola in the article. "His book tracks Island imagery from the earliest drawings and prints through the first 60 years of photography."
"Over the next 211 years, Island views were drawn and redrawn and turned into prints. Once they were on paper, they traveled the world," added Fressola.
"The author's investigations led to museums, private collections archives and libraries all over the country. Much of the material comes, naturally, from Historic Richmond Town and the Staten Island Museum. The institutions are publishing "Staten Island Scenery: 1679- 1900," added Fressola in the report.
The book and a companion DVD, made by award-winning director Ed Wiseman, will be released later this year.
So Staten Island artists and art enthusiasts draw from Staten Island's rich history and revel in our artistic sensibilities.