Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lighthouses and nautical objects at Think Long Island First

Since the first lighthouse was erected in 1796 at Montauk Point, many more were built along both coasts of Long Island. Suffolk County has the largest number of lighthouses per county in US, Southold Township the largest among townships. Though some lighthouses were lost due to fire, storm, neglect, or economy, many are still standing and some are still in operation. Long Island Chapter of the United States Lighthouse Society lists them all including the defunct ones.

Long Island Lighthouses 2012 calendar by Ralph J. Pugliese Jr

We carry a book 'New York State Lighthouses' by Robert G. Miller, where the archival photos of Long Island lighthouses have a sizable presence.

The light keeper's life was hard, the responsibility enormous, the isolation difficult to bear. Architecturally, lighthouses were simple structures, sparsely adorned. Their most important construction feature was the ability to withstand the constant beating of the ocean.

What is there in us that makes us want to go to the lighthouse and to immortalize the moment in art?

Lighthouses feature prominently in the local photography, with the Montauk and Fire Island lighthouses leading the way. Ralph J. Puglise Jr, (Cutchogue) has done a whole series of them. In addition to the matted photos and note cards we carry his 'Long Island Lighthouses' calendar for 2012. We also have lighthouse photographs by Scott Cushing (East Meadow), Christina Kneer (Massapequa), Paul Macri (Oyster Bay), Gerry Corrigan (Wantagh), and Jacques Dumont (East Norwich).

Stainless steel sailboats
by Len Mulqueen
Let us also mention some unusual nautical objects we have at the store. Metal and wood artist Len Mulqueen (Bethpage) creates sailboats / wind chimes from reclaimed stainless steel. Attached screw, moving in the wind like a pendulum, produces quite a realistic sound of metal hitting a mast.

Paul Guzzo (Oak Beach) brought us a real propeller with a scrimshaw of fish. We also have a candle holder with a lighthouse design by Claudia Peglow (Franklin Square).
Scrimshaw propeller
by Paul Guzzo
Candle holder
by Claudia Peglow
Painter Susie Gach Peelle (Locust Valley) provided the cover illustration for an interesting book about 144 women who held official light keeper positions around US - 'Mind the Light, Katie' by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candance Clifford.

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