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Tour of booty: ‘Love and Lust’ at Brooklyn Museum

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Make a date with the saucy history of Coney Island!

Visitors to the Brooklyn Museum on Feb. 13 and 14 can take a special, tantalizing tour that uncovers the sexy gems of the collection. “Love and Lust in American Art” will pull back the covers on artwork that can heat up the blood, says the tour’s organizer.

“Many of the works would have been considered scandalous for their time,” said curator Connie Choi.

The interactive tour will lead visitors past the sexy sculptures, passionate paintings, and romantic photographs contained in two recent installations: “American Identities” and “Coney Island: a vision of an American Dreamland.” The exhibit on Coney Island, once known as “Sodom by the Sea,” is especially appropriate for a lustful tour, and Choi says that it contains the hottest image in the museum.

“There’s a fragment of a mural from the Spook-a-Rama that shows a red-haired, muscular vixen posing seductively,” said Choi. “She’s a mix of Rosie the Riveter and the pin-up girl. Even though she’s meant to be more disturbing than sexy, the combination of strong and sexy is very sexy.

And the People’s Playground has long been a place where it is okay to bend the rules of propriety.

“For much of its history, Coney Island was popular as a place to mingle with the opposite sex and, perhaps if you were lucky, to find love,” said Choi.

A 1928 New York Times article in the show’s catalog notes: “Statistics are not at hand, but probably more people fall in love at Coney Island than in any other spot in the world.”

The tour takes a peep at the evolution of romance in art, from stuffy Victorians standing apart to modern couples snuggling in the sand.

“Works of art can tell us a lot about the periods in which they were produced and the way people interacted” said Choi. “Since the exhibition is organized chronologically, visitors can see what physical contact between people looked like at various points in time.”

In addition to the stimulation offered by the art, tour guides will engage visitors with a conversational style, encouraging them to contribute with their stories, ideas and questions during the tour. So while the tour makes a great date for couples, singles might take the opportunity to chat with like-minded art lover on the tour — and take some inspiration from the images on display.

“Love and Lust in American Art Gallery Tour” at the Brooklyn Museum’s Rubin Lobby, First floor (200 Eastern Pkwy.between Washington and Flatbush avenues in Prospect Heights, (718) 638–5000, www.brooklynmuseum.org). Feb. 13 and 14 at 1 pm. Free with $16 suggested museum admission.

Posted 12:00 am, February 11, 2016
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