A World in Motion

Follow along with this selection of Edward Lange’s artwork to discover the details in his paintings that reflect the constant movement of people and objects he observed across nineteenth-century Long Island.

Edward Lange immigrated to Long Island from Germany in 1870 and stepped directly into a whirlwind of technological innovation and development. It was a time of dramatic transformation from rural landscape to urban sprawl and from agriculture to industry. New manufactories opened in droves and provided jobs for a growing population. The Long Island Railroad laid new track and stretched eastward, better connecting Long Islanders to New York City’s metropolitan hub. Steam engines replaced cloth sails and new shipping lines offered people, raw materials, and manufactured goods more efficient options for travel and trade.

The people, businesses, and objects most reflective of this fast-paced world are found in every corner of Lange’s artwork. They are visual cues that point towards the new horizons that beckoned to Long Islanders as they neared the turn of the twentieth century. Lange's paintings are filled with potential energy, representing the changes that had already taken place and suggestive of those that were yet to come.

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Edward Lange (1846-1912), Huntington Depot, 1880, Watercolor, gouache, India ink, and lead pencil on paper, 11 x 18.5 in. (unframed); 19.3125 x 26.375 in. (framed), Preservation Long Island purchase, 1999.2


Curated by Peter Fedoryk as a part of The Art of Edward Lange Project, made possible through generous funding from The Gerry Charitable Trust.