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  • Writer's pictureLocal History Collection

Artistic Spotlight: “The Artist’s View of Roslyn Library”



Painted in bold, boxy strokes of white, teal, and dark turquoise, “The Artist’s View of Roslyn Library” employs the ethereal bounce of watercolor to create a humanistic portrait of The Bryant Library’s exterior. Strikingly cubist in its sensibility, the painting exudes artistic confidence and playful avidity in its avant-garde interpretation of the library building and its surroundings.


As indicated by the title, this work represents the view of Lillian R. Harmelin, a local artist who was a resident of the Roslyn area for many years. Harmelin’s textured arrangement of light and dark paints a scene reminiscent of a summer afternoon with impressions of shade created by cool-toned overlays. Despite its decidedly modern composition, the painting’s subject is unmistakable through details like the elegant cupola that crowns the main building.

Strikingly cubist in its sensibility, the painting exudes artistic confidence and playful avidity in its avant-garde interpretation of the library building and its surroundings.

An active participant in Long Island’s local art scene, Harmelin received her MA in Art Education from Queens College and regularly exhibited her work at the Heckscher Musem, the Firehouse Gallery at Nassau Community College, Manhasset Library, Port Washington Library, the former Abraham and Straus department store in Hempstead, and of course, The Bryant Library. Harmelin also took the Grand Prix prize at the Locust Valley Operation Democracy art show in 1972 and continued to produce work throughout her life.



“The Artist’s View of Roslyn Library” is one of several donations she made to the Local History Collection and is currently on display in the Bryant Room.


Harmelin passed away in 2016 at the age of 97.


Historical information for this post was drawn from several items in our extensive The Clipping Collection including Roslyn News articles "Winners announced" published May 11th, 1972 and “Art show to depict work over the years” published April 24th, 1975.



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