A new exhibit at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook will provide a glimpse into several estates on the North and South shores, homes that went beyond their original purposes as country escapes and became examples of innovative architecture, interior decorating and landscape design.

"Gilding the Coasts: Art & Design of Long Island's Great Estates" explores impressive structures such as Stanford White's Box Hill in St. James, which still stands; and artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany's Laurelton Hall in Laurel Hollow, and muralist and canvas painter William de Leftwich Dodge's Villa Francesca in Setauket, both of which were destroyed in fires. These are just a few of the more than 1,000 estates built across Nassau and Suffolk counties from the late 1870s to the years of World War II.

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More than 150 artifacts -- including furniture, sculpture and paintings, some on loan from places such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Huntington Historical Society -- as well as film clips, are on display.

"It goes through the stories of the design and creation of the homes," says museum curator Joshua Ruff. "It's less about the social history and more about the work that went into creating them."

The exhibit runs through Oct. 25. The museum is at 1200 Rte. 25A, Stony Brook.