The history of art in the Hamptons really started with the building of the railroad in 1872.
As well as attracting the wealthy Summer Cottage community, escaping the heat of the city, artists were drawn here for the beauty of the landscape and the unique quality of the light reflecting from the water on all sides.
- Thomas Moran (1837 to 1926) was an American painter of the Hudson River School best known for his landscape paintings in the American West. He and his wife Mary Nimmo Moran (1842-1899), an etcher and landscape painter, built the first artist studio in East Hampton in 1884 and became a magnet for the growing artist community on the East End.
- With the founding of the Summer Art School in Shinnecock Hills in 1891, 100 to 150 art students, both amateur and professional, came from all over the country each year to study Plein Air Painting under William Merritt Chase (1849-1916).
- Artists such as William Glackens (1870-1936) and Fairfield Porter (1907-1975) continued to be drawn to the Hamptons by the casual lifestyle, beautiful nature, and proximity to New York City, although their painting styles differed dramatically from the earlier generation of Hamptons' artists.
- And then came the Abstract Expressionists! "The postwar generation of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and their colleagues and friends came because they could establish studios inexpensively and have each other to talk to ... this remains true today. Community breeds community in a good and productive way." (Terrie Sultan, director of the Parrish Art Museum in a 2015 article in whitewall.)
The Hamptons Art Hub is the only source you need to keep abreast of the art scene in New York and the Hamptons!
I have already blogged about East Hampton’s Guild Hall Galleries so today let’s start a bit farther afield with the Parrish Art Museum and some of the area’s more eclectic art offerings …
Events and Happenings … The Parrish Art Museum
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill
In 2012 the, Parrish Art Museum moved from its cramped but beautiful historic buildings on Jobs Lane in Southampton to its spectacular new home in a former potato field in Watermill.
The move created the space to share its outstanding collection of American Paintings with the public and to host temporary exhibitions. It also allows for more public events and educational programs to "encourage all of our audiences to engage with the creative process and to experience the artistic legacy of the East End of Long Island."
- Their Mission Statement: "Inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island's East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in-residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world.”
- The Architecture and The Building: "Designed by the internationally acclaimed firm Herzog & de Meuron, the new Parrish occupies a fourteen-acre site in the hamlet of Water Mill. The innovative design integrates architecture and landscape in a plan that both respects and reflects the singular natural beauty and rich artistic legacy of Long Island’s East End. The architects were inspired not only by the landscape but also by the many artists’ studios they visited on the East End.’
Parrish Art Museum Events, Water Mill
- Open Studios for Adults, Families and Teens
- Guided Tours
- Opening Receptions
- Workshops and Classes
Current Exhibitions for the Summer of 2018:
- The Permanent Collection - Five and Forward (through October 31, 2018)
- Works of Abstract Expressionist James Brooks (1906–1992), and Alan Shields (1944–2005), whose work reflects a bold reversal of conventional painting traditions.
- Keith Sonnier – Until Today (through January 27, 2019), one of the first artists to incorporate light in sculpture.
Parrish Art Museum Summer Family Party Sunday, August 13, 2018
- Work alongside artists to create one-of-a kind projects
- Take part in a fun gallery scavenger hunt
- capture memories in the Flip Book photo booth
- Enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner
More Hamptons Art Attractions …
Dia’s Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton
- A permanent installation of Dan Flavin’s art works created between 1963 and 1981 with standard fluorescent fixtures and bulbs in a converted firehouse turned church turned gallery.
- The current Guest Exhibition of neon and mixed media sculptures is by contemporary video and light artist Keith Sonnier.
Clay Art Guild of the Hamptons, Watermill
With exhibitions, classes and studio tours, the Clay Art Guild of the Hamptons provides an environment for the enrichment of clay arts and offers resources for the clay community of the East End:
- Back Roads Clay Studio Tour – July 21 & 22, 2018
- Summer Enliven Event: Bowl-A-Rama! – August 11 & 12, 2018
- Potters Market – September 15 & 16, 2018
- Bowls of Plenty – October 6, 2018
Ashawagh Hall, Springs
Since 1909, Ashawagh Hall has been hosting art shows and community gatherings and bringing artists together in the community where many of them live.
- Springs Invitational Art Show – August 1 – 12, 2018
- Fisherman’s Fair – Saturday August 11, 2018
- 4th Annual East End Design Show – August 15 – 21, 2108
- Tom Steele Art Show – August 24 - September 4, 2018
Stonybrook Foundation’s Pollack-Krasner House and Study Center
"Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) is regarded as the undisputed leader of the Abstract Expressionist movement. In 1945, Pollock married fellow artist Lee Krasner (1908-1984) and moved from New York City to Long Island’s East End. With a loan from art dealer Peggy Guggenheim, they purchased a small homestead on one and a quarter acre overlooking Accabonac Creek in The Springs, near East Hampton."
The story is well documented, but it is really exciting to walk through the house, studio, and the area where Pollock painted and cooked, and just breathe in the inspiration. Guided Tours by reservation only.
Wow, that’s a lot to digest, and it’s not nearly complete! In another Blog, I will expound on the East Hampton Village Galleries. Or, you can just meander into the village from the Mill House Inn and explore some of them on foot.
- Eric Firestone Gallery
- Halsey Mckay Gallery
- The Drawing Room
- Gallery Valentine
- Lawrence Fine Art
- Janet Lehr Fine Art
- Roman Fine Art
- Wallace Gallery
- Harper’s Books
- William Quigley Art
Check the Hamptons Art Hub for more information on current exhibitions and openings. Or just ask us and we will be happy to make some suggestions!