On the east end of Long Island is a wealth of artistic venues and a rich cultural scene to explore at leisure. You can find works in lush gardens and meadows, on manicured lawns, around ponds with lily pads, near marshy creeks, and in historic buildings in the Hamptons.
The list of galleries and art centers has grown in recent years.
The area, a few hours east of New York, has attracted artists since the 19th century. It thrives on summer tourism, so the art season begins in spring and peaks in late fall. Indoor and outdoor exhibits change regularly, and some venues are open year-round.
Many also include performing arts, as well as educational programs.
This 16-acre sculpture garden, museum and nature reserve was founded by the late textile designer and collector Jack Lenor Larsen. Her home, inspired by a shrine in Japan and designed by Charles Fourberg, sits near the edge of a lily pond. Prominent are Dale Chihuly’s ‘Cobalt Reeds’ in blue blown glass. At the entrance to a garden shrine, you can ring “The Gateway Bell” by Toshiko Takaezu, made of bronze and wood. The resonating sound creates a conscious state. Other works among the nearly 60 on display include “Bronze Eroded Venus de Milo” by Daniel Arsham; Buckminster Fuller’s fiberglass Fly’s Eye Dome; “Would That I Wish For (Tall Totem)” by Marko Remec, in mixed media; the glazed ceramic “Dango” by Jun Kaneko; the bronze “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” by Ai Weiwei; and the minimalist “Irregular Progression High #7” by Sol Lewitt.
POLLOCK-KRASNER HOUSE AND STUDY CENTER
A National Historic Landmark in The Springs, a hamlet of East Hampton, the clapboard house overlooking a salt marsh was home to Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock and his wife, artist Lee Krasner. Pollock’s jazz record collection and artists’ library are intact. Visitors can book tickets for a docent-led tour. In the studio you can walk, in protective slippers, on the paint-splattered floor that retains Pollock’s footprints and evidence of his most famous poured paintings, created between 1946 and 1952, such as “Autumn Rhythm”. , “Blue Poles” and “Convergence.” Preserved and developed by the Stony Brook Foundation, it is an immersive art experience.
A Palladian-style building houses the collection of Hungarian-born handbag designer Judith Leiber. On display are elegant, couture handbags made with Swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones, and other accessories, as well as paintings by Leiber’s husband, Gerson Leiber, a modernist artist. An adjoining sculpture garden hosts exhibitions, currently featuring artists from the East End.
THE CENTER OF THE WATER MILL
An interdisciplinary campus with studios for the arts and humanities, open year-round. It sits on 10 acres of ancestral Shinnecock territory with manicured lawns and gardens in Water Mill, New York. The center was founded in 1992 by theater director and visual artist Robert Wilson, and includes a curated art collection, artist residencies and educational programs. Works currently on display include Adam Parker Smith’s ‘Standing on the Moon’, featuring sarcophagi in the woods, and an exhibition by Christopher Knowles, ‘Stand’.
PETER MARINO ART FOUNDATION
The Peter Marino collection includes contemporary and modern art and furniture; Paintings and Drawings by Old Masters; antiques; Renaissance and Baroque bronzes; rare books and others. It opened to the public in Southampton in 2021. Marino, an architect, has collected art for over 40 years. More than 150 works are exhibited, including, recently, 10 by the German artist Anselm Kiefer. Marino purchased the old Rogers Memorial Library, restoring its historic facade and redesigning the interior to showcase his collection. A guided tour is recommended.
The global auction house expanded its operations in 2020 to be closer to its New York-based clientele after many wealthy people left New York due to COVID. The gallery occupies the historic town hall of Southampton. Works on display include furniture, jewelry, prints and photographs, and are available for purchase. Special events and rotating exhibitions support the work of local artists. On September 9, the day after Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II died, the first street art seen here was “Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, from Reigning Queens (Royal Edition)” by Andy Warhol , a silkscreen finished with diamond dust.
PARRISH ART MUSEUM
Founded in 1898, it is the oldest cultural institution in the East End of Long Island. It’s over 3,000 works ranging from early 19th century landscape paintings to American Impressionism and up to the present day. The museum sits on 14 acres of grassland; outdoor installations include tall sculptures by Roy Lichtenstein and Isa Genzken. Upcoming exhibitions: “Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things” opens November 6 through February 19, 2023 and “Frida Kahlo” opens November 20 through March 2023.
SOUTHAMPTON ARTS CENTER
Admission is free to this center, nestled among restaurants, shops and galleries. A multimedia show, “A Celebration of Trees”, is open until December 18. A recent show, “Figures Transformed”, included work inspired by the figure, and can still be seen on a 3D tour in a virtual gallery presentation.
This arts center, housed in a former 19th-century Methodist church, was co-founded by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik in Sag Harbor and opened in 2021. It’s a flexible and bright exhibition space, with artists’ residences and a garden. The windows display Fischl’s portraits of architects, artists, writers, inventors, and other local creatives. Recently, works by Louise Bourgeois, Hank Willis Thomas, Laurie Lambrecht, Kiki Smith and others have been exhibited, now available on the website. “Hand Made: Guitars, According to GE Smith and the American Artists’ Hand Archive,” an exhibit featuring 16 rare classical guitars and a collection of bronze sculptures by the hands of visual artists, runs through December 22.
A new indoor-outdoor exhibition space and gallery located on a working horse farm and showcasing contemporary art. Horses, geese, and other wildlife may be present as you admire the art in the scenic surroundings. The current exhibition “Frank Stella: Sculpture”, which ends on November 1, includes five monumental works produced from 1993 to the present day.