On the eastern end of Long Island, New York lies a host of art venues and a rich cultural scene to explore at your leisure. You can find works in lush gardens and meadows, on manicured lawns, around water lily ponds, by swampy creeks, and in historic Hamptons buildings.
The list of galleries and art centers has grown longer just in the last few years.
The area, a few hours east of New York City, has drawn artists since the 19th century. It thrives on summer tourism, so the art season starts in spring and peaks in late autumn. 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-hectare sculpture garden, museum and nature reserve was founded by the late textile designer and collector Jack Lenor Larsen. His house, inspired by a shrine in Japan and designed by Charles Fourberg, sits near the edge of a water lily pond. Featured prominently is Dale Chihuly’s “Cobalt Reeds,” made of blue blown glass. At the entrance to a garden reserve, you can ring Toshiko Takaezu’s “The Gateway Bell”, made of bronze and wood. The resonant sound creates an alert state. Other works among the nearly 60 on display include Daniel Arsham’s “Bronze Eroded Venus de Milo”; Buckminster Fuller’s “Fly’s Eye Dome,” in fiberglass; Marko Remec’s “Would That I Wish For (Tall Totem),” in mixed media; Jun Kaneko’s glazed ceramic “Dango”; Ai Weiwei’s bronze “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads”; and Sol Lewitt’s minimalist “Irregular Progression High #7.”
A National Historic Landmark in The Springs, a village in East Hampton, the shingled 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 reserve tickets for a docent-led tour. In the studio, you can walk, in protective slippers, on the paint-splattered floor that preserves Pollock’s footprints and evidence of his most famous poured paintings, created between 1946-52, such as “Autumn Rhythm,” “Blue Poles,” and “Convergence.” Preserved and developed by the Stony Brook Foundation, this is an immersive, artistic 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 adjacent sculpture garden hosts exhibitions currently featuring East End artists.
An interdisciplinary campus with studies for arts and humanities, open all year round. It sits on 10 acres of Shinnecock’s ancestral territory with manicured lawns and gardens in Water Mill, New York. Founded in 1992 by theater director and visual artist Robert Wilson, the center 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 a Christopher Knowles exhibit, “Stand.”
The Peter Marino Collection includes modern and contemporary art and furniture; Old Master paintings and drawings; antiquities; Renaissance and Baroque bronzes; rare books and more. It opened to the public in Southampton in 2021. Marino, an architect, collected art for over 40 years. There are more than 150 works on display, including recently 10 by the German artist Anselm Kiefer. Marino purchased the former Rogers Memorial Library, restored its historic facade and redesigned the interior to showcase his collection. A guided tour is recommended.
The global auction house expanded its business in 2020 to move closer to its New York-based clientele after many wealthy people left New York City due to COVID. The gallery occupies the historic Town Hall in Southampton. Works on display include furniture, jewellery, prints and photography, 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 art seen from the street here was Andy Warhol’s “Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, from Reging Queens (Royal Edition)”, a diamond-finished serigraph dust.
Founded in 1898, this is the oldest cultural institution on the East End of Long Island. It’s more than 3,000 works range from early 19th century landscape paintings through American Impressionism to the present day. The museum is located on 14 hectares of meadows; outdoor installations include tall sculptures by Roy Lichtenstein and Isa Genzken. Upcoming exhibitions: “Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things” opens November 6, on view through February 19, 2023, and “Frida Kahlo” opens November 20, on view through March 2023.
Admission is free to this center, which is nestled among eateries, shops and galleries. A multimedia show, “A Celebration of Trees,” is open through December 18. A recent show, “Figures Transformed”, featured work inspired by the figure and can still be seen on a 3D tour in a Virtual Gallery presentation.
This art center, in a former 19th-century Methodist church, was founded by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik in Sag Harbor and opened in 2021. It is a light-filled, flexible exhibition space with artist residencies and a garden. Windows display Fischl’s portraits of local architects, artists, writers, inventors and other creatives. Recently, works by Louise Bourgeois, Hank Willis Thomas, Laurie Lambrecht, Kiki Smith and others were exhibited and can now be viewed at the website. “Hand Made: Guitars, According to GE Smith and the American Artists’ Hand Archive,” an exhibit of 16 rare classic guitars and a collection of cast bronze sculptures by visual artists’ hands, is on display through Dec. 22.
A new indoor-outdoor exhibition space and gallery located on an active horse farm, showcasing contemporary art. Horses, geese and other wildlife may be present as you view the art in a picturesque setting. The current “Frank Stella: Sculpture” show, which ends Nov. 1, includes five monumental works made from 1993 to the present.