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Over 60 . . . And Getting Younger: August 22, 2013

The Parrish Museum Revisited

To all of you old-timers, who visit the Hamptons during the summer, the aged Parrish Museum on Jobs Lane in the town of Southhampton was truly a delight. The original museum was founded in 1897. The weathered red brick building certainly gave the museum a feeling of gravitas. The Roman Emperors and their statues in the adjoining garden added to the aura of ancient civilizations, giving a feeling of history to the museum.

In the museum, the exhibitions of Fairfield Porter, Jackson Pollack, Williem de Kooning and others spoke of the times when the Hamptons were the center of art and painting flourishing on the Long Island.

Last weekend with my daughter, her husband and grandson in town, we tried to seek out and find the new Parrish Museum in Water Mill. The new museum officially opened on November 10, 2012, located at 279 Montauk Highway.  Be on the alert for a very small sign that points to the new museum. The building itself is one level, with a long, white sloped-roof designed as a gigantic barn, 615 feet long and 95 feet wide. Prize winning architects Herzog & de Meuron developed the new building at this site. All of the galleries are illuminated by daylight with huge windows and skylights. Of course, it also has a cafe and a gift shop.

Entrance fees are $10.00 and $8.00 for senior citizens. On the day we visited, there was no entrance fee. There is a long, straight hallway with exhibits on both sides of a central corridor. As you enter each room, there are signs telling the artists’ history and his/her accomplishments. Jackson Pollock, Ossorio, DuBuffet were a few of the artists at the beginning of the long stimulating walk through the museum. As we walked through the hallway, we saw a room filled with a Fairfield Porter exhibit. Porter an American realist painter and writer from 1949 to 1975 lived in Southhampton and on an island off the coast of Maine. There is a collection of 2,600 works of art at the Parrish, including Chuck Close, April Gornik, Elizabeth Peyton, Dan Flavin, Roy Lichtenstein, Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

I was delighted by the William Merritt Chase room. He was a great and unequaled American Impressionist whose series of paintings gave a deep sensual and heart rendering feeling to his work. The “Blue Kimono” was extraordinary.

The Parrish Museum’s focus is on American paintings and art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with special emphasis on our artists living on Long Island’s East End. The varied lighting in the new Parrish Museum is spectacular..

Just remember, look for the huge white barn building with a sloped roof , visible from Montauk Highway in Water Mill.