February 15, 2021
Design and Art: Parrish Art Museum
New York City’s museums get all the international acclaim, but in the Hamptons, the Parrish Art Museum is a notable arts destination in its own right.
Situated on 14 acres in Water Mill, the museum dates back to 1898 when Samuel Parrish, a Quaker with a love for art, decided to build a museum for his collection of Italian Renaissance works. The original location was in Southampton and called The Art Museum at Southampton.
In the mid-80s, the museum, by then renamed to Parrish, moved to Water Mill to a building designed by the renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. It’s an architectural showpiece with a horizontal shape, corrugated metal roof and sky-lit galleries.
Then there’s the art: Parrish’s collection of 3,000 permanent works represents American artists and spans from early 19th century landscape paintings to 21st century modern works. Look for pieces by notable artists such as April Gornik, Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein, John Chamberlin and Chuck Close. The museum also has the largest private collection of works by the landscape painter William Merritt Chase.
In addition to a permanent collection, the Parrish hosts 15 exhibitions a year on various themes and has more than a 100 events including lectures, workshops and movies.
Currently, the galleries are closed until mid-March, but the outdoor exhibition is a must- plus, it’s free and an enjoyable way to spend a winter afternoon in the Hamptons. Called “Field of Dreams,” it’s a sculpture show that represents works by ten artists, both established and emerging, from around the world. Don’t miss the 30-foot bronze tree by Italian artist Giuseppe Penone, which stood out for me the most. Also on view is “Bonac Blind,” a floating structure by Southampton artist Scott Bluedorn.