This exhibition, from the Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York, includes 73 works of art by 40 artists, honoring them from the past 120 years as they have made East Hampton a thriving center for creative expression and artistic experimentation. Works included in this exhibit are by impressionists, surrealists, abstract expressionists, pop artists, photo realists, 80’s and 90’s neo-expressionists, and contemporary artists. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and mixed media works trace the progression of art movements in America from Impressionism to experiments by contemporary artists in the 1980’s and 1990’s. This exhibition was organized by the Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York.
AMST starts 2017 by celebrating the rich heritage of one of America’s most influential art communities located on the east end of Long Island. The exhibition Guild Hall: An Adventure in the Arts, Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Guild Hall Museum is on view through April 30 in the Chapman Gallery. The exhibition spans the 20th century, with nods to the 19th century, and features 59 artists with works dating from 1878 to 1998. Artists in the exhibition include Thomas Moran, Childe Hassam, Jackson Pollock, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Jimmy Ernst, Roy Lichtenstein, Chuck Close, and David Salle.
Guild Hall is the primary cultural center of the Hamptons on the eastern end of Long Island, and is known as being the first center in America to house theater, museum, and community meeting spaces under one roof. Even before Guild Hall was established in 1931, the East Hampton area attracted many talented artists, writers, musicians, actors, and directors over the years. For instance, in 1884 Thomas Moran, one of America's most significant landscape painters, and his family settled in the area permanently making it his home and studio. His studio subsequently became the center of life for artists who visited the village. In the 1960’s Guild Hall began to focus on artists who lived and worked in the region. In the 1970’s, when a climate-controlled space was added, building a permanent collection began in earnest.
Today, Guild Hall’s permanent collection holds over 2,000 objects of 19th, 20th, and 21st century art. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and mixed media works. It follows the progression of major art movements in America from Impressionism through Abstract Expressionism, as well as documenting experiments by contemporary artists in the 80s and 90s. Balancing past and present, Guild Hall is a center for arts and culture in the area. According to John Russell, Chief Art Critic at the New York Times from 1982-1990, “A great deal of East Hampton still looks the way it did when the first sketching parties began to come out from New York in the 1870’s. And part of Guild Hall’s job is to speak for that community; not too loudly - people around here don’t care to be preached to - but with a poetic insight that gets through to any sensitive visitor.” With its close proximity to New York City and endless beaches, this area continues to attract artists who want to live and work among other artists, making the East End of the Hamptons the country’s foremost art colony.