The New Parrish Art Museum- Celebrating Their First Year

The Parrish Art Museum founded in 1898, opened its new building at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill on November 10, 2012. Situated on 14 acres, the 34,400 square foot horizontal structure has 12,200 square feet of exhibition space, tripling that of the original museum. Designed by the internationally acclaimed architects Herzog & de Meuron, The Parrish Art Museum is an architectural masterpiece. The shape and form consists of two long adjacent winged structures jutting diagonally out into an open field. Metal roof overhangs cover the exterior concrete walls and benches. The interior of the museum has cathedral ceilings with exposed wooden rafters and ten galleries of different sizes, each with large north- and small south-facing skylights, creating continually changing natural light and space.

Located on the north side of Montauk Highway, across from Hank’s Pumpkintown, and next to Duck Walk Vineyards, the museum lies in an extensive meadow reminiscent of the many farms and landscapes all across the East End of Long Island. The museum’s multiple skylights and windows capture the radiant light, cloud formations, spectacular sunsets, and imagery reflected in many of the works represented by East End artists. The scenery can also be viewed through the large glass windows from within the museum lobby gallery. It is truly a remarkable setting for exhibiting artwork.

The museum is made up of changing exhibitions, featuring art primarily loaned from other museums displayed for three months at a time and the Parrish Collection Galleries, which for the first time in the museum’s history, displays a portion of the museum’s permanent collection of over 2,600 works, ranging from early 19th century landscape paintings to American Impressionism to 20th and 21st century art. The museum holds the largest public art collection of William Merritt Chase and features works by Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, Fairfield Porter, Roy Lichtenstein, and April Gornik, among many others. The permanent collection rotates annually.

Coinciding with Veteran’s Day Weekend from November 9-11, the Parrish Art Museum will celebrate its 1st Anniversary at its new location in Water Mill. There will be daily programs open to the public Saturday through Monday with opportunities to meet and greet the artists, enjoy live music in the galleries, and fun programs for children. On display for the 1st Anniversary will be the Artists Choose Artists exhibition, celebrating artists on the East End, displayed from November 10, 2013 – January 19, 2014. In addition, there will be a complete reinstallation of the museum’s permanent collection, opening on the anniversary weekend.

The museum has special late night Fridays, open until 8 p.m. year-round, featuring artist talks, concerts, and films in the galleries, the theater, or outdoors in season. The Salon Series feature six concerts by award-wining young musicians from around the world. The last two for the fall season include pianist Inna Faliks on Friday, October 25 and pianist Nadejda Vlaeva on Friday, November 1, both at 6 p.m. On Thanksgiving weekend from Black Friday, November 29 – Sunday, December 1, visit the Parrish Art Museum and shop at the Pop-Up Market on the museum’s terrace.

Terrie Sultan, the Director of the Parrish Art Museum, remarked at the museum’s opening in November 2012 that, “The new building is a beautiful embodiment of the creative legacy of the East End, and with light-filled galleries, a flexible multi-purpose performance space, and many other public amenities, the Parrish will take its place as a real center for cultural engagement for the entire East End.” Scott Howe, Deputy Director of the museum, observes, “For over 100 years, the East End of Long Island has been an amazing home for artists. The Parrish Art Museum tells the story of one of the most vibrant artists’ colonies in the world. The new building allows us to show more of our collection and the artistic legacy of the East End.” Howe also reflects that, “Since moving to our new location, our audience has doubled from across the East End and the New York City greater metropolitan area.”

The new Parrish Art Museum is as much an architectural work of art as it is a museum for great works of art. It won Wallpaper* Magazine’s 2013 Design Award for the Best Public Building of the year and the Wall Street Journal named it one of the best new museums in December 2012. The larger space now offers the opportunity of viewing the museum’s extraordinary collection of over 2,600 works of art as well as the changing exhibitions, Friday evening events, and programs for children. Visit the new Parrish Art Museum and celebrate the wonder of art.

The museum is open year-round, daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fridays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays.

Ruth Thomas, a freelance writer on the East End enjoys history, music, literature, art, nature, the beach, and her cute dachshund, Clancy. She can be contacted at