We were excited to learn recently about plans for a small museum focused on paintings of old Long Island which is to be created at the historic Gardiner house on James Lane. The village, using money from the town’s community preservation fund, bought the property in 2014. Since then, an accessory structure has been removed and minor repairs done on the house.
The museum will be devoted to 19th and early 20th century landscape paintings, many collected over the years by Terry Wallace, who has a gallery here. Funding is to come, in part, from a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation; the East Hampton Historical Society will be the curator.
Considered together with the ongoing restoration of the Thomas Moran house and studio on Main Street, more or less diagonally across Town Pond, the new museum will expand the cultural heritage of the village.
East Hampton has long been thought of as a birthplace of the Abstract Expressionist movement, what with such massive figures as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning having done some of their most important work at their studios in Springs. Moran, however, and some of the lesser-known painters who came before the Ab-Ex giants, are significant, too. The landscape museum will help us all have a better understanding and appreciation of this area’s artistic legacy.