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The Parrish Art Museum Announces Groundbreaking of New Building
Parrish Art Museum, Gallery view. Computer generated image © Herzog & de Meuron.

SOUTH HAMPTON, NY.- The Parrish Art Museum announces the commencement of construction of its new Herzog & de Meuron designed building in Water Mill, in the Town of Southampton, New York. Projected to open in 2012, the new Parrish is the first art museum to be built on the East End of Long Island in more than a century and will be the cultural centerpiece and most recognizable architectural landmark of the region. “This will be a watershed moment not only for the Museum, but also for the community. The new Parrish will offer the entire region and beyond expanded opportunities for seeing, experiencing, and learning about art through our collection of more than 2,600 works, and temporary exhibitions,” noted Parrish Director Terrie Sultan. “With this new building, the Parrish will take its rightful place as a major museum and a center for cultural engagement.”

Located on the north side of Montauk Highway and designed by the worldrenowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, the new Parrish is a horizontal structure nestled discreetly in the landscape. Consisting of two parallel wings joined by a central circulation spine running the length of the building, the new facility will be nearly twice the size of the existing Museum. The 34,500 square-foot Museum will feature more than 12,000 square feet of pristine and flexible gallery spaces with some 4,500 square feet for special exhibitions and 7,500 dedicated to installations of the Museum’s important permanent collection. A series of north-facing skylights will allow for natural, north light to be evenly filtered throughout the galleries. “The galleries are the heart and soul of the new Museum,” according to Alicia Longwell, Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, Art and Education. “Now, for the first time, the Parrish will have the wherewithal to make available on a permanent basis our distinguished collection of American art from the nineteenth century to the present, while simultaneously presenting special exhibitions.”

The Museum will also include educational and multi-purpose spaces, a generous and light-filled lobby, a shop, and a café. The design incorporates administrative offices and onsite space for storage and care of the permanent collection. The exterior walls of poured-in-place concrete are deeply recessed under a long and elegant white corrugated metal roof and incorporate opportunities for views through the Museum and into the surrounding landscape. Covered porches and terraces will provide additional opportunities for enjoyment of the setting.

"It is rewarding to see the Parrish Art Museum breaking ground only one year after the initial conceptual design. Collaborating closely with local contractors from the beginning made this possible and allowed us to immediately test at full scale our palette of ideas—straight-forward materials and detailing, human scale, overall proportion, and the relation to the natural landscape and daylight,” noted Ascan Mergenthaler, Senior Partner, Herzog & de Meuron. “We are excited to offer the Long Island community in two years from now, a generous sequence of northern lit galleries invoking the spirit of the East End artists’ studio. A continuous gathering porch will unify the entire Museum under one roof creating a new building type that connotes the vernacular of local farm buildings."

Like the building itself, the landscape will evoke the heritage of the East End. The site will be reshaped into a meadow with grasses and native wildflowers, rising toward an oak and birch woodland at the northern boundary. A special feature of the new design is the creation of public areas for contemplation and social interaction. Conceived as a single, integrated work, the architecture and landscape will offer the public a unified and cohesive experience year-round.

“Since artists first traveled to the East End in the nineteenth century to paint outdoors, art, and nature have been intertwined here,” said Parrish Trustee Dorothy Lichtenstein. “The architects’ vision expresses this interconnectedness, from galleries whose proportions and natural light reference artist studios, to porches, terraces, and window walls that connect the interior of the building to the landscape outside.”

The Parrish Art Museum’s building campaign has raised almost 70% of the funds needed to reach the goal of $25 million. As the Parrish moves forward with construction, it continues to receive strong support. Many of the country’s leading arts and culture philanthropists have made Founding Partners gifts to the Capital Campaign, including: Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller; Norman and Liliane Peck and The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation; the Carroll Petrie Foundation; The Harriet and Esteban Vicente Foundation; The Robert Lehman Foundation, Inc.; Dorothy Lichtenstein; Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder; Mildred C. Brinn; Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Foundation; Lynne and Richard Pasculano; Susan Weber; Dan K. Wassong and David K. Wassong; Agnes Gund (in honor of Dorothy Lichtenstein); Charlotte Moss and Barry Friedberg; Ira and Gale Drukier; The Bacon Family; Meryl and Charles Witmer; Stacey and Eric Mindich; and an anonymous donor. Continued fundraising efforts are being supported by the Board of Trustees and numerous individuals, demonstrating the broad-based support the Museum enjoys. Members of the Board provide leadership in the completion of the Museum’s capital campaign and serve as advocates for the Parrish, raising awareness of the important role the Museum plays in the culture of the East End community, the region, and a broader national and international audience.

“The groundbreaking marks the next step in the incredible journey of the Parrish Art Museum which began more than 100 years ago,” noted Parrish Board Co-chair Carlo Bronzini Vender. Board Co-chair Douglas Polley added, “The Parrish is fortunate to have the support of so many notable members of both the East End and New York City communities who have wholeheartedly embraced the project and committed deeply to the future of the Museum. In spite of the economic challenges of the past year, we are well-situated to move forward with this magnificent project, creating a major center for art on Long Island’s East End.”

The Parrish Art Museum | Herzog & de Meuron | Alicia Longwell | Terrie Sultan |

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