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Alexandria Museum of Art hosts "Guild Hall: An Adventure in the Arts Selections from the Collection"
William King (b. 1925), The Swimmer, 1955-72. Pine with paint, 15 x 16 x 72". Photo: Courtesy of the Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY.
ALEXANDRIA, LA.- The exhibition entitled Guild Hall: An Adventure in the Arts Selections from the Permanent Collection will be presented at the Alexandria Museum of Art from April 15 – June 15, 2013. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by a variety of significant artists that lived and worked in East Hampton area on Long Island in New York over the past 140 years. Included among the artists represented in the collection are: Chuck Close, April Gornik, Childe Hassam, Lee Krasner, Ibram Lassaw, Roy Lichtenstein, Thomas Moran, Jackson Pollock, Larry Rivers, David Salle, Andy Warhol, and Jane Wilson. A selection of these works has been organized into a traveling exhibition entitled An Adventure in the Arts which is now a touring to a select group of museums throughout the United States for the first time. The exhibition is organized by Guild Hall in association with Landau Traveling Exhibitions of Los Angeles, CA.

Established in 1931, Guild Hall is the primary cultural center on the Eastern End of Long Island. The East End of Long Island is a unique region that has attracted many diversely talented people such as artists, writers, musicians, actors, and directors over the years. They search for and find inspiration in the natural beauty of the landscape, the magnificent light and the endless beaches. In East Hampton, a tradition of artists in residence dates back to the1870’s.

Guild Hall opened to the public in East Hampton, NY, in the summer of 1931 as a gift of philanthropist Mrs. Lorenzo E. Woodhouse. It provided East Hampton with an art gallery, a theater and meeting place - the cultural center in the center of culture.

Through donations by artists and patrons, and by acquisition, the Guild Hall has developed an impressive permanent collection which now consists of over 1,900 works in all mediums, including paintings, prints, photography and sculpture. Works by early residents Thomas Moran and Childe Hassam are among Guild Hall’s important acquisitions. In the 1960s, the collection began to focus on the many artists who have lived and worked in the Eastern Long Island region, including some of the country’s most celebrated painters, sculptors, photographers and graphic artists.

Long Island, with close proximity to New York City, became a popular tourist destination with the onset of the Long Island Railroad in the late 19th century. The L.I.R.R. was very active in marketing the charms of the region by distributing thousands of brochures and leaflets. In the 1870s, Hudson River School painters portrayed the white sand beaches of eastern Long Island. Winslow Homer came to visit in 1872 and in 1878, a group of New York artists known as the Tile Club traveled to the East End and visited several of its small villages including East Hampton. Thomas Moran and his family settled permanently in 1884. His home and studio became the center of life for artists who visited the village.

In the teens, twenties and thirties many artists including Guy Pene du Bois and George Bellows, visited the area. Later after WWII, the Surrealists aided by artist and philanthropist Gerald Murphy were welcomed guests. They were followed by the Abstract Expressionist artists Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner and Willem de Kooning, Pop artists Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol, Photo Realists Audrey Flack and Chuck Close, 80’s and 90’s Neo-expressionist artists Eric Fischl, David Salle and Julian Schnabel as well as many contemporary artists today such as Ross Bleckner, Donald Sultan and April Gornik. These artist-residents continue to make the East End the country’s foremost art colony.

In 1931, when Mrs. Lorenzo E. Woodhouse dedicated Guild Hall as a cultural center for the community, The New York Times noted that Howard Russell Butler’s portrait of Thomas Moran, on exhibit in the galleries, was not a loan, but an acquisition. “It marks the beginning of a permanent art collection which it proposed to build up in Guild Hall,” the newspaper explained. From this beginning over 73years ago, the holdings have grown significantly in size and scope. In the early1960’s, the collection began to focus on the artists who have lived and worked in the region, including some of the country’s most celebrated painters, sculptors, photographers and graphic artists.

It was not until 1970 when the Dewey Wing, with climate-controlled art storage and processing facilities, was added, that collecting started in earnest. In 1973 the museum received the distinction of being accredited by the American Association of Museums. Today, the holdings of 19th, 20th and 21st century art number some 1900 objects which include paintings, sculpture, prints, watercolors, photographs and drawings by internationally renowned artists. The museum continues to acquire works by donation and acquisition.

n 1973 the Guild Hall Museum received the distinction of being accredited by the American Association of Museums. It is devoted to the cultural enrichment of the community through a regional focus on both established and emerging artists. The exhibition space consists of four galleries: Moran, Woodhouse, Spiga and Leidy; as well as the Ruth Dean Garden and the Myrtle Shepherd Sculpture Garden. The year-round schedule of changing exhibitions includes both one-person and group shows, an annual Members Exhibition and the Student Arts Festival.

Guild Hall is supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; Suffolk County Department of Economic Development, the Town of East Hampton, memberships, contributions, grants and endowments. Educational programs are funded in large part through the generosity of Lewis B. Cullman in memory of his brother Joseph F. Cullman 3rd.

Guild Hall: An Adventure in the Arts Selections from the Permanent Collection is curated by Christina Mossaides Strassfield, Curator, Guild Hall Museum.

Guild Hall: An Adventure in the Arts, Selections from the Permanent Collection is made possible with additional support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; Suffolk County Department of Economic Development; the Town of East Hampton; Evan Frankel Foundation; Lewis B. Cullman in memory of his brother Joseph F. Cullman 3rd; Bloomberg Radio and private donors, among others.

The traveling exhibition was organized by Guild Hall in association with Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA. The national museum tour was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions. Since 1967, Landau Traveling Exhibitions has presented more than 700 fine art and architecture exhibitions at museums and university galleries throughout the United States and the world.





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