The Hamptons has a long list of art offerings for a nice weekend away from New York City.
On the far eastern end of Long Island, New York, the Hamptons has been an artistic and privileged retreat since before the Civil War. These days, it is wide open to tourists, with many spots worth spending a day.
Jackson Pollock’s house and studio, overlooking a salt marsh in a hamlet called The Springs, has been left largely intact by the last 50 years. Visitors can take a docent-led tour through his library (jazz record collection intact) to his studio, where one can walk (carefully) on the thick paint spatters that came from his most famous paintings. See how your footprints measure next to his, if that’s your thing.
This is an excellent way to spend an entire morning, and bring a picnic for lunch. The reserve is a 16-acre sculpture garden, museum, and nature reserve founded by Jack Lenore Larsen. Large works by Chihuly, Buckminster Fuller, Ai Weiwei, and dozens of other artists dot the woods around the late Larsen’s home. Even the house is a work of art, designed by Charles Fourberg and inspired by Japanese shrines.
This is the oldest cultural institution on the island east of New York City, founded in 1898. The museum displays over 3000 works, mostly American, and includes 14 acres of sculpture-filled meadows. An exhibit on Frida Kahlo opens November 20.
The Church is an arts center built in a former 19th century Methodist Church, using the light-filled nature of the space to highlight their varied exhibitions. Founded by artists Eric Fischl and April Gorni, it always has something fresh and intriguing on display. For instance, right now, there is an exhibit featuring both rare classic guitars and bronze-cast sculptures of artists’ hands.