The Parrish Art Museum is located in Water Mill, New York and is renowned for its architectural design by Herzog & de Meuron. Samuel Longstreth Parrish fell in love with art and the Italian Renaissance when he attended Harvard College. Shortly after Parrish moved his law practice from Philadelphia to New York, he began actively seeking and collecting art. During the same time, Parrish would visit his family at their Southampton home.


© Parrish Art Museum

In 1896, Parrish was traveling in Italy when he decided that he wanted to build a museum in Southampton to display his comprehensive art collection. When Parrish returned to the United States, he bought a piece of land next to the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton. Then, he hired Grosvenor Atterbury, a renowned architect who was also a Southampton resident to design the museum. This museum, known as the Art Museum at Southampton, was a singular exhibition hall constructed completely of wood. Shortly after the hall was constructed in 1897, a concert hall was created.

Additions and renovations continued until Parish died in 1932. Shortly after his death, the interest in the museum declined. The museum’s popularity did not come back until Mrs. Robert Malcolm Littlejohn became the president of the museum in the 1950s. Under her direction, little renovations and measures were made to ensure the museum would stay open year-round.

By 1980, it became apparent that the Parrish Art Museum had too big of a collection and opportunity to remain in the original Southampton building. So, the Parrish Art Museum moved to a 34,400 square foot building constructed by the renowned architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron on November 10, 2012 in Water Mill, New York. The Parrish Art Museum is closed on Tuesdays, but is open on Wednesday to Monday from 10 am to 5 pm and Friday from 10 am to 8 pm.

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2.Permanent Attractions

Permanent Attractions
© Parrish Art Museum

The Parrish Art Museum is home to over 2,600 pieces of art that range from the early 19h century to modern day. The museum’s permanent attractions focus on landscape paintings and American impressionism. Some of the notable artists featured in the permanent attractions are; John Sloan, Dan Flavin, John Chamberlain, William Merritt Chase, and Fairfield Porter. The museum even has collections and archives that are dedicated to the work of William Merritt Chase and Fairfield Porter.

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3.Special Attractions

Special Attractions
© Parrish Art Museum

Although the Parrish Art Museum has a limited number of permanent attractions, they host a variety of special attractions. Like most art museums, the special attractions at the Parrish Art Museum are continuously changing. So, check the museum’s website for an updated version of their current special attractions on display.

Artists Choose Artists is an exhibit that features seven renowned artists who each chose two artists they thought resembled something significant in art. The seven artists who chose the different artists to display act like jurors, and explain why they chose the other artists in the exhibit. The artistic jurors include; Tony Oursler, Donald Lipski, Leo Villareal, Lynda Benglis, Cindy Sherman, Tiny Barney, and Jorge Pardo. This exhibit is available until January 16, 2017.

Platform: Jonah Bokaer is an artistic exhibit that is featured among film, film stills, and drawings. Jonah Bokaer demonstrates how choreography, visual art, and film are all interconnected and influential in our everyday lives. This exhibit is also available until January 16, 2017.

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4.Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities
© Parrish Art Museum

The Parrish Art Museum values education, and strives to provide their community with state of the art educational opportunities. From community outreach efforts to after school programs and workshops, the Parrish Art Museum actively works to ensure that there are educational programs available to everyone.

After school programs differ among the designated age groups, but in general students participate in activities that enable them to learn about some of the world’s most influential and renowned artists, as well as create their own designs and pieces of art. High school students also have the chance in participating in similar educational opportunities, with the various art classes and lectures that are provided by the Parrish Art Museum. As for adults, they have the option of participating in various art classes, such as a Life Drawing class. Life Drawing is a class in which participants study different models and attempt to sketch what they see.

The Parrish Art Museum also offers a variety of community outreach programs that make sure the overall community has access to education and art. One of the best things about the educational opportunities at the Parrish Art Museum, and the overall community outreach program, is that most of the classes and activities are free.

Back to: Things to See & Do in New York State

279 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill, NY 11976, Phone: 631-283-2118

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Things to Do in Water Mill, New York: Parrish Art Museum