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May 22, 2012 7:22 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

New Parrish To Open Doors In November

May 22, 2012 6:08 PM

The Parrish Art Museum will open the doors of its new $26 million home to the public on November 10, after a week of parties for its members, financial supporters and the art world, the museum announced this week.

Touted as a brilliant synergy of art and the natural surroundings of the East End, opening weekend at the new building, designed by celebrated architects Herzog & de Meuron and landscape designers Reed Hilderbrand, will be a three-day showcase focusing on the treasures of the museum’s large but rarely seen permanent collection of artworks. The first three days, over the Veterans Day holiday weekend, will be free to the public.

More than a decade in the offing, the opening of the modern new facility is the culmination of a winding—at times, contentious—road, laden with obstacles that conspired to press the realization of the museum leadership’s lofty dreams perpetually further into the future.

“We’re bubbling with excitement,” Executive Director Terrie Sultan said on Monday. “This has been a long road that we have traveled. We could not be more thrilled with the way it went forward and with the incredible outpouring of support from the community. It’s an enormous achievement for everybody.”

Despite the serpentine road to fruition, the actual construction of the building is on pace to come in barely a week later than projected when construction began last year, and looks to be largely on budget, Ms. Sultan said. Though bills for furniture and the finishing touches on the building are still to come in, Ms. Sultan said the museum’s staff has been working hard to work strictly with the project’s tightened purse strings, which forced the scrapping of the original $80 million design.

The 34,400-square-foot museum, reminiscent of the once ubiquitous East End potato barns, sits on 14 acres along Montauk Highway between Southampton Village and Water Mill. The twin-peaked roofline covers 12,000 square feet of gallery space designed to take ultimate advantage of the area’s famous natural lighting, the very thing that drew many of the artists now to be featured in the galleries to the East End in the first place. Windows are aligned so as to afford visitors the ability to view art within the galleries in once glance and gaze out over the pastoral landscape, that will soon surround the building as construction nears completion.

“The quintessential East End experience is really about art and nature,” said Ms. Sultan, who took over the expansion crusade from former Executive Director Trudy Kramer in 2008. “The galleries are so amazing. The light in those galleries is perfect, absolutely perfect.”

When the museum opens its doors, the exhibitions will be all about the Parrish’s permanent collection, in particular the many pieces that have never been seen by the public—some because the museum has not had the space to turn out much of its collection in the historic but cramped building it has occupied for more than a century, and others because they have only recently been added to the collection, thanks to gifts from patrons anticipating the opening of the grand new display space.

“The whole reason behind the new building was to mount exhibitions from the permanent collection,” Ms. Sultan said. “It’s going to be an experience like no other.”

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I am sorry.......That is the UGLIEST ...and I mean..........UGLIEST building.....And who in their right mind......figured the traffic on 27?????????????? How long do you think it will take for a serious accident to occur?
By gallerygirl (29), southampton on May 22, 12 3:33 PM
3 members liked this comment
With $80 million I am sure something less hideous could have been built, ELSEWHERE!
By nellie (451), sag harbor on May 22, 12 9:32 PM
I believe it to be less reminiscient of a potato barn and more reminiscient of the gigantic houses that have been built everywhere for the last 15 years. A blight on the landscape would be an understatement.

I hope they are required to plant 20 foot 'privacy' trees along the southern side of the building so that from the road its looks less like a strip mall and more like a nursery.

With the new building on one side and hanks toy town there year round on the other side, ...more
By C Law (354), Water Mill on May 23, 12 6:41 AM
2 members liked this comment
From the road it is reminiscient to me of something else. I gather no one over 70 was part of design deliberation.
By Speonk Shores (31), Remsenburg on May 23, 12 7:15 AM