UBS Opens Rare Exhibit
Of East End Artists
Story by Edward T. Callaghan
Photos by Barry Gordin
EW YORK art lovers – and history and sociology buffs too – turned out in droves for the preview reception of Guild Hall: An Adventure in the Arts, Selections from the Permanent Collection at UBS Gallery, hosted by Guild Hall of East Hampton chairman Melville “Mickey” Straus and executive director Ruth Appelhof.
This extraordinary first time ever collection spans 120 years of the art scene in Long Island ’s fashionable East End . More than 80 works, dating from 1878 to 1994, are just a small sample of Guild Hall’s permanent collection. But oh what a tasty treat it is.
Curator Christina Mossaides Strassfield features the creative genius of East End artists of international status such as Thomas Moran, Childe Hassam, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Jimmy Ernst, Roy Lichtenstein, Chuck Close, Joe Zucker, David Salle and more of the nation’s leading lights.
Adding a special spice to this visual banquet was the attendance of almost a dozen members of Guild Hall’s prestigious Academy of the Arts, whose works were on display, including Donald Sultan, Strong-Cuevas, Jane Freilicher, Audrey Flack, William King and Jane Wilson.
In lovely fellowship, several artists were heard directing guests to their fellow artist’s works. “Don’t miss Strong-Cuevas’ bronze!” “Check out David Salle’s High and Low.”
One guest remarked, “This would never have happened if it wasn’t for the railroad,” to her puzzled date. The lady is right on target. The debut and heavy promotion of the LIRR in the 1870s made the East End accessible to artists like Thomas Moran and painters from the Hudson River School lured by the area’s natural beauty and justly famed light.
Among the 500 guests admiring the works were Susan Fredericks, Arlene Kieta, Norena Barbella, Jamie de Roy, Alexandra Munroe, Susan and Alan Patricof, Courtney Ross, Robert and Gladys Nederlander, Mr. and Mrs. William Rayner, Marlene Hess, Claude Wasserstein, Michael and Joan Steinberg and Robert Shaye.
Following the viewing, Mickey and Leila Straus and Michael and Ninah Lynne co-hosted an intimate dinner for the artists, collectors and major supporters of Guild Hall at New York’s popular media haven, Michael’s.
Sampling the posh eatery’s smoked salmon, charred filet mignon and warm chocolate cake were comedy guru Caroline Hirsch and her regular guy Andrew Fox, Dr. Bruce Horten, Phyllis Braff, Marjorie Chester, Stuart Match Suna and the Lewis B. Cullmans (who recently made a $1 million gift to Guild Hall’s educational programs in honor of Lewis’ late brother, Joseph F. Cullman 3rd).
Not to rest on their laurels, Appelhof, Straus and Lynne organized the 20th anniversary of the Academy of the Arts Awards at the Rainbow Room.
Honorees included Broadway legend Sheldon Harnick for Performing Arts, internationally acclaimed photographer Cindy Sherman for Visual Arts, and novelist Louis Begley for Literary Arts. A Lifelong Patron of the Arts Award went to real estate developer and philanthropist Marshall Rose.