Parrish Art Museum Receives $100,000 Grant from Gardiner Foundation

Inside the Parrish Art Museum
Inside the Parrish Art Museum. Photo credit: Oliver Peterson

The Parrish Art Museum has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation for the exhibition Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson: Seen and Unseen, which opens October 25 and explores the parallels and divergences in the work of the artists, who painted and lived on Long Island’s East End for nearly 50 years.

The Gardiner Foundation provides support for projects that make the greatest possible impact on promoting the appreciation of Suffolk County cultural heritage. This is the first museum exhibit that brings together paintings and works on paper by two notable figures in American art who lived and worked on the East End.

Seen and Unseen, on view at the Parrish from October 25, 2015 through January 18, 2016 reveals how the region’s verdant natural surroundings influenced and inspired Freilicher and Wilson, who were drawn to the vibrant artist community in the late 1950s.

“By establishing a presence on the East End of Long Island, Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson continued the region’s profound artistic tradition that spans two centuries and encompasses the most significant movements in American art from Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art and beyond,” said Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan. “Through its generous grant for Seen and Unseen, the Gardiner Foundation supports the museum’s effort to communicate the impact of these world-renowned artists to regional, national, and international audiences.”

According to Kathryn M. Curran, executive director of the Gardiner Foundation, “The Parrish Art Museum has a proven dedication to the cultural growth of this region and has shown a commitment to recognize the artistic heritage of Long Island.”

Freilicher and Wilson were introduced to the region by fellow artists Fairfield Porter and Larry Rivers, who were already waiting on the East End. By 1960, both women and established permanent homes in Water Mill, where they lived and worked within a mile of each other.

The exhibition shows how the storied light and natural beauty of the region became a primary focus of, and major influence on, the work of Freilicher and Wilson. The two were close friends whose professional and personal lives converged and diverged over the course of the next five decades.

Organized thematically, the exhibition spans the full range of the artists’ explorations of landscape, still life and portraits from the 1950s through 2006 featuring approximately 20 paintings by each artist. Seen and Unseen also includes portraits of the two women painted by Fairfield Porter and Alex Katz, and photographs by Wilson’s husband John Jonas Gruen.

“This exhibition creates shared links with our local community by identifying and celebrating its talents and assets. The Robert David Gardiner Foundation is pleased to be a part of this experience,” Curran said. 

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