4 must-visit museums in East Hampton

The Hamptons comprise of a group of Villages and Hamlets that are located within the towns of Southampton, and East Hampton, and are very well known for their star status. In this article, we are going to concentrate on the Town of East Hampton.

The Town of East Hampton has gone from an area inhabited by the people of the Pequot tribe who spoke Algonquian to a English farming community and finally to a Playground for the rich. With all of this rich history there is bound to be some amazing Museums for visitors to enjoy and to learn about the area’s diverse heritage.

1. The Marine Museum

301 Bluff Road, Amagansett.

While East Hampton was originally developed for agriculture, the settlers had discovered that whales would frequently beach along the South Shore of the town. The settlers realized that they could carve up the whales for food and oil. East Hampton wrote laws to regulate the proper handling of the carcasses, however as demand grew for whale products, the residents became more eager and started off-shore expeditions for live whale hunting.

Sag Harbor had become the most predominant harbor in East Hampton and, at its peak, housed 60 whale ships and had employed 800 men in related business. Sag Harbor is even mentioned in Moby Dick’s chapters 12, 13, 57 and 83!

Thankfully, Whaling is no longer an active industry. However, the town is still highly influenced by Maritime businesses, which includes Tourism. In the summer months, crowds will flock to New Yorks Largest Fishing Port

The Maritime Museum is situated in Amagansett, which is just West of Montauk. The museum houses three floors of exhibitions that help celebrate its rich history of East Hampton’s maritime heritage as well as celebrating the men and women who still work the waters of East Hampton.

2. Guild Hall

158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937

Guild Hall, one of the first multidisciplinary centers in the country to combine a museum, theater, and education space under one roof, was established in 1931 as a gathering place for community where an appreciation for the arts would serve to encourage greater civic participation. For nearly nine decades, Guild Hall has embraced this open-minded vision and provided a welcoming environment for the public to engage with art exhibitions, performances, and educational offerings. Art and artists have long been the engine of Guild Hall’s activities and the institution continues to find innovative ways to support creativity in everyone.

In 1930, East Hampton resident and philanthropist Mrs. Lorenzo E. Woodhouse anonymously dedicated land and an initial financial gift toward building one of the country’s first interdisciplinary centers. Her vision was “to heighten the importance of the arts” and provide a building that would “serve as meeting place.” The community rallied to secure additional funding, as well as manage and oversee the development and maintenance of a new facility.

You can check out their schedule of events at https://www.guildhall.org/

3. The Leiber Museum

446 Old Stone Highway, Springs, NY 11937

In 2005, Gerson and Judith Leiber built a gallery to house their works of art and to chronicle their careers, offering an unparalleled retrospective of their creations over the past many decades. The Leiber Collection, a magnificent Renaissance styled Palladian edifice, sits majestically in a sublime sculpture garden that borders six additional gardens, each designed by Gerson Leiber, in a style befitting the local geography. Considered by many to be the best-kept secret of the Hamptons, you are in for a real treat as you peruse the exquisite jewel of a museum and explore the charming and magical gardens.

For further information phone (631) 329-3288 or email info@leibercollection.org.

4. Amagansett U.S. Life-Saving & Coast Guard Station

Amagansett Station, c. 1902-3. Courtesy of the East Hampton Historical Society.

160 Atlantic Avenue, Amagansett, New York 11930

The Amagansett Station was abandoned after World War II and in 1966 was auctioned by the Coast Guard. Joel Carmichael purchased the station and moved it to Bluff Road where it had a new life as a residence. In 2007 the Carmichael family donated the Amagansett Life-Saving Station to the Town of East Hampton and it was moved back to its exact original location on Atlantic Avenue.

On May 17, 2007, the East Hampton Town Board designated the Amagansett Life-Saving Station a historic landmark by resolution 2007-43. The board appointed an advisory committee of residents, which then became the nonprofit U.S. Amagansett Life-Saving and Coast Guard Station Society, overseeing the six-year restoration of the Station to its original 1902 design, an undertaking guided by the comprehensive Historic Structure Report commissioned from Historic Services Director Robert Hefner.

Learn more at https://www.amagansettlss.org/