September 12, 2012
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Orient Harbor" by George W. Hallock
“George Hallock Art Exhibition
‘Determined to Paint’ to Open October 20”
SOUTHOLD, NY. The Southold Historical Society is pleased to announce that it will host an exhibition featuring paintings by the noted Orient, Long Island artist George W. Hallock (1916-1984). The exhibition, entitled ‘Determined to Paint: The Art of George W. Hallock,’ will include both oil and watercolor paintings, and will be held at the Society’s new exhibition building, The Reichert Family Center, in the Cosden Price Gallery.
“We were delighted to be able to work with the Hallock family to finally bring about an exhibition that honors the enormous talent of George W. Hallock,” stated Geoffrey K. Fleming, Director of the Society. A large number of the nearly three dozen works on display in the exhibition were loaned by the children of George Hallock.
George W. Hallock was raised in the idyllic surroundings of “Halyoake Farm,” a sprawling farm that was acquired by his family in Orient during the 19th century. Like his father, George Hallock Jr., he was much more of an artist than a farmer. He was a painter, photographer, enjoyed music, and was an organist. As a young man, he is thought to have had his first training as a painter under William Steeple Davis (1884-1961), an artist who lived his entire life in Orient, Long Island. He is also suspected of studying with the Greenport artist, Whitney M. Hubbard (1875-1965), who taught at the Suffolk Conservatory of Music and Arts in Riverhead and in the adult education department at the high school in Greenport, NY.
As a young man Hallock worked on the family farm but set his sights on going away to college to study music. Hallock was accepted and left to attend Oberlin College in Ohio in September of 1935 where fellow neighbor and future artist, Albert Latham (1909-1976), was also studying. Upon his return to Orient he set up a gift shop in nearby Greenport at 400 Main Street named “The Hallocks,” where he sold flowers from his family’s greenhouses while also offering gift items, including his own paintings for sale.
As was the case for many of the artists working on the North Fork, there were not many opportunities to exhibit and sell paintings or other artworks. This would all change with the creation of the Old Town Arts and Crafts Guild, located in Cutchogue, New York. The Guild was founded in 1950 with the aim of promoting and selling works by local and regional artists, offering “ … lectures, demonstrations, and special exhibits during the course of the year which will promote interest and active participation in various arts and crafts …” Hallock was part of the group that founded the Guild and in 1951, was elected at the age of thirty-five as the second vice president of the newly formed organization. He also served as the chairman of the membership committee.
As an artist, Hallock greatly admired the Swedish-American impressionist painter, John Fabian Carlson, N.A. (1874-1945), whose works he constantly clipped out of magazines and books for reference. Carlson founded his own school of landscape painting in Woodstock, New York, in 1922 and in 1942 co-founded a summer school in Gloucester, Massachusetts with noted maritime artist Emile Gruppe (1896-1978).
Unlike many of his contemporaries on the North Fork of Long Island who exhibited widely, Hallock’s works remained hidden until very recently due to his shyness and his near total lack of interest in exhibiting his paintings. This, in many ways, hurt his reputation as there were never many paintings available to exhibit, view, or purchase. In fact, he was a superior landscape and seascape painter compared to many of the other artists who were working on the North Fork from the 1930s through the 1950s.
This new exhibition will feature a number of oil paintings, many of which have never been seen outside of the homes of the Hallock family. Several paintings will be featured from the Society’s own collection, while other works are being loaned by private collectors residing on the North Fork. These works include views of Orient Harbor, Peter’s Neck, Greenport boat yards, the grounds of Halyoake Farm, as well as images of many of the now vanished buildings that once made up the farm. In addition, a number of original watercolors done both on Long Island and in Pennsylvania will be on display.
A feature of the exhibition is a sixty page catalog documenting George W. Hallock’s life and career, which will be available for purchase both on-line and through the Society’s Museum Gift Shop. Written by Southold Historical Society Director Geoffrey K. Fleming, the catalog contains a detailed biography and nearly fifty color reproductions of Hallock’s oils and watercolors.
The exhibition will open to the public on Saturday, October 20th and will remain on view through Saturday, December 15th. The Reichert Family Center and Cosden Price Gallery, where the exhibition will be held, is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 1-4pm, and by appointment. The gallery is located at 54127 Route 25 in Southold, just west of Jeni’s Main Street Grill.
For further information on this exhibition or other Society activities, please visit us online at www.southoldhistoricalsociety.org or call (631) 765-5500.