The Society's new Exhibition Building
August 10, 2012 - PRESS RELEASE
“PLEIN AIR PAINTINGS, HERE and NOW”
‘Southold Historical Society to open New Building & Gallery’
SOUTHOLD, NY. The Southold Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of its newest building, The Reichert Family Center and Cosden Price Gallery. The public is invited to visit the gallery Thursday-Saturday, 1-4pm, beginning Saturday August 18, 2012. The featured exhibition on display will be “Plein Air Paintings; Here and Now,” which is an exhibit of East End oil paintings curated by the Grenning Gallery of Sag Harbor, NY. The exhibit will be on display from August 18 through October 6, 2012.
Located on the north side of Route 25 in the hamlet of Southold, The Reichert Family Center will allow the Society to expand its offerings of exhibitions and programs to the public. The building was purchased from the estate of Society life member, Robert W. Gillispie III, in 2011. “We are simply delighted to be adding this resource to our community,” stated Geoffrey K. Fleming, Director of the Society. “We hope that this addition will enable the Society to not only share more of its own collection, but to also exhibit objects loaned from private collections and other institutions,” he continued.
The building, which dates to the 1840s, was purchased in 1864 to house the dry goods business of Captain Sherburne A. Beckwith (1822-1896), who hired local carpenter William H. Corwin to build his new home just west of the store building. Following Beckwith’s death, the store was leased to and occupied by Frank T. Wells, who ran his own dry goods enterprise from the building in the early 20th century. During the mid-20th century, the shop was subdivided into two spaces, with Capt. Beckwith’s grandson, Joseph Beckwith Hartranft (1890-1982), using his portion as a painting studio and gallery. Hartranft was a very successful local painter, continuing a tradition that began during the 19th century with the arrival of many other artists to the area.
This tradition will be continued through a partnership with the respected Grenning Gallery of Sag Harbor. The gallery is known for featuring emerging artists who are reviving old masters' techniques but use contemporary subject matter. “This is a perfect partnership for us as the Grenning Gallery honors the century old tradition of patronizing artists that come to the East End to painting ‘en plein air’ in the summer,” stated Fleming. The Society will work with the gallery during the summer and early fall each year while featuring its own collections during the late fall through late spring months.
“Plein Air Paintings, Here and Now” will be the first of many collaborations between the Grenning Gallery and the Southold Historical Society. This exhibit will feature plein air local landscapes Nelson H. White, Ramiro Sanchez, Ben Fenske, Marc Dalessio, Melissa Franklin Sanchez, Joe Altwer, Leo Mancini-Hresko, James Daga Albinson, as well as a few bronzes by the sculptor Chad Fisher. A classically trained sculptor, Fisher (b 1987) will sculpt a portrait head in the new space to christen the new, culturally-alive venue. Anchored by Nelson H. White, and his long time artistic and family ties with Shelter Island and the North Fork, a new group of mostly young painters has formed in and around the Grenning Gallery over the past 14 years. These artists spend the winters painting in their studios, mostly in Florence Italy, and then flock to the East End for the light in the warmer season.
The Reichert Family Center and Cosden Price Gallery will be open Thursday-Saturday, 1-4pm from August 18 through October 6, 2012. The building is located at 54127 Main Road (Route 25), Southold, just west of Jeni’s Main Street Grill.
For information on this press release or other Society activities, please contact the Society at 631-765-5500 or visit us at www.southoldhistoricalsociety.org.