Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bill Cunningham: Facades

Bill Cunningham's show Facades is currently on display at the Southampton Arts Center until July 12th. I have always enjoyed Bill Cunningham's photographic fashion highlights in the New York Times. His project, Facades, shows his love of New York City and its architecture as well as the fashions that graced its streets.
Bill Cunningham Photographing Three Models 
at the New York County Courthouse (built 1912) 
photographer unidentified
Grand Central Terminal by Bill Cunningham
(built 1903-1913)
In 1968, photographer Bill Cunningham embarked on an eight-year project to document the architectural riches and fashion history of New York City. Scouring the city's thrift stores, auction houses, and street fairs for vintage clothing, and scouting sites on his bicycle, Cunningham generated a photographic essay entitled Facades, which paired models - in particular his muse, fellow photographer Editta Sherman - in period costumes with historic settings. - New York Historical Society via
314 East 53rd Street (built 1866) by Bill Cunningham
Between First and Second Avenues
Gracie Mansion (built ca. 1799-1810) by Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham and Editta Sherman would remain friends in the decades after the completion of the Facades project, and beyond their eviction in 2010 from their apartments at the Carnegie Hall Studios, where both had lived for sixty years. They were among the last holdouts of aging residents in the rent-controlled building, which ultimately was converted into music education facilities and offices. Until the end, through the lives of the residents, a bohemian aura flourished in what Cunningham called his "crazy house." Editta Sherman was its centerpiece. The Carnegie Hall studio towers may still stand, but that place which the photographer and his colleagues knew and cherished is now lost. In many ways it is an ironic coda to the Facades project, an artistic collaboration born of an artistic camaraderie, which had the power to capture something ephemeral about the city. The Facades photographs have withstood the test to time, and Bill Cunningham continues to travel by bicycle and photograph fashion in New York where Editta Sherman died on November 1, 2013, at age 101. 
Gothic bridge in Central Park (designed 1860), ca. 1968-1976. 
Bill Cunningham's photos Courtesy of the New-York Historical Society

Hildreth's est.1842

Adjacent to Roger's Mansion at the  Southampton Historical Museum there are a collection of historic structures representing the town's Main Street as it might have appeared in the 19th century.
One of the historic buildings recreates the iconic Hildreth's.
"In 1842 Lewis Hildreth opened Hildreth’s first general store, still located at its original location on Main Street in Southampton. In those days, merchandise came by ship to Sag Harbor and was carted by horse and wagon to Southampton. This was the only form of transporting goods until 1870, when the railroad was finally linked to the East End.  Hildreth’s new store was stocked with bread and crackers by the barrel, wheels of cheese, salt, flour, fruits, vegetables, sugar, coffee and tea. Housewares and Dry Goods were sold  – as they are to this day. The invention of the telegraph in 1844 made ordering faster and easier. Fabrics became popular with the development of the washing machine in 1858. In 1876 the telephone was invented, eventually changing forever the way we communicate. As the decades passed, butter churns, spittoons, buggy whips, scrimshaw, buffalo robes and whaling harpoons began to fade into memory as America approached the Twentieth Century.

In 1870, Lewis Hildreth contracted smallpox on a buying trip to New York and died shortly thereafter. His widow Amanda and their two sons Edgar (age 18) and Henry (age 15) took over the store and it became E.A. and H. Hildreth’s." via
Sewing notions were important as everything was made at home. Even now, Hildreth's is one of the few stores in the area that sells fabric, thread and other sewing notions. They also offer yarn and knitting supplies. I've been intrigued by the knitting group that meets at Hildreth's on Saturday mornings. Perhaps I'll try knitting this winter.
image via
The Singer corporation was founded in 1851.
image via
image via

image via
Hildreth's remains a vital part of the community.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Conscience Point

Conscience Point national wildlife refuge is the area of shoreline where Southampton's founding settlers came ashore at the end of their journey from Lynn, Massachusetts.  According to legend, the sole woman occupant of the ship exclaimed, "For conscience' sake, we are on dry land once more." If she had sailed from Massachusetts in a ship like this she probably kissed the ground as well.
The pathway is strewn with broken clam and scallop shells.
Beautiful and practical
We were the only visitors.
North Sea Harbor.
As I was admiring the two masted ship above, I noticed to its right, flagpoles that mark property rented by the Kardashians last summer. 
I wonder if they appreciated the irony of their view.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Red Creek Schoolhouse

The Red Creek Schoolhouse, believed to be the oldest one room schoolhouse in Suffolk County, is situated on Southampton Historical Museum property. The schoolhouse, built circa 1850, is one of a number of historic buildings residing on museum property.  Upon entering the schoolhouse, I am drawn to a tall desk near the door. A note on the desk is held in place by the emblems of the teacher's authority, a wooden switch and a handbell. 
During the summer, the antique outbuildings are open to the public, offering a chance to step take a step back in time.
The little room transports me. I can picture the teacher standing behind the desk at the front of the classroom or walking between the rows of desks. I can imagine the student near the stove keeping one eye on the stove making sure the classroom stays warm. The well worn desk tops show the evidence of their years of good hard use. 
Southampton Historical Museum 
link here

Paton Miller at the Sayre Barn

The renovation of the historic Sayre Barn at the Southampton Historical Museum is complete. The cedar scented interior is a wonderful atmosphere to view paintings by Paton Miller.
Johel's Kitchen
oil on linen, 60" x 80"
Glotto's Pass
oil on canvas, 78" x 104"
House Boat
Mixed media, oil on linen, 76" x 64"
Old Neighborhood in Southampton
oil on canvas 73" x 61"
1986 and 2015
cut canvas, 50" x 50"
oil on linen, 50" x 60"
oil on linen, 60" x 60"
Still Life with Catfish
oil on linen, 48" x 72"
Block Island
oil on paper,  22" x 30"
graphite on paper, 30" x 23"
oil on paper, 22" x 30"
The show is up until October 17th.
If you are making a special trip, I would recommending checking with the museum to make sure that the barn will be open. 631-283-2494
Paton Miller here
Southampton Historical Museum here
AAQ article on the Sayre Barn renovation here