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.
In August 1931, Guild Hall opened, boasting a jewel-box proscenium theater and fine art galleries. The much-loved institution has been a cultural cornerstone of the Hamptons ever since.
Guild Hall presents more than 200 programs and hosts 60,000 visitors each year. The Museum mounts eight to ten exhibitions, ranging from the historical to the contemporary, and focuses on artists who have an affiliation with the Hamptons. The Theater produces more than 100 programs―including plays, concerts, dance, screenings, simulcasts, and literary readings―from the classics to new works. In addition to these endeavors, Guild Hall supports the next generation of artists with in-school and on-site education programs.
“Guild Hall couldn’t have happened just anywhere. It needed the kind of land and seascapes that could seduce artists; it needed a city like New York nearby to nourish it; and, most of all, it needed the dedicated people who make the exemplary cultural center it is today.”
—Enez Whipple, Guild Hall Executive Director from 1943–1991
The Museum at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, New York 11937, 631-324-0806, GuildHall.org. Free admission generously funded by BNB Bank and Landscape Details. Museum Hours: Mon & Fri & Sat 11am-5pm; Sun noon-5pm
On View Through December 16
- Sunday, November 25, 4pm – Film Screening: How to Draw a Bunny
- Sunday, December 2, 12:30pm – Gallery Talk with Jess Frost
All Museum Programming is supported in part by Crozier Fine Arts, Gerry Charitable Trust, Hess Philanthropic Fund, The Lorenzo and Mary Woodhouse Trust, The Melville Straus Family Endowment, The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, Vital Projects Fund, and public funds provided by Suffolk County.