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Michael A. Butler:

Genesis and Transcendence

February 22 – April 1, 2019

The work of Michael Butler is currently on view at the Heritage House. Besides being a former President of the Board and longtime Eastville representative of the St David AME Zion Church Cemetery, Michael also works at the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum.


Works of wonder and imagination in the mode of the great Henri Rousseau, Butler's work is exacting, captivating, and often historically inspired.


Please check our homepage for exhibition opening times.


ART: A Family Affair

August 17-September 30, 2018

Reynold Ruffins’ present paintings and drawings are preceded by a career as an illustrator and designer. He is a graduate of The Cooper Union, and a recipient of its most prestigious honor, The Augustus St. Gaudens Award for outstanding professional achievement in arts. The Cooper Union Presidential Citation was also presented to Ruffins for his work and prominence in his profession.

This exhibition featured both Ruffins’ current paintings, brilliantly colored, often jazz-inspired work.

The Society was also pleased to present work by Joan Ruffins (1932-2013), a multi-talented woman. The show exhibited her excellent command of media, paint or pastel, the ordinary turned to Art.

In addition, Joan and Reynold’s daughter Lynn Ruffins Cave, was represented. Lynn attended both School of the Visual Arts, NY, and the Fashion Institute of Technology, NY. She is a versatile and inventive artist, often combining varied materials to achieve superbly elegant work.


Native American Life on the East End

This exhibit covered the Paleo-Indian Period to the continued presence of Native Americans on the eastend of  “Paumanok”, the Native American name for Long Island. This exhibit was a dedicated attempt to evade the stereotypical imagery of Native Americans and showcases historic portraiture from the special collection of  the Eastville Community Historical Society.

The exhibition presented more than 60 artifacts, including tintypes, cabinet cards, vintage and modern photographs, and contemporary artwork from artist and Shinnecock Indian Reservation resident David Bunn Martine. A highlight of the exhibition was a timeline of drivers’ licenses belonging to Christopher Cuffee Jr., a letter from the Union School District of Sag Harbor dating back to 1899, and a historic Sag Harbor Express newspaper article highlighting the Circassian Shipwreck from 1877.


This exhibition is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, administered by the Huntington Arts Council, and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

The exhibition was curated by Dr. Georgette Grier-Key, and the ECHS gratefully acknowledges the help of David Bunn Martine and the Shinnecock Nation Museum, Sachem Eugene Cuffee, advisor, Paula Wagner, Harriet Simmons, Jackie Jeffries and Bill Chaleff.

The exhibit ran from July to October, 2017

Above: Portrait of a Native American from the Woodland Period

by artist David Bunn Martine

Above: Book Lords of the Soil and Native American co-author Nathan Cuffee

Maxine's World

Maxine Townsend Broderick's wonderful exhibition “Maxine’s World” ran from April 21 – July 3rd, 2017.

Maxine is a powerhouse of mixed media, working in oil, watercolor, fabric and sand, printmaking, photography, encaustic, sculpture, jewelry, doll making, quilt making, web design, and stained glass.

She is a member of the Long Island Black Artist Association and the Long Island Quilters' Society.

Black Memorabilia

Black Memorabilia was shown in 2016 and was based on the wonderful collection of Eastville historian Michael Butler and his brother Dr. Martin Butler. 

This insightful exhibit spanned decades of various manifestations of ways in which African Americans were perceived, and was unsparing in its revelatory nature. Dr. Butler began his fascination with these objects while in graduate school, and was cited as feeling in beginning his collection, that he was in a sense "buying back" black culture.

Black Memorabilia began February 20th and was remained through Labor Day.

Sculpted Images

This exhibit, held from May 30th until June 24, 2015, examined ornate images of stone from buildings of Bustling New York City, Europe, as well as quiet burial grounds in the Hamptons. Robert Arthur King, FAIA, a Harlem resident and architect, artfully photographs overlooked faces on iconic buildings. David Cosgrove, Sag Harbor resident and master craftsman, skillfully carves faces from historic gravestones out of Honduran mahogany. 

"Stonefaced", a documentary by Vivian Ducat, was shown in conjunction with the exhibit.

Collective Identity

Collective Identity: Portraits of Early Eastville Residents 1882 – 1915 went on exhibit July 11, 2015. It garnered enormous press, and was a most moving and incisive look at the amazingly integrated Eastville community in its early days. 

Based in part on tintypes found reinforcing floorboards in a local house, these restored images represent a view into a neighborhood of unique diversity and dignity. 

The exhibit was curated by Donnamarie Barnes, and was up through Labor Day. Many articles applauded it, nationally in TIME magazine, for instance, and locally  in the Sag Harbor Express.

Warmth: a Quilt Exhibit

 Dr. Patricia Turner, a Sag Harbor native, who is the dean and vice provost for undergraduate education at UCLA and an expert on African-American folklore, and the author, with Kyra E. Hicks, of “Crafted Lives: Stories and Studies of African American Quilters", curated this show that was presented at the Heritage House in spring until July, 2014.


The exhibit celebrated the wealth of invention present in these beautiful objects, their simplicity and complexity. 

As Dr. Turner was quoted, "Folklore is the perfect field for someone who wants to document things from ordinary life that can be extraordinary."

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