Living Well Is the Best Revenge: A Jazz Age Fable of Sara and Gerald Murphy
Sara Wiborg Murphy and Gerald Murphy, who met in East Hampton, grew up just as the Victorian ideals of the 19th century had begun to disappear and the uptight morals and stuffy formality of the past had begun to collide with a growing fascination with the industrial age and a volcanic eruption of modern European culture. Sara and Gerald Murphy found themselves immersed in a faster-paced culture in which Cubism and Surrealism were shattering the whole concept of what the visual arts had been.
Sara's parents, Frank and Adeline Wiborg, had built an impressive cottage on the 80 acres that were left, after selling other holdings, between he Atlantic Ocean and Hook Pond. The Dunes was completed in 1912. Wiborg had made a fortune from his Cincinnati printing ink and varnish company, Ault & Wiborg. Gerald's father, Patrick Murphy, had bought the Mark Cross company after persuading the former owner to expand his product line. He moved the business from Boston to New York City, where it became famous for high quality leather goods just at the time carriages gave way to automobiles.
Each set of parents seemed rigid in its own way and so, little wonder that the young couple (Gerald was a few years younger than Sara) decamped to Europe, where they lived a magical life for a while, captivating other members of the Jazz Age and cultivating quite the circle of friends who were aready or who became well known writers, artists, and bons vivants.
In part because of a donation from Laura Donnelly, Sara and Gerald's granddaughter, of antique file boxes of family papers dealing with the running of the family homestead, The Dunes, we have been able to bring home the extraordinary story and style of Sara and Gerald Murphy.
Galapagos is an exhibition of photographs and sculptures by Billy Strong and a film, "Isabela," by Dell Cullum.
The show was inspired by a trip that Strong and Cullum made to the Galapagos Islands.
Bon Voyage: The Woodhouses on Grand Tour
The Woodhouse family, one of the most philanthropic of the Summer Colony families, made a "grand tour" of Europe in the 1890s and this exhibition shows photographs taken on their voyage that were recently developed from a donation of negatives to the East Hampton Historical Society.