In the “this is appropriate” category, a well-known New York art dealer has just bought the home once owned by Fairfield Porter, one of the more well-known East End artists. The property at 49 South Main Street in Southampton was purchased by Andrea Glimcher for $4.8 million.
Porter was both a painter and art critic, the fourth of five children of James Porter, an architect, and Ruth Furness Porter, a poet from a literary family. He was the brother of photographer Eliot Porter and the brother-in-law of U.S. Reclamation Commissioner Michael W. Straus. While a student at Harvard, Porter majored in fine arts, and he continued his studies at the Art Students League when he moved to New York City in 1928, which predisposed him to produce socially relevant art. Although the subjects would change, he continued to produce realist work for the rest of his career. He would be criticized and revered for continuing his representational style in the midst of the Abstract Expressionist movement, which came to dominate the Hamptons art scene thanks to such “locals” as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.
Porter’s subjects were primarily landscapes, domestic interiors, and portraits of family, friends, and fellow artists, many of them affiliated with the New York School of writers, including John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, and James Schuyler. Many of his paintings were set in or around the family summer house on Great Spruce Head Island, Maine, and the family home on South Main Street. Porter died at 68 in 1975, and his wife, the poet Anne Elizabeth Porter, died at 99 in 2011.
The Southampton manse is 4,700 square feet with 7 bedrooms and 4 baths on 0.5 acre, and was often depicted in many of Porter’s representational paintings. The inside was freshly updated and modernized throughout yet still retains a lot of its original personality and comes complete with high ceilings, decorative fireplace hearths, and many period details. A user-friendly two-story layout includes separate rooms for formal and casual events, all orientated to the south take full advantage of natural light. The modern gourmet kitchen is equipped with quality appliances, a breakfast bar seating area, and butler’s pantry. There is also a separate study nook, downstairs home office, and large attic storage space, plus a huge basement level with storeroom and wine cellar. The exterior features a large covered porch that overlooks the rolling grounds and established hedged gardens. There is an in-ground swimming pool, garage, and extra storage.
It was in 2003 that Andrea Bundonis, then the communications director at the Pace Wildenstein Gallery in New York, married Marc Glimcher in East Hampton. His father, Arne Glimcher, had founded the Pace Gallery in Boston in 1960, and it became one of the most powerful art dealers in the world, which included a move to Manhattan. Andrea Glimcher and her husband divorced in 2013 but continued to run the gallery for several years. Ms. Glimcher now runs Hyphen, an independent management company for artists, estates, collectors and institutions.
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One fine body…