Celebrating 90 Years - Guild Hall

Celebrating 90 Years

Guild Hall opened on August 19, 1931, founded by Mary Woodhouse on the principle that participation in the ARTS creates greater civic engagement.

Read about our 90th Celebration in Town & Country:
“Inside Guild Hall’s star-studded 90th season, featuring Julianne Moore, Wendy Wasserstein, Andy Warhol, and much more.”
Is East Hampton the Summer’s Hottest Cultural Destination? – April 1, 2021


  • One of the FIRST MULTI-DISCIPLINARY CENTERS in the country
  • Long history of FEMALE LEADERSHIP with Executive Directors Enez Whipple, Judith Sneddon, Joy Gordon, Ruth Appelhof, and Andrea Grover
  • Creativity resides in everyone and ALL AGES & EXPERIENCES PARTICIPATE
  • Part of a small community with a BIG POPULATION of award-winning ARTISTS



  • 1931: Cornelia Otis Skinner is the first star to grace the stage of the John Drew Theater, appearing in her one-woman show, The Six Wives Of Henry VIII.
  • 1946: Thornton Wilder appears on the stage of the John Drew Theater in the role of the Stage Manager in his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Our Town.
  • 1949: Jackson Pollock and other Abstract Expressionists open 17 Artists of Eastern Long Island, coinciding with Pollock’s Life Magazine article leading to his superstardom
  • 1951: Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon star in Pal Joey.
  • 1960: After a troubled first run, The Fantasticks plays at Guild Hall for the summer, returning to NYC in triumph, later becoming the world’s longest running musical.
  • 1972: Edward Albee is the Director of the John Drew Theater for the summer season.
  • 1973: Guild Hall becomes an accredited museum from the American Association of Museums.
  • 1981: A 50th anniversary, Night of Stars in the John Drew Theater, features Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Uta Hagen, Sheldon Harnick, Helen Hayes, Anne Jackson, Eli Wallach, and Carlos Montoya, with special effects by Bran Ferren. Larry Rivers creates a birthday cake sculpture of Guild Hall displayed in the foyer.
  • 1996: Billy Joel and Elvis Costello perform concerts
  • 2010: Equus is presented in the John Drew Theater for 4 sold out weeks, starring Alec Baldwin and directed by Tony Walton. The playwright, Peter Shaffer, comes to Guild Hall to work on re-writes to his famous play for this production.
  • 2018: Laurie Anderson’s Virtual Reality exhibits Chalkroom and Aloft debut in the Museum alongside her large-scale chalk drawings and a screening room playing her films.
  • 2019: Beyoncé secretly films scenes for Disney+’s Black is King video album in the Guild Hall galleries during the Ugo Rondinone: Sunny Days exhibition.