History

Overview

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.