Museum Launches Fishers Island Art Fund

The H.L. Ferguson Museum has launched an art fund dedicated to acquiring and preserving fine art of particular relevance to Fishers Island. Led by Museum trustee Thomas Parker, the fund will support the Museum’s interest in obtaining artworks by local artists or works that relate to Fishers Island. The collection will cover historical and contemporary art of all media, including paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, and photography.

Untitled watercolor on paper depicting a peregrine falcon striking a bird in mid-flight by Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874–1927)

Over the years the Museum has accepted donations of island-related art. This dedicated fund will give the Museum the flexibility to also acquire works on the open market that aren’t available by other means. For example, a recent acquisition was made of a beautiful untitled watercolor on paper depicting a peregrine falcon striking a bird in mid-flight created by the accomplished American ornithologist and watercolorist Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874–1927). There is a dedication on the lower right on matting that says To Harry Ferguson: A souvenir of many kindnesses. —Louis Agassiz Fuertes.

Fuertes, a close friend of the Museum’s namesake Henry L. Ferguson, visited and painted on the island several times during his career. Acquired at auction, this beautiful painting speaks to both the natural and social histories of the island. It is currently on view at the Museum’s main gallery entrance.

While art acquisition is not formally part of the Museum’s mission, the Museum’s leadership is increasingly cognizant of the role of the arts in Fishers Island life. Professional and amateur artists have long frequented the island and some have even called it home. Given the depth and quality of the art made on Fishers Island over generations, it seems only logical for the H.L. Ferguson Museum, the island’s only collecting institution, to begin systematically collecting and exhibiting it.

“Art, in all its facets, styles and subjects, can sometimes tell stories about our island that words simply cannot.”

~ Thomas Parker