LIM, Setauket Church Among $100 Mil Trust Benefactors

Stony Brook, NY … April 14, 2016 … The Long Island Museum and the Setauket Presbyterian Church announced today that they are among the very grateful beneficiaries of a landmark gift, a $100 million charitable trust from the Kingsley Gillespie Charitable Trust, Bank of America N.A, Trustee. This gift continues the Kingsley and Kenyon Gillespie families’ lifelong legacy of philanthropy to the Three Village Community, as well as their commitment to the arts, community service and faith.  Other beneficiaries of the charitable trust include MIT, Stamford Hospital in Stamford Connecticut, The Rotary Club of Stamford and the First Presbyterian Church of Stamford.  Every year, the charities will receive the income earned by the trust.

The Long Island Museum will receive 10% of the income from the $100 million trust. This bequest is one of the most significant gifts in the museum’s 77 year history.

“The Board of Trustees and the museum’s staff are overwhelmed by the Gillespies’ generosity. This tremendous gift strengthens the LIM’s existing endowments and solidifies the museum’s financial foundation. We are forever indebted to the Gillespie family for their foresight and their belief in the importance of the LIM and its place as a cultural leader in our community,” stated Neil Watson, LIM’s Executive Director.

The Gillespie Meeting Room, located on the upper level of the Carriage Museum at the Long Island Museum is commemorated in memory of Doris and Kingsley Gillespie. It includes a stage and seating for approximately 125 people. The room provides space for lectures, music concerts, seminars, exhibits and other special events, a lasting tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Gillespie’s interests and the family’s professional ties to the field of communication.

Doris Kenyon was born in 1900 in Brooklyn, but as a child spent her summers in Old Field.  In the 1930s, Old Field became her year-round home.  She had a lifelong affection for the Three Village area and it is appropriate that a part of the Carriage Museum is commemorated in her name.

She was married to Kingsley Gillespie, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who had begun his career as plant manager and research director of the Stamford Rubber Supply Company. In 1941 he made a career change, becoming publisher of a Connecticut newspaper, The Advocate of Stamford.  In 1957 he also became publisher of the Greenwich Time.  Mr. Gillespie was a former owner of Stamford radio station WSTC.

The Gillespies maintained homes in Stamford and Old Field and were involved in community activities in both areas. They were generous benefactors.  In retirement years, they were able to spend more time at their Naples, Florida home.

Mrs. Gillespie is remembered fondly for her love of animals and her interest in riding. Neighbors saw her often on the roads of Old Field as she rode horses, a pony, and even a dog cart.

Mr. and Mrs. Gillespie both died at their Florida residence, he in 1984 and she in 1986. A daughter, Joan, a United States Foreign Service officer, died in Tunisia in 1959.  Their son Kenyon died in March of 2015.

About the Long Island Museum

Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian affiliate, dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults and children with an understanding and appreciation of Long Island’s rich history and diverse culture. For information about the museum’s world-class exhibitions and New York State chartered education programs visit

About the Setauket Presbyterian Church

Founded in 1660, the Setauket Presbyterian Church is a living, inclusive, and active faith community of around 500 people. It has a history of social engagement: some of its members were leaders in George Washington’s spy ring during the Revolutionary War. The current building dates from 1812, at 5 Caroline Avenue on the Setauket Village Green. Today the church has strong worship and preaching, programs for children and youth, a large, diverse, and vigorous peace and justice ministry, a twenty-two year relationship with a sister church in Cuba, and has recently founded Open Door Exchange, connecting families in need with free, good-quality donated furniture.

Long Island Museum Textile Collection Named for Prominent Family

Stony Brook, NY … May 25, 2016 … The Long Island Museum announces the naming of its 10,000 piece textile collection in honor of Mary and Philip Hulitar. Mary Hulitar has generously donated $500,000 to the LIM as a leadership gift to preserve, digitally archive, and exhibit the Mary & Philip Hulitar Textile Collection.

Mary Gerstenberg Hulitar has been a longstanding donor to the museum since 1987. Formerly a long-time resident of the Three Village area, her father was a key player in LIM’s early history.  The LIM’s Dr. Charles W. Gerstenberg Carriage Reference Library is named for him and is an invaluable research resource for transportation scholars and curators.  She is the widow of Philip Hulitar, a prominent and gifted women’s fashion designer in the 1950s and 60s, as well as a long-time patron of the arts.  “I put two things together, my husband’s career and my life on Long Island—that angel place for me—when making the decision,” Mrs. Hulitar said from her home in Palm Beach.

“The museum’s Board of Trustees and the staff are thrilled to receive this major gift,” said Neil Watson, LIM’s Executive Director. “Through Mary’s generosity the richness of LIM’s textile collection can be made more fully available to designers, curators and scholars around the country.  We consider this gift transformational.  It allows us to expand our efforts in planning future exhibitions and new ways to exhibit and archive the collection, as well as bring more of it to the public.”

The LIM’s textile holdings maintain a key position as one of the museum’s core collections. The collection includes an outstanding set of historic costumes, quilts, shoes, and other textiles from the 18th century to the present, including a c. 1955 dress and matching jacket designed by Philip Hulitar for Bergdorf Goodman. “He was a brilliant influence as head designer for Bergdorf Goodman and this really exquisitely embroidered silk dress is our most beautiful mid-century gown,” said Chief Curator Joshua Ruff.

Mrs. Hulitar’s gift will be used for the museum’s ongoing work of cataloguing, conserving and researching the Mary & Philip Hulitar Textile Collection to ensure these irreplaceable pieces will be preserved for future generations. The museum will strive to add works to the collection designed by Philip Hulitar and also continue to expand his reputation to the field of fashion design and to the broader general public. In addition, the museum plans to invest in new, modern storage and display materials for the costumes.

Long Island Museum Receives Grant from Bank of America

Stony Brook, NY … August 18, 2016 … The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook announced today that it is the proud recipient of a $15,000 grant from Bank of America.  “The LIM greatly appreciates Bank of America’s most generous gift of support and is honored by the long-standing partnership Bank of America has shown to the museum throughout the years,” said Neil Watson, LIM Executive Director.

“Through its innovative programs, events and exhibitions, The Long Island Museum gives residents and visitors unique cultural and learning opportunities,” said Bob Isaksen, Long Island president, Bank of America. “Supporting organizations that provide access to educational resources strengthens our communities and helps foster greater learning and interest in arts and culture.”

The funding provided by Bank of America will support the museum’s compelling exhibitions, vital education programs, and engaging public events, including workshops, family festivals, lectures, musical performances, family book clubs, concerts and demonstrations.

Bank of America invests in communities in order to advance local economies and create positive change. Support to organizations that provide critical services and programs is just one of the ways they help improve the quality of life in the communities they serve.  The Bank of America Museums on Us program, in which the Long Island Museum is a participant, is part of its overall commitment to improving access to the arts through philanthropic giving, sponsorships and loans from their corporate art collection.

About the Long Island Museum

Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian affiliate dedicated to enriching the lives of adults and children with an understanding and appreciation of Long Island’s rich history and diverse cultures. For more information about the museum’s exhibitions and programs please call 631-751-0066 or visit

About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance

At Bank of America, our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is critical to fulfilling our purpose of helping make people’s financial lives better. Our commitment to growing our business responsibly is embedded in every aspect of our company. It is demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our customers, and the impact we help create around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships across sectors – including community and environmental advocate groups, as well as non-profits – in order to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_News.


Mount and Politics

Nineteen-Century Painting Parallels

2016 Presidential Election

Stony Brook, NY … October 12, 2016 … The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook bid bon voyage to William Sidney Mount’s painting, Catching Rabbits recently.  The politically-themed painting is on loan to the Dixie Gallery & Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee as part of a new exhibition exploring hunting and fishing in art, opening October 23, 2016.

As we are bombarded with political messages in this historically significant presidential election, we can stop and examine the ironically parallel politics of Mount’s day depicted in his painting. While the painting at first appears to be the triumphant illustration of two boys successfully trapping game, the underlying subject of Catching Rabbits is the contest between Democrats and Whigs in the 1840 presidential election.  The boys in the painting represent the Whig party “trapping” votes, while the rabbit signifies the Democratic Party, weakened by internal division and subjected to desertion by its membership.  Mount’s imagery proved so apt that the Democrats adopted the concept of the trap for their campaign broadsides, which cautioned against being lured and caught by the Whigs.

The Memphis exhibition, Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art celebrates artists’ captivation with hunting and fishing.  It will be the first major art exhibition to explore the multifaceted meanings of such outdoor subjects in both painting and sculpture, ranging from the Colonial era to World War II.  The exhibition encompasses a wide variety of portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes, including iconic works by Thomas Cole, Thomas Eakins, and Winslow Homer, Alfred Jacob Miller, and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait.  In one important example after another, these representations of hunting and fishing do more than merely illustrate subsistence or diverting pastimes, they connect a dynamic and developing American nation to its past and its future.

Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate dedicated to American history and art with a Long Island connection. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., and on specially selected days throughout the year.  For information about other exhibitions and related programs, visit or call (631) 751-0066.

Jane Wilson Painting Added to Permanent Collection

LIM Receives Generous Gift in Time for Holidays

Painting by prominent artist added to the permanent collection

December 15, 2016 … Stony Brook, NY … The Long Island Museum announced today that its collections committee voted to approve the acquisition of an original oil painting artist Jane Wilson, who passed away early in 2015.  The painting, titled Storm Light, was completed in 1993 and is a gift of Wilson’s estate.

LIM’s Director of Collections and Interpretation Joshua Ruff commented, “We are very happy to be one of a number of institutions that were chosen by Jane Wilson’s Estate to receive her work.”

The Long Island Museum collections committee is composed of trustees and community advisors that meet three to four times annually to vote on new artwork and artifacts for the collection.  According to Ruff, they were very excited to see the Wilson painting added to the collection.

Storm Light is the fifth example of Wilson’s work to be added to the Long Island Museum’s collection.  The Museum owns four additional Wilson paintings dating from 1955 to 2000.  Other institutions that own her work include the Hirshhorn Museum, the Modern Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, and the Parrish Art Museum.

Jane Wilson, who was a part-time resident of eastern Long Island since 1960, was an extremely talented painter who merged expressionism and realism, creating memorable landscapes known most for their dramatic horizons. After her passing early last year, she was the focus (along with fellow artist Jane Freilicher) of a major exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum.

Storm Light will be highlighted as a new acquisition, on prominent display, when the museum opens its new season on February 24, 2017.

Long Island Museum Announces $40,000 in NEH Support

Stony Brook, New York…August 3, 2017…The Long Island Museum announced today its award of a $40,000 grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to help fund A World Before Cars, the final phase of the LIM’s Carriage Museum revitalization project, begun in 2003.

Long Island Museum Executive Director Neil Watson said “we are thrilled and honored that the NEH is supporting our proposal to plan a new fully-immersive gallery that will help visitors understand how carriages and horses connect to our modern automotive culture.  Working with world-class designers and consultants, the museum will create an exciting and engaging interactive new 2,400-square-foot gallery.”

The Long Island Museum’s is one of 245 humanities projects in this round of funding, NEH’s third and last for fiscal year 2017. The total $39.3 million in total grants nationwide will support vital research, education, and public programs in the humanities. These peer-reviewed grants were awarded in addition to $46.1 million in annual operating support provided to the national network of state and local humanities councils during fiscal year 2017.

A World Before Cars represents the latest phase of a major redesign of the LIM’s Carriage Museum, which contains one of the largest and finest holdings of horse-drawn vehicles and related transportation artifacts in the country. Utilizing the expertise of skilled consultants and the highly-regarded H. Lee Skolnick Architecture and Design Partnership, the LIM will plan an interpretive gallery composed of hands-on activity areas that explore the experiences of carriage riding/driving, the integral role of horses in 19th century America, and the ways in which carriage design innovations informed and influenced automobile design.  From a ride simulation exercise to interactive computer kiosks and a comparative display of carriage and automobile parts, this new gallery will be designed to engage a variety of different visitor age and experience levels, providing an immersive entry into the world of carriages, and the unexpected ways in which they connect to our modern lives.

“Carriages are much more than old timey props for Hollywood, or the romantic open-air vehicles we might see around Central Park,” explained Joshua Ruff, LIM’s Director of Collections and Interpretation. “Carriages were once at the very center of this nation’s transportation.  This support from the NEH will help us connect our amazing collection of historic horse-drawn vehicles to new generations of visitors for years to come.”

“NEH grants ensure that Americans around the country have the opportunity to engage with our shared cultural heritage,” said NEH Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “From traveling exhibitions and teacher workshops to efforts to preserve local history, these projects demonstrate the power of the humanities to build connections, stimulate discovery, and contribute to vibrant communities.”

National Endowment for the HumanitiesCreated in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

Long Island Museum: Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults and children with an understanding of Long Island’s rich history and diverse cultures. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information visit or call 631.751.0066.

LIM Names New Board Chair

Attorney to Lead Museum Board

Stony Brook, NY … August 10, 2018 …The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook is proud to announce that Linda U. Margolin managing partner in the law firm MargolinBesunder LLP, has been named Chair of its Board of Trustees, succeeding Guy Germano, also an attorney, whose term was completed at the end of June.

Executive Director Neil Watson stated, “We are thrilled that Linda has accepted this Board leadership position. She has served as a Trustee for the past seven years and knows the LIM’s history and where the museum needs to go in order to best serve its broad and diverse audience. Linda’s dedication and deep commitment to this community will greatly help the museum advance its position as a cultural and educational leader.”

Margolin has been practicing law since 1975, concentrating her practice in the areas of land use and zoning, commercial litigation, and appeals. She served as law clerk to the Hon. Jacob Mishler, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York from 1975 to 1976. She has an “AV” attorney rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Margolin is an active member of the Suffolk County Bar Association; she has served as a director, and on the Federal Courts, Civil Rights, Appellate Practice, Judicial Screening, Nominating and Bench Bar Committees; she is also an active member of the New York State Bar Association, including the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section; past chair of the General Practice Section; present co-chair of the Land Use and Environmental Law Committee of the Real Property Section and member of the House of Delegates, and a Fellow of the New York Bar Foundation. She is also a member of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section, and the Federal Bar Council.

Since 2011, Ms. Margolin has served as a trustee of the Long Island Museum of Art, History and Carriages and she acts as pro bono counsel for the India Society of Stony Brook. She lives in Setauket with her husband Robert where she pursues sailing and gardening with equal fervor.

Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, The Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults and children with an understanding of Long Island’s rich history and diverse culrtures. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.  For more information about how to support the museum, or to become a museum member, please call 631-751-0066 or visit