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.

Celebrating Community

Long Island Museum Gala Celebrates Community

Stony Brook, NY … November 10, 2016 …The Long Island Museum recently honored three pillars of the Three Village Community at its Annual Holiday Celebration Gala & Silent Auction.  This year’s gala honoree was Gold Coast Bank, represented by John C. Tsunis as Chairman & CEO and James P Johnis as President & COO.  LIM’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees Thomas Buonaiuto presented fellow Board Member Guy Germano of Germano & Cahill, P.C. with the Community Leader Award.  Finally, LIM’s Director of Collections and Interpretation Joshua Ruff presented the Patron of the Arts Award to former Board Member and long-time museum supporter Victoria Costigan.

“This year’s Holiday Celebration proves the strength and generosity of LIM’s dedicated community. They stepped up in every way – their contagious excitement and conviviality, their generosity during the entire evening, and their unwavering commitment to enriching the museum’s exhibitions and programs,” commented LIM Executive Director Neil Watson.

More than $170,000 was raised at the Gala from individual and corporate support, ticket and silent auction sales, and donations. Proceeds will support the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs throughout the year, and the planned 2017 restoration of the museum’s Samuel West Blacksmith Shop, c. 1870 and the 1794 Ploch-Williamson Barn.

About our honorees

Headquartered in Islandia, NY, Gold Coast Bank is known as “Long Island’s Community Bank.” With additional branches located in Huntington, Setauket, Farmingdale, Mineola and Southampton, Gold Coast Bank is a New York State chartered bank whose popularity and reputation stems from the strong, long-term relationships cultivated among its large and diverse customer base.  Gold Coast is one of Long Island’s financially strongest community banks, continually earning and using capital to support profitability and growth.

Guy W. Germano, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Germano & Cahill, P.C. He concentrates his practice on real property law and development, zoning and land use, corporate law, municipal law and environmental regulatory proceedings.  He has been counsel for a number of major Long Island real estate development projects, developing several million square feet of commercial development and more than 2,000 units of housing.  Germano has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Museum since 2009 and serves on the Collections Committee.

Victoria V. Costigan has been a determined and passionately-dedicated supporter of the Long Island Museum for almost 45 years. She became a member of the Baord of Trustees of the museum in 1972.  She was the founding member of the museum’s Collections Committee and once stated, “If you don’t have a collection, you don’t have a museum.”  Recently the museum renamed a gallery in the Art Museum in Victoria’s honor.


LIM’s Workplace Excellence

The Long Island Museum Receives SmartCEO

Corporate Culture Award


            Stony Brook, NY… November 21, 2016 … The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook was awarded the 2016 SmartCEO Magazine’s Corporate Culture Award recently. The Corporate Culture Awards program honors companies that foster a creative, collaborative workplace culture to enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage.  According to SmartCEO, “Smart leaders understand that culture is a company’s greatest asset, driving performance and growth.  What’s more, a successful culture is actively and intentionally cultivated and developed.”

“The most significant aspects of our corporate culture are teamwork and timing, said Long Island Museum Executive Director Neil Watson.  “With a very lean staff, we work cohesively to deliver compelling exhibitions and engaging programs for diversified audiences.  We’re constantly changing and people’s experience are changing when they’re here.  The success of our corporate culture comes when we engage new and existing audiences in new ways.”

Long Island Museum was one of 38 companies honored at the first Long Island Corporate Culture Awards ceremonies at Chateau Briand in Carle Place.  Executive Director Neil Watson, along with five staff members attended the event, participating in games, contests and activities created to encourage networking in a casual, fun environment.  As a sponsor of the popcorn machine, one of the activities at the event, the LIM logo was printed on all the popcorn bags.  Approximately 200 people attended the ceremony and participated in the activities.

Other 2016 Corporate Culture Award recipients were 1st Equity Title & Closing Services of Melville; A&C Pest Management Corp. of East Meadow; ACDS, Inc. of Plainview; Advantages Marketing of Kew Gardens; Allurez of Great Neck; Alure Home Improvements of East Meadow; Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center, Inc. of Bay Shore; Business Dynamics Inc. of Melville; Central Business Systems of Melville; Cornerstone Real Estate Services, LLC of Smithtown; Creative Plan Designs, Ltd. Of East Meadow; EAC network of Hempstead; EIHAB of Springfield Gardens; Event Kings of Deer Park; Falconsor Software of Melville; Farber, Blicht, Eyerman & Herzog, CPAs LLP of Woodbury; Federation of Organizations of West Babylon; Grassi & Co. of New York City; H2M Architects + Engineers of Melville; The Hagedorn Little Village School of Seaford; Henry Schein, Inc. of Melville; JVC Broadcasting of Ronkonkoma; Life’s Worc of Garden City; M&V Limousines Ltd. Of Commack; Medsource National of Garden City; N&F Global Corp. of Hauppauge; North Shore-LIJ Connect Insurance Company, Inc. of East Hills; Options for Community Living, Inc. of Smithtown; Pal-O-Mine Equestrian, Inc. of Islandia; Pharmapacks, LLC of College Point; Publishers Clearing House of Port Washington; Reliance Star Payment Services, Inc. of Great Neck; Renegade Furniture Group of Cedarhurst; Softheon of Stony Brook; The SYJCC of Commack; Vanderbilt Financial Group of Woodbury; and Winthrop University Hospital of Mineola.

About SmartCEO

Each month, more than 100,000 growth-minded CEOs turn to SmartCEO magazine and to find ideas and inspiration to help them grow their businesses. Each issue includes behind-the-scenes looks at local success stories, columns written by key opinion leaders and educational articles about critical business topics, all designed to help CEOs conquer the daily challenges of running and growing a business. SmartCEO magazine is published on a bimonthly basis with editions in four major markets: Baltimore SmartCEO, New York SmartCEO, Philadelphia SmartCEO and Washington SmartCEO.

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.

Carriage Museum Featured on News12 Long Island

January 4, 2017:  Long Island’s Hidden Past features LIM’s Carriage Museum with Director of Collections and Interpretation Joshua Ruff.  Hosted by Danielle Campbell of News12 Long Island.

Watch Now

Museum Board Names New Chairman


Contact: Julie Diamond, Director of Communications

Phone: 631.751.0066 x248;

Prominent Attorney to Lead Museum Board


Stony Brook, NY … July 19, 2017 …The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook is proud to announce that Guy W. Germano, Esq. partner in the law firm Germano & Cahill, P.C., has been named Chairman of its Board of Trustees, succeeding Thomas M. Buonaiuto, President & COO of Empire National Bank, whose term expired in June.

LIM’s Executive Director, Neil Watson, stated, “I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with Guy in his new position as Chairman in this upcoming year. Guy has been a key leadership figure during his tenure at LIM.  As head of the Collection’s Committee, Guy helped to advance the museum’s permanent collection and its future collection plans.  His longstanding participation in the broad Long Island community helps us immensely to advance the museum’s position as an innovative cultural leader.”

Guy W. Germano concentrates his practice on real property law and development, zoning and land use, corporate law, municipal law and environmental regulatory proceedings.  He has been counsel for a number of major Long Island real estate development projects, developing several million square feet of commercial real estate and more than 2,000 units of housing.

Prior to forming a partnership with Michael J. Cahill in 2003, Mr. Germano was a partner at several prominent Long Island law firms and was also the Town Attorney for the Town of Islip from 1984 to 1988.

Throughout his career, Mr. Germano has served on numerous not-for-profit boards and agencies and continues to represent several not-for-profit charitable organizations. Mr. Germano has been a member of the Board of Trustees of The Long Island Museum since 2009 and has served on the museum’s Collections Committee.  He was awarded Community Leader at the museum’s 2016 Holiday Celebration Gala & Silent Auction.

Mr. Germano resides in Bay Shore, New York with his wife Lois. They have five children and eight grandchildren.

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. 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


New Outdoor Sculpture Installations Grace Museum Grounds

Stony Brook, NY … July 20, 2017 … The Long Island Museum grounds underwent a sprucing up recently with the installation of two new outdoor sculptures, illustrating both classic and modern styles. The sculptures represent the latest installations in the museum’s outdoor series, begun in 2014. The outdoor sculpture series is sponsored by Harlan and Olivia Fischer.

Fitzhugh Karol’s Pulse is a set of five large wood carvings, each created from a single pine log and coated with tar. Karol’s initial education was done in sculpting with clay but without access to a kiln after graduation, he began working with wood. His abstract sculptures contain silhouettes of landscapes both real and imagined, and reflect the natural world and how humans have reshaped it over time.

             I am perpetually looking for joy. I believe I am at my best when I am persistently working. The accumulation of work born out of this persistence is the record of my energy – energy spent in search of something or someplace I love. I use my body, I feel my work. I believe that I am always playing and always searching and the possibilities are endless. ~ Fitzhugh Karol

Internationally recognized sculptor Gwen Marcus’s The Tempest is a large scale classic human form, created from resin and covered in a faux bronze finish.  Marcus was in Kindergarten when one of her teachers noticed her artistic ability.  Her parents acted on the suggestion of her teacher and enrolled her in drawing and painting classes as a young girl.  But it wasn’t until she began working with clay that she recognized that was her medium.  “I enjoyed working with my hands,” she explained.

            In conceiving The Tempest, I sought to combine my interest in the human form in direct conflict with intense natural forces. The Tempest places the powerful, idealized male figure in direct opposition to the forces of nature.  His raised hands and expression convey the intensity of the struggle at the exact moment they meet.  ~ Gwen Marcus

Both installations will remain on museum grounds for about one year before they are returned to the artists. The Long Island Museum’s outdoor sculpture series is sponsored by Olivia and Harlan Fishcher.

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.