The Long Island Museum announced that local resident and long-time LIM supporter Sharon Cowles recently made a significant contribution to the museum’s future. The former Bayman’s Art gallery in the History Museum/Visitors Center, home to the museum’s collection of wildfowl decoys, has been renamed the Cowles Gallery.
While the decoys will be moved to another area of the museum in a more focused installation, the newly named Cowles Gallery will triple the amount of exhibition space available for the presentation of the museum’s world-class permanent collection, giving visitors access to more of the LIM’s hidden treasures.
Mrs. Cowles first moved to Long Island in the mid-1960s when she and her husband purchased a house in Old Field, neighboring the home of Dorothy and Ward Melville. “I didn’t know anything about Long Island…I knew where Jones Beach was but that was about it,” said Cowles. She said she was invited to stay with the Melvilles the first night she moved to the area. Later, she and Mrs. Melville became friends and she became interested in many of the same projects Mrs. Melville supported.
Cowles said her lasting fondness for Mrs. Melville in part inspired her to make her generous gift to the Long Island Museum. Dorothy Melville was a member of the museum’s first Board of Trustees and remained an active volunteer for many years.
Sharon’s steadfast dedication to the LIM over the course of three decades led her to make this truly transformative gift to the museum. When Executive Director Neil Watson, along with Deputy Director, Director of Advancement & External Affairs Sarah Abruzzi approached Cowles about making a contribution to the museum’s future last summer, Cowles felt obliged to consider the gift. “And I couldn’t say ‘No’ to Neil,” she added.
GRACE DARLING.Concord Carriage Builders, Concord, NH. Gift of St. Paul’s School, 1952. Carriage Museum lobby.
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 of Long Island’s rich history and diverse cultures. Regular museum hours are Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5. For more information about programs and exhibitions, please call 631-751-0066 or visit the museum website at www.longislandmuseum.org.