During her tenure, the Parrish has presented more than 80 exhibitions, produced 22 publications, and furthered its reputation as a world-renowned regional art museum and dynamic cultural gathering place in the community.

Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan at Press Opening of Museum, November 9, 2012

Terrie Sultan, who oversaw design through construction of the Parrish Art Museum’s 34,000 square foot, award-winning building in Water Mill, celebrated 10 years as Museum’s Director on April 1, 2018. The Museum, designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron and built by members of the East End construction community, opened its doors in November, 2017. In addition to bringing the ambitious project to fruition, Sultan advanced the Parrish’s reputation as an internationally recognized art museum and firmly established the Parrish as a dynamic cultural gathering place for the region through her broad community initiatives and involvement. During her tenure, the Parrish Art Museum presented more than 80 exhibitions, produced 22 scholarly art publications, and enhanced its collection to more than works by artists who continue the creative legacy of the East End.

“Having the opportunity to lead this august institution into a new era has been extremely rewarding,” Sultan said. “Completing the new building is just the beginning of what the Parrish can achieve, and I am looking forward to continuing to guide the Museum as we look to what the future will bring to the Parrish, the region, and the world.”

Many of the exhibitions presented by the Parrish in the last 10 years received extensive critical acclaim, with many traveling to institutions nationally and internationally. Highlights include:

o    Rackstraw Downs: Onsite Paintings (June 20-August 8, 2010), which traveled to two additional U.S. museums

o    Alice Aycock: Some Stories Are Worth Repeating (April 21 – July 13, 2013)

o    Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe—Works 1970–2011 (April 27 – July 13, 2014)

o    William Glackens (July 20 – October 13, 2014)

o    Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson: Seen and Unseen (October 25, 2015 – January 18, 2016)

o    John Graham: Maverick Modernist (May 7 – July 30, 2017); among others.

New curatorial initiatives developed under Sultan’s oversight are Platform, an invitation to an individual artist to respond to the Museum’s architecture and site that has featured Maya Lin, Tara Donovan, Clifford Ross, and others; Road Show, off-site exhibitions in unexpected places featuring young artists from the region; and Artists Choose Artists, a juried exhibition celebrating the dynamic relationships between established artists and practitioners they select. In addition, in 2010 Sultan launched the Museum’s first collections publications, envisioned as a series of thematically based explorations that now includes four volumes:  American Landscapes: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum; Fairfield Porter: Raw: The Creative Process of an American Master; First Impressions: Nineteenth-Century American Master Prints; and William Merritt Chase: A Life in Art.

Sultan has been active in community service, demonstrating her commitment to promoting a narrative of the East End as the unique, rich cultural mecca for artists, writers, poets, and musicians it has been for over 100 years. Toward that end, she became involved and was recently appointed to the 2018 Board of Directors of Discover Long Island (DLI), becoming a strong advocacy voice for the cultural life of the East End and insuring that the message is extended throughout the national and international tourist community. Sultan is a founding member of Hamptons Art Network (HAN), a consortium of 19 non-for-profit cultural organizations working together to create a unified arts community in the Hamptons. She also serves on the Southampton Cultural Arts Council.

To make the Museum ever more accessible to the diverse local community, in 2014 the Parrish under Sultan’s leadership initiated Resident Benefits, a free membership program for residents of Southampton and Tuckahoe School Districts. Currently, Resident Benefits accounts for 37% of the Museum’s total membership of 4,000 individuals. In addition, programs such as Access Parrish, for individuals with special needs including those with Parkinson’s and their care givers, create relationships that resonate through these populations and further the Parrish’s role as a museum for the entire community.  


Terrie Sultan 


Appointed Director of the Parrish Art Museum in January 2008, Terrie Sultan has more than 30 years of experience as a museum professional, having served in senior positions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. She has organized more than 45 exhibitions in her career, including Andreas Gursky: Landscapes, Chuck Close Photographs, Chantal Akerman: Moving through Time and Space, Jessica Stockholder: Kissing the Wall, and Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration. An accomplished author, Sultan’s publications include Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion, published by D. Giles, Ltd. (2008); Jean Luc Mylayne, published by Twin Palms Press, Santa Fe (2007); James Surls: the Splendora Years, published by University of Texas Press (2005); and Kerry James Marshall published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York (2000). Sultan is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, the International Association of Art Critics; served on the College Art Association’s award committee for Lifetime Achievement for Art Writing; and was a founding board member of Etant donné, the French-American Endowment for Contemporary Art. In 2003 she was awarded a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the Government of France.


Inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island’s East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world. 




AAQ Resource: McDonough & Conroy Architects