Mary Ellen Bartley (American, born 1959) 7 Things Again and Again, April 1, 2020. Courtesy the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.


Alicia G. Longwell, Ph.D., The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator at the Museum, will lead a live-stream illustrated conversation on Friday, June 5, 5pm, with Sag Harbor-based photographer and Parrish collection artist Mary Ellen Bartley, who recently completed a 30-day photography project in quarantine. The public is invited to join the live stream talk—part of the Museum’s Friday Nights Live! series—and take part in a live chat following the presentation. Log in information is at

“Mary Ellen Bartley’s story unfolded during a socially-distanced conversation on a neighboring front porch and I immediately wanted to delve into this fascinating project,” said Longwell.

Bartley is known for her photographs exploring the tactile and formal qualities of the printed book—and its potential for abstraction. By emphasizing the unique “aura” and materiality of printed matter, her work celebrates its textural and tactile properties. Last spring, the artist was in Bologna, Italy, for her dream project: photographing the studio and library of acclaimed artist Giorgio Morandi. That mission was cut short by the outbreak of COVID-19 in that region, and Bartley returned to the United States in mid-March.

In quarantine back home in Sag Harbor, the artist set up seven household objects in her attic studio, resolving to make a photograph on each of the 30 days of April “no matter what.” The resulting images—an homage to Morandi’s process of reduction, repetition, and restraint—also chronicle Bartley’s daily resolve to continue her work.  Many of those photographs will be shown during Longwell’s talk with the artist.


Mary Ellen Bartley

Born in New York, NY, in 1959, Bartley has had exhibitions in numerous museums and galleries including The Queens Museum and Parrish Art Museum NY; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Houston Center for Photography; and National Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, Guatemala City. Bartley has taken part in residencies including at The Queens Museum; Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY; and Watermill Center, NY. Her work is in the collection of the Parrish Art Museum; The Walker; and The Watermill Collection. A significant aspect of her practice is working in unique libraries and archives where she responds to collections and their habitats, developing projects over time spent with them. Bartley was a Watermill Center 2015 Artist in Residence and worked with the library there to create the installation and book Reading Robert Wilson. In 2017, she created the installation Library Copies at The Queens Museum working with Andrew Beccone’s Reanimation Library. Her series Reading Grey Gardens both archived and reinvented the collection of books at the famed East Hampton estate. The artist, who received her BFA from Purchase College, SUNY, lives and works in Sag Harbor.


Alicia Longwell

At the Parrish Art Museum, Alicia Longwell has pursued a special interest in the history of the art and artists of Eastern Long Island. She has organized numerous survey exhibitions, including Malcolm Morley: Painting, Paper, Process (2012), Dorothea Rockburne: In My Mind’s Eye (2011), Sand: Memory, Meaning and Metaphor (2008); and North Fork/South Fork: East End Art Now (2004) and has curated solo exhibitions on the work of artists Barbara Bloom, Marsden Hartley, Frederick Kiesler, Alan Shields, Esteban Vicente, and Jack Youngerman, among others. Longwell has authored many publications for the Parrish including Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson: Seen and Unseen(2015); William Glackens (2014, contributing essay); William Merritt Chase in the Collection of the Parrish Art Museum, 2014; Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, Dubuffet (2013; contributing essay), and many others Longwell received her Ph.D. degree from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, where her dissertation topic was John Graham, the subject of a critically acclaimed retrospective she organized for the Parrish Art Museum in 2017.


Friday Nights Live!

Live-Stream Talk

Alicia Longwell with Mary Ellen Bartley

Friday, June 5, 5 pm 


Friday Nights are made possible, in part, by Presenting Sponsor:

Additional support provided by The Corcoran Group, and Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder.


Parrish Art Museum

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.


Parrish Art Museum construction photographs © Jeff Heatley.


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