East Hampton Art Colony
At East Hampton, near the sea end of Long Island, them is a true artist colony, and perhaps the most popular of adjacent sketching-grounds for New York artists.
Lizzie W. Champney
East Hampton, near the eastern end of Long Island, became a popular destination for artists following a momentous sketching trip to the area in 1878 by members of the Tile Club, an association of New York City artists "who met informally to paint decorative tiles and exchange thoughts about the art world."1 Their sketches and paintings of East Hampton soon attracted other artists to the area, seeking subject matter that often found a ready market through art galleries and among patrons.
One of the first articles making an impact for both artists and tourists was "The Tile Club at Play," published in Scribner's Monthly in February 1879. Writer W. MacKay Laffan said members of the Tile Club arrived at East Hampton on a June afternoon to find that "the town consisted of a single street, and the street was a lawn . . . set with tapering poplar trees [and] bordered on either side of its broad expanse by ancestral cottages."2 Laffan quoted one member, identified by his Tile Club nickname of "the Gaul," as saying: "My wig! I must secure a sketch of some of this!"3 While in East Hampton, the group of visiting artists gathered at the former home of the late poet-composer John Howard Payne and sang a moving rendition of his famous song "Home, Sweet Home."4