Shakespeare, Gatsby Estates, Walk & Talk Tours, Watercolor Painting

L.I. Estates That Inspired Fitzgerald’s ‘Great Gatsby’

Best-selling author, architect, and historian Gary Lawrance will speak on Thursday, May 26, at 7:00 pm. His lecture, Long Island Estates of the Great Gatsby Era, examines the real Long Island mansions that inspired Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby.

Best-selling author, architect, and historian Gary Lawrance will speak at Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on Thursday, May 26, at 7:00 pm. His lecture, titled “Long Island Estates of the Great Gatsby Era,” will introduce listeners to the real Long Island mansions that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic The Great Gatsby. Light refreshments will be served in the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium after the lecture.

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Gary Lawrence is the principal of Lawrance Architectural Presentations, a firm that provides design presentations, architectural models, digital renderings, and design development services to architects, landscape architects, and interior designers. He has an extensive background in the history of Gilded Age architecture, landscapes, and society, and co-authored the book Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 with Anne Surchin (Acanthus Press 2007, Revised Third Printing 2013). He is currently working on his next book, Houses of Palm Beach, 1900-1950, which is due to be published soon.

Lawrance’s work has been featured in Architectural DigestThe Wall Street JournalNewsday, and New York Social Diary. In addition to his writing and public lectures, he regularly plans conferences on Gilded Age society and serves as the Vice President of the American Country House Foundation.

Bring Your Watercolors, Paint in the Hall of Fishes

Join us in the Hall of Fishes for a watercolor workshop for adults on Sunday, June 4, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. A museum educator will discuss Vanderbilt’s marine expeditions and the work of his curator and artist William Belanske. Participants will sketch and paint from the collection.

On Sunday, November 7, the Vanderbilt will offer a watercolor workshop for adults, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. A museum educator will discuss William Vanderbilt’s expeditions, his contributions to marine science, and the work of his curator and artist William Belanske. Participants will sketch and paint from the collection.


Shakespeare Festival: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

Next on the playbill for the 33rd annual Summer Shakespeare Festival, the Carriage House Players will perform Much Ado About Nothing on the stage in the Vanderbilt’s beautiful Spanish Revival Courtyard on Sunday, June 5, at 7:00 pm

Troilus and Cressida – July 1-24 (excluding July 15 and 22)

The Comedy of Errors – July 29-Aug14

Henry V – Aug 26-Sept 18

Performances: Every Wed and Fri at 8:00 pm, Sunday at 7:00 pm. Tickets: Adults $20; children 12 and under (member child 18 and under) $15; senior (age 62-plus) $15.




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Evan Donnellan, director of CHP, said, “We are so excited to return to the Vanderbilt Courtyard for their annual Summer Shakespeare Festival. With a wide mix of comedy and tragedy, the festival has something for everyone. Join us under the stars for nights of timeless magic as these classical stories come to life before your very eyes.

Maggie’s Mission Fifth Anniversary Gala 

Maggie’s Mission, which promotes awareness, funding, and research for pediatric cancer, will hold its fifth Angelversary Gala at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on Friday, June 3, from 6:00 to 10:00 pm.

The organization was founded in honor of Long Island teenager Maggie Schmidt, who died on June 1, 2017, just after her 17th birthday, from a rare and aggressive cancer called Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor.

Donna DeSousa-Schmidt, founder of Maggie’s Mission, said, “Before Maggie died, she asked her family to help other children and families dealing with this devastating disease. All proceeds support our mission to raise awareness of pediatric cancers, fund cutting-edge research that will improve outcomes for children with cancer around the world and assist families and children currently affected.”

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Maggie’s Mission thanked the Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation and the Vanderbilt Museum for hosting the event.

Gala program: 6:00 pm, passed hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and the Illuminate String Quartet performs in the Vanderbilt Courtyard (weather permitting); 7:30, champagne toast in the Celebration Tent; 8:00, top-shelf full open bar, dinner, music, dancing, and exclusive silent auction items and raffles.

Children’s Workshop: Terrarium Habitat

Museum educators will offer Terrarium Habitat, a workshop for children in grades 2-4, on Wednesday, June 29. Fee: $30 / $27 for members. Explore the collections and create a polymer clay animal and a terrarium from a repurposed plastic bottle.



Beth Laxer-Limmer, Associate Director of Education, said, “we are continuing our horticulture series for children with this workshop on terrariums. We’ll explore the wildlife dioramas, learn about ecosystems, including the plants that animals depend on, and create a living habitat in a repurposed plastic bottle.”

Walk & Talk Tours: Architectural Details, Famous Ironwork

Come for an intriguing walking tour of the Vanderbilt Estate with knowledgeable Museum educators. Learn about the history of the Eagle’s Nest estate; Warren & Wetmore’s design and exterior architectural details of the 24-room Spanish Revival mansion; and the striking ironwork of Samuel Yellin, considered the greatest iron artisan of the early 20th century.

These Walk and Talk Tours, created by the Vanderbilt Education Department will be offered at 11 am and 12:30 pm on June 30; July 6, 20, 23, and 27; August 3, 10, 20, 24, and 31.

Tickets, which include general admission, are available for purchase only at the door: Adults $16, seniors/students $15, children under 12 $13, and members free.

Beth Laxer-Limmer, associate director of education, said, “The grounds are beautiful at this time of year and the walking tour is a perfect way to be introduced to the history of the estate and collections. There is an abundance of beauty in the eclectic architecture and the unique details that reflect William Vanderbilt’s interests.”

William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944) spent summers at his Eagle’s Nest estate and mansion on Northport Bay between 1910 and 1944. He and his wife, Rosamond, hosted intimate gatherings and entertained well-known guests, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Pierre Cartier, Conde Nast, Charles Lindbergh, and the Tiffanys. Eagle’s Nest is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Christopher Tennant Related SearchesInaugural Art Exhibition Opens 

The Vanderbilt Museum recently debuted its inaugural contemporary art exhibition, Related Searches, the first solo museum exhibition by New York artist Christopher Tennant.

Tennant’s artwork—a mix of avian and aquatic dioramas and vitrines, handmade lamps, and collected specimens—reimagines natural history as an extension of commodity culture and the decorative arts. His brilliantly illuminated cases combine antique taxidermy with discarded consumer products to provide a stark visual representation of the beauty and terror of an ecology altered by human industry and the algorithmic marketplace.

Related Searches is the inaugural exhibition in the Vanderbilt Museum’s newly launched contemporary art program and runs through June 30.

The museum occupies the former Gold Coast summer estate of William K. Vanderbilt II, Gilded Age scion, global explorer, and pioneer of American motorsport. Located on the shores of Northport Bay on the north shore of Long Island, it is renowned for its extensive marine and natural history collections, Spanish revival architecture, and picturesque parklands.

Local Museums Offer June ‘Adventure Camp’

The Heckscher, Vanderbilt, and Whaling museums and the Huntington Historical Society have created Huntington Adventure Camp. This all-week event (June 27-July1) is for children ages 7-12. Four days of creativity plus a reception.

Kick off your summer with this special week of art, history, science, and FUN! Join us each day at a different Museum to make friends, learn new things, and create amazing projects! On Friday, July 1, from 9 to 11:30 am, all participants and educators from each institution will meet at the Heckscher Museum to create a collaborative project! At 11:30 am, family, friends, and caretakers are invited to the Museum for a special free reception to celebrate the accomplishments of our Huntington Adventure Camp!

Monday, June 27: Huntington Historical Society
Tuesday, June 28: Vanderbilt Museum & Planetarium
Wednesday, June 29: Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum & Education Center
Thursday, June 30: Heckscher Museum of Art
Friday, July 1, 9 – 11:30 am: Adventure Reception & Celebration at Heckscher Museum


Tickets: $220 Non-Members, $200 Members*

*Membership at any of the partners qualifies for member price

Engraved Vanderbilt Bricks Mark Milestones, Memories

Celebrate your family, a loved one, a special anniversary, or other milestones and memories with us by sponsoring a commemorative brick with a custom engraving. Your donation will help us to bring outstanding science, history, and art education to more than 25,000 students annually.

Your message will be displayed permanently in one of the brick walkways around the Vanderbilt Mansion and Terrace, or on the grounds of the beautiful waterfront Estate. For more information, call Sue Madllinger at 631-854-5558, or email:

Summer STEAM Workshops for Children Grades K-6

Vanderbilt Museum educators are offering astronomy, science, and history workshops for children. Junior Explorers is for grades K-4 and Junior Astronomer is for grades 3-6. Sessions for both age groups will be offered July 11-15 and Aug 15-19, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Fee: $200 non-members | $180 members. Space is limited and spots fill quickly. Advance registration is required. Facemasks are required indoors.

Junior Explorer, grades K-4

Explore the world at the Vanderbilt Museum in a week of creative science and history workshops. We will sail the seas, dive the deepest oceans, soar among the tallest trees, and make unique art inspired by nature and the collections. Registration is open for children entering kindergarten through 4th grade.

(Please note: July and August sessions of each workshop feature the same activities. Therefore, we recommend against registering a child for the same workshop twice.)

Junior Astronomer, grades 3-6

This exciting program for young astronomers features multiple astronomy topics including the solar system, using a telescope, and identifying constellations seen from Long Island backyards. The focus on hands-on learning includes STEAM activities and crafts supplemented by immersive live and pre-recorded full dome presentations in the Planetarium theater. Registration is open for children entering grades 3-6.

For more information and to register, please contact


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