Legendary architect and longtime Hamptons resident Peter Marino breathes new life into one of Southampton's historic buildings to create a home for his eclectic personal art collection—and to further the cultural conversation out east.
Upstairs at the Peter Marino Art Foundation, the Meeting Room features a portrait of Peter Marino by Francesco Clemente and several sculptures by Tom Sachs. Photo © Jason Schmidt/Courtesy of Peter Marino Architect
Internationally renowned for his design process that integrates architecture and art—including architectural designs for some of luxury fashion’s biggest names—New York-based architect Peter Marino has a creative eye unlike any other. That extends to his personal art collection, which he has acquired over more than four decades from galleries and auction houses around the world and which can now be viewed right here in the Hamptons. The Peter Marino Art Foundation, which opened this past summer, is located within the former Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton, a historic building that Marino himself beautifully restored to become a private space displaying a rotating selection of his treasures. Read on as the design icon reveals what to expect on a visit and what’s in store for the summer season ahead. 11 Jobs Lane, Southampton
A work by Anselm Kiefer (2017) Peter Marino-designed bronze boxes (2019) made of blackened bronze. Photo © Jason Schmidt/Courtesy of Peter Marino Architect
What drew you to Southampton originally? How has the area evolved during your time as a resident? My wife and I have been here since the early ’90s and we came because we love the village of Southampton, the landscape and the people. I’ve been working on architectural projects in the Hamptons for over 30 years. For my own home, I’ve been working on its gardens (in Southampton) since we moved here. Happily the trend today is against further subdivisions; i.e., people are buying adjacent properties for privacy and landscape.
The Photography Gallery featuring the show Works by Women Artists with artworks by Diane Arbus, Vanessa Beecroft, Sarah Charlesworth, Candida Höfer, Cindy Sherman, Louise Lawler, Karine Laval, Vera Lutter, Jean Pagliuso, Priscilla Rattazzi, Michal Rovner and Pola Sieverding. Photo © Jason Schmidt/Courtesy of Peter Marino Architect
What is it about the historic Rogers Memorial Library building that inspired you to pursue this project? I was very disappointed to see what happened to the building. The American architect R.H. Robertson has done a number of major buildings in Manhattan that you can still see—and the former Rogers Memorial Library he designed is one of the best buildings on Long Island. My wife and I were walking down Jobs Lane one day a few summers ago, and as we passed the old Rogers Memorial Library she said, ‘It’s such a shame that a beautiful historic building is now a store selling sheets and towels.’ ‘Someone should save it,’ I told her, agreeing. ‘But who?’ ‘Why not you?’ asked Jane.
What was your vision for the space, and how did you bring that vision to life? Based on the very popular response I had showing artworks from my collection at the Southampton Arts Center in 2019—there was such an overwhelming community enthusiasm—I thought there would be a place for my collection right next door. I see it as a house museum. A Frick by the sea.
Wall art commissioned from Richard Woods (2021) and sculpture by Thomas Houseago (2013) made of bronze. Photo © Jason Schmidt/Courtesy of Peter Marino Architect
We took nearly three years restoring the 19th century historical facade and redesigning the interior spaces. More than 8,000 square feet of exhibition spaces are spread over two levels. The foundation currently includes a selection of over 100 artworks from my collection: Old Master paintings; Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities; Renaissance and Baroque bronzes; 20th century photography; and German, French and Russian porcelain and ceramic, from 3000 B.C. to the present day.
Do you have a favorite work on display or a piece that you feel is most important? Most important piece: Hercules and Achelous by Ferdinando Tacca, commissioned by Louis XIV as a birthday gift to the Grand Dauphin.
What is your greatest hope for what visitors will gain from experiencing the Peter Marino Art Foundation? I hope that all visitors will experience a cultural high—that their visual enjoyment will be beneficial and that conversations will be more meaningful!
The exterior of the Peter Marino Art Foundation, which is housed in the former Rogers Memorial Library built in 1895. Photo © Jason Schmidt/Courtesy of Peter Marino Architect
What’s next for you and the foundation? Can you hint at any upcoming works that will be on view? We are planning another summer of special exhibitions and talks, like our opening summer of 2021 where co-director Bob Colacello hosted Brunch with Bob with Isabelle Marino (who is also a co-director) and myself. We had fantastic conversations with Francesco Clemente, Tom Sachs, Rashid Johnson, Vincent Fremont and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece from June through September in connection with a rotating gallery of artwork from these artists. For summer of 2022, too early to divulge, but stay tuned!
Photography by: Photo © Jason Schmidt/Courtesy of Peter Marino Architect