The Art Barge was the creation of Victor D’Amico who was founding director of Education at The Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1937 to 1970. Having built a home and established roots in Amagansett in the 40s and initiated MoMA-sponsored art classes in the 50s at Ashawagh Hall in the Springs, East Hampton, he enlisted the help of local fishermen in 1960 to bring a retired World War I Navy barge from New Jersey and beach it on the pristine shoreline at the head of Napeague Harbor.
The Art Barge has since been the centerpiece of arts education on the South Fork and a beautiful and beloved space to gather, be inspired, and create. It is one of the two sites in Amagansett that comprise The Victor D’Amico Institute of Art, the second being Mabel and Victor D’Amico’s former home at Lazy Point, facing Gardiner’s Bay at the entrance of Napeague Harbor.
The Mabel and Victor D’Amico Studio and Archive is a testament to the D’Amicos’ Modernist roots and houses a vast collection of Mabel’s artworks, objects and artifacts, and an array of documents pertaining to Victor’s career in arts education. It serves to preserve and strengthen the pioneering legacy of these two individuals and their significant contributions to the field of art education.