The Victor D’Amico Institute of Art has been the centerpiece of arts education on the South Fork of Long Island since the creation of The Art Barge in 1960 by Victor D’Amico, who was the founding director of Education at The Museum of Modern Art from 1937 to 1969.
Victor and his wife Mabel built a home in Amagansett in the 1940s and he initiated MoMA-sponsored art classes beginning in the mid-50s at Ashawagh Hall in the Springs, East Hampton. Desiring to create a unique art center, Victor enlisted the help of local fishermen to bring a retired Navy barge from New Jersey and beach it on the pristine shoreline of Napeague Harbor.
The Art Barge 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 in 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’Amico’s modernist roots with permanent and rotating exhibitions in the D’Amico House featuring early modernist furnishings and found objects; artworks, assemblages, jewelry, and clothing by Mabel D’Amico; and photos, documents, books and ephemera pertaining to Victor D’Amico’s pioneering work in arts education.
The Victor D’Amico Institute of Art is committed to preserving and interpreting the creative legacy of Mabel and Victor D’Amico, and to promoting their significant contributions in the field of art education. From two unique locations we offer a program of classes, exhibitions, and events that fosters learning and understanding through the art experience, with the belief that a creative education helps individuals develop identity, community, and purpose in order to achieve a richer way of life and make a more meaningful contribution to society.