Find Your Inner Edie at the Parrish Art Museum

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“Little” Edie Beale.
“Little” Edie Beale.
“Little” Edie Beale.

The Parrish Art Museum, Maysles Documentary Center, and Hamptons International Film Festival will present a conversation and excerpts from the cult classic documentary, “Grey Gardens,” on Thursday, August 11, at 6 p.m. In addition, following a long-standing tradition at Grey Gardens screenings, at 5 p.m. audience members are invited to dress in costume as “Big Edie” or “Little Edie” Beale. The “Edie Parade” begins the event, followed by the screened excerpts and discussion. Panelists participating in the conversation include Harlem historian Michael Henry Adams, “Grey Gardens” subject Jerry “the Marble Faun” Torre, “Grey Gardens” editor and producer Muffie Meyer, and Sara Maysles, the daughter of Albert Maysles and co-author of the book “Grey Gardens.”

Produced by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Susan Froemke; and directed by the Maysles, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer, Grey Gardens reveals moments in time in the lives of the Beales, an eccentric mother and daughter who lived in squalor in their 28-room East Hampton estate on Georgica Pond. The film shows the day-to-day existence of “the Edies” in conversation, singing, and dancing in their decaying mansion overrun with cats and occasionally raccoons. In 1971, after the Suffolk County Health Department inspectors cited myriad building violations in the house, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis provided funds to have it cleaned and the violations rectified. The Maysles discovered the Beales in 1973, when they visited the house with Onassis’s sister, Lee Radziwill, who wanted the filmmakers to create a documentary about her own storied youth in East Hampton. The Maysles decided instead to focus on the Beales. The film was screened at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, and inspired a Tony-award winning musical and a 2009 Emmy Award–winning film by the same name.

“Grey Gardens is a masterful documentary that captures the idiosyncrasies of an isolated family of renown living in the heart of the Hamptons but happily stuck in the past,” said Andrea Grover, the Century Arts Foundation Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish. “The evening will be enriched by a panel of specialists and fans who respond to some of the most memorable moments in the film.”

Tickets to the event are $10; and the evening is free for members.

Also this weekend at The Parrish, in partnership with IMG Artists and Renée Fleming, the museum will present the launch of the first annual Hamptons Festival of the Arts. The inaugural program, on Saturday, August 13 at 7 p.m., features world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming, the festival curator, who will perform an intimate recital in the Parrish galleries with guest artist Rufus Wainwright, followed by a reception.

“With a mission to illuminate the creative process, the Parrish is delighted to have this opportunity to make the connection between art and music in the intimate and beautiful galleries of the Museum,” said Parrish Director Terrie Sultan.

“The Hamptons are already a meeting place for tastemakers and lovers of nature and gorgeous scenery,” said Ms. Fleming. “We hope to create beautiful, unexpected experiences in the arts, to add to this idyllic setting.”

Tickets for this performance and reception are $275; $250 for members and advance registration is required.
For more information on either event, visit parrishart.org.

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