Exhibits & Events


For full details and to register for any of the Suffolk County Historical Society's upcoming events, please call: (631) 727-2881.

The Story of How Whalebone Shaped 19th-Century Fashion

In our Weathervane Gallery
Through a display of 19th-century photographs, fashion magazine plates, photographs, whaling tools, corsets, parasols, and exquisite dresses showing the changes in fashion from 1820 to 1920, this special exhibit explores the fascinating, surprising, and vital role the American whaling industry played in the world of 19th-century fashion. Curated by Richard Doctorow.

Art and Artifacts

In our Grand Staas Gallery
The Eastern Woodlands is a cultural area of the indigenous people of North America, consisting of tribes inhabiting the United States and Canada, east of the Mississippi. Though their region was vast, the people of Eastern Woodland tribes lived in similar ways, and their art and artifacts reflect their deep-rooted culture, still evident through their descendants. This exhibit showcases modern native artists exploring historic themes and identities alongside earlier works. Art, artifacts, carvings, portraits, and tribal dress combine in this celebration of the Eastern Woodlands people. Exhibit curated by Jamie Reason. In our Grand Staas Gallery until February 2020.


ARTISTS' RECEPTION: What's Your Compass?
A Women Sharing Art Multimedia Exhibit

Saturday, October 12, 2019 – 1:00 pm
An instrument used to show direction, a compass gives orientation to where one has been and where one is going. Metaphorically, a compass is a symbol for guidance, bearing, and forging one's path. Artist-members of Women Sharing Art, Inc., will present a multimedia art exhibit titled "What's Your Compass?" in our Gish Gallery, with an opening artists' reception on October 12. Free reception admission + light refreshments. On exhibit October 9 - December 21, 2019.

BOOK TALK featuring Dr. Michael Doorley on
Justice Daniel Cohalan, 1865-1946: American Patriot and Irish-American Nationalist

Thursday, October 17, 2019 – 6:00 pm
This event is being organized by St. Joseph's College and is funded by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Dr. Michael Doorley, who will discuss his latest book (published by Cork University Press in 2019), is an associate lecturer in History and International Relations with the Open University in Ireland, and the author of Irish-American Diaspora Nationalism: The Friends of Irish Freedom, 1916-1935 (2005) and other works on the history of the Irish diaspora in the United States. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free, but Registration is Required to St. Joseph's College: RSVP to Dr. Mark Hessler at mhessler@sjcny.edu or 631.687.2626.

TEA & TALK featuring Karl Grossman on
Robert D.L. Gardiner & Gardiner's Island

Saturday, October 19, 2019 – 1:00 pm
Suffolk County journalist and professor of journalism Karl Grossman will describe visiting Gardiner's Island and speak about his long connection to Robert David Lion Gardiner, who described himself as the island's 16th Lord of the Manor. Grossman will screen the Gardiner's Island segment of the documentary Can Suffolk Be Saved?--which he wrote and hosted in 1974. It includes his traveling with Mr. Gardiner on the 3,318-acre island, interviewing Mr. Gardiner, and Mr. Gardiner providing a narrative on the natural beauty and history of the private island in the Gardiner family since 1639, an ecological and historical jewel of Long Island. $25 per person. Includes assorted teas, fancy finger sandwiches, & sweets! Registration & prepayment required by 10/12. Reserve early - sellout risk is high! RSVP & Prepayment required by 10/12. Call 631-727-2881 x100 to reserve.

BOOK & BOTTLE featuring Karl Grossman on
History of Jews on Long Island's East End

Thursday, November 7, 2019 – 6:00 pm
Journalist and professor of journalism Karl Grossman will give a presentation on the history of Jews on Long Island's East End, focusing on the Jewish settlement in Sag Harbor. Grossman's East End roots include his paternal grandparents Herman and Stephanie, who settled in Sag Harbor more than a century ago. Members Free; Non-Members $5. Includes wine & cheese + admission to current exhibits. Registration Required: 631-727-2881 x100.

Holiday Craft Show & Sale!

Saturday, December 7, 2019 – 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Free admission! Our annual family-friendly event will feature handmade wooden items as well as other local artisans' wares. Features include holiday art & crafts, ornaments, home décor, rustic Santas and gnomes, unique handmade carvings, handmade candles, hats, and scarves, wooden wine racks, wreaths, 3D cards, pottery, clothing, and more! There will be something for everyone on your holiday gift list! Live woodworking and woodcarving demonstrations will go on all day indoors in our historic galleries and outdoors on our Great Lawn. Fun for the whole family! More info.: 631-727-2881 x100.

Please join the Suffolk County Historical Society and support local history preservation. Founded in 1886, SCHS is a non-profit organization that collects and preserves the rich history of Suffolk County. We operate a history museum, an expansive library and archives, and a multitude of events, programs, and educational lectures and workshops. Our unique and ever-growing collection of artifacts reflects more than three centuries of local history. Visit our website or call 631-727-2881 for more information.

To subscribe to our popular Photo of the Week Series, send an email to librarian Wendy Polhemus-Annibell: wannibell@schs-museum.org.

On display at the Suffolk County Water Authority Education Center in Hauppauge. A standing display on loan from the Suffolk County Historical Society provides an overview of the history of the Pine Barrens and the critical role this region plays in the protection of Suffolk County’s precious groundwater. The SCWA Education Center is located at 260 Motor Pkwy, Hauppauge, NY.