BBHS events & BBHS Frances TOMS
The painting “Bellport Swings” by Malcolm Morley will be at the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society’s An Artists’ Place gala and exhibition on June 1.

Courtesy photo-

BBHS events & BBHS Frances TOMS


As Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society president Joan Kaelin puts it, the series of weekly events with coordinating Bellport Village businesses and sites being offered for June and July “is a big push to get us out there. We’re really active and alive. And it’s a nice way for us to get in businesspeople and partner up. Our mission is to honor Bellport’s past and present and those individuals whose work has contributed to the community,” she said.  

Here’s a summary for June.


June 1 

“An Artists’ Place” Exhibition Opening and Gala, 6-9 p.m.

Marquee Projects First Summer Show, 14 Bellport Lane, 5-8 p.m.

Pamela Lerner Home & Design Celebrates the Artists of Bellport, 10:30 a.m.

The summer exhibition is dedicated to internationally renowned artist Malcolm Morley, who lived in Brookhaven hamlet. His “Bellport Swings” painting will be in the show. The artists on display all live or lived locally. There will be an art salon set up in the tent during the gala.

In the June 1 mix is Marquee Project’s First Summer Show, which starts at 5 p.m. at 14 Bellport Lane, across the street from the BBHS grounds. “[Owner] Mark Van Wagner is showing contemporary artists. His idea is that people coming to the gala or leaving will swing by his place,” said Kaelin.

Pamela Lerner discussed the inclusion of artists in her storefront on Main Street. 

“Cecile Defforey is flying in from Brussels,” said Lerner of Defforey, who incorporates mystical, magical elements in her work. “She was a very good friend of Malcolm’s and I have four works of his. I also have sculptors Michael Ince and David Ebner, artist Susan Toplitz, John DiNaro, photographer Patrice Casanova and artist Valta Us. Although he’s from Sag Harbor, he’s been displayed with us for 16 years.” 


June 7

Village Art Walk, 5-8 p.m.

From BBHS Pokorny Room to Marquee Projects, then Main Street, finishing at The Bellport

“The Art Walk starts at our headquarters on Bell Street in the Pokorny Room with a high school exhibit,” said Kaelin. “A map of the Art Walk will be in all the store windows.” Here are some who are participating.

Circa Something - “My mother-in-law Pierina Camurati Leon, who will be 100, will be presenting her dress designs and art over the last 65 years,” said Circa Something owner Bob Baker. “She was a couture dress designer on Madison Avenue and attended the Traphagen School of Design. I will also feature the art of Brother Gerard Cormier, the Marist Brother who formerly occupied what is now CEED for several years.”

Bellport Arts & Framing - Owner LuAnn Thompson is celebrating three area artists. “A local photographer, Wolfgang Berg, has a lot of wonderful sunsets and we’re featuring photos of Fire Island Pines and Brookhaven hamlet,” said Thompson. “Ricki Herzeseld is from Bellport, and does oil paintings of floral still life, very contemporary, and also wood sculptor John Cino from Patchogue. I’m really excited trying to mix photo, paintings and sculpture.”

Bellport Jewelers & Rarities - Owner with her husband Peter, Dianne Romano discussed the tied-in theme along with their jewelry, vintage movie posters and collectibles. “When Malcolm was alive he made Peter his international jeweler and collaborated on a whole line,” she said. “It’s mostly transportation-based; we have 18-karat gold biplane cufflinks. You see biplanes a lot in Malcolm’s artwork. And we made a very large 18-karat gold hot-air balloon based on his 1990 painting in the Tate Museum called ‘The Mariner.’ It’s a brooch. It’s enameled with diamonds and then we have the palette. He came in with his palette and Peter made it to scale in a necklace and earrings, all handmade jewelry. It has colored diamonds representing the paints in the palette.”

Pamela Lerner Home & Design - Lerner will continue her exhibit of local artists in her shop.

Other shops include Copper Beech, TOLA, Hue, Bellport, Thos. Cornell Galleries Ltd. And again, it ends at The Bellport.


June 21

Life with Malcolm – A Conversation about Malcolm Morley with Lida Morley and Isabella Rossellini, 5 p.m. at BBHS Brown Building

June 22

Michael Ince Studio Visit, 10 a.m., Brookhaven hamlet


June 23

Bellport High School Art Show Awards Reception, 3-5 p.m. in Pokorny Room at BBHS on Bell Street

Marquee Projects Second Summer Show 5-8 p.m., 14 Bellport Lane


Exhibit kicks off season

Vintage woman photographer Frances H. Toms’ show at the Barn Museum starts fun weekly events

Frances H. Toms would have been proud.

Her 19th and 20th century photos are being exhibited at the newly spiffed-up Barn Museum on the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society campus, a salute to the Bellport photographer who created a profitable career capturing Bellport’s essence during the late-19th to the early-20th century that included sailing life, lively hotels and the shoreline. She hand-tinted her photos, copyrighted them and, besides selling them, also headed her own thriving postcard business.

The “Photography of Frances Toms” exhibit opened last Saturday with a lively cocktail party.

It was fitting. Toms lived right across the street on Bellport Lane. 

“She was always behind the lens,” said BBHS director and curator Tricia Foley.

“She published a lot of her work and advertised in the Advance. She photographed the Suffrage Study Group and her sister started the Entre Nous Bellport library group.” Toms was a member of the Camera Club of New York, had a show on Madison Avenue and her work was also shown at the Museum of Natural History.  She is buried in Woodland Cemetery on Station Road with her mother and sister, Foley added.

An interesting side note, Toms’ importance came to light when someone brought a tattered covered book with 25 of her signed photos intact to BBHS’s exchange shop. 

Twelve of them have been blown up and framed by Bellport Arts & Framing’s owner LuAnn Thompson. 

There is information about Toms’ family; her brother was a well-respected doctor and there is a photo of the family. “Her sister-in-law is in this, and she might be in it, too,” said Foley, pointing to one, adding that there was no known photo identifying Toms. 

The exhibit will be open weekends to the public beginning Memorial Day. Besides Toms’ exhibit, there are a number of Bellport artifacts and maps, items a visitor can spend time perusing. Amble upstairs and there are decoys and vintage dolls.

“It’s a place to bring summer guests or just to gain information about the historical society and to showcase the complex,” said BBHS president Joan Kaelin.