John Lennon's A Family Tree

"John’s artwork speaks for itself," says Yoko Ono, the artist, businesswoman, and keeper of her late husband John Lennon’s creative flame. “It is meant to bring people together to enjoy and find an opportunity to talk to each other. We hope that the exhibition helps people to discuss real issues of peace.” That conversation has been ongoing, stemming from the largest collection of Lennon’s artwork ever assembled: a traveling exhibit that has traversed the country and the planet for 15 years, attracting record crowds and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. Now, this critically acclaimed exhibit is coming to Southampton in New York. Yoko Ono has joined forces with the Southampton Inn to present Come Together: A Look Into John Lennon’s Life Through His Artwork – hand-signed pieces and limited edition prints, as well as serigraphs, lithographs, copper etchings and aqua tints, all of which will be available for sale. They will be on display at Southampton Inn located at 91 Hill Street, August 22 – 24 and will benefit Human Resources of the Hamptons, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the poor, hungry, sick and homeless. “Most people consider the Hamptons to be a place of luxury, wealth and pampering, so perhaps this exhibition, with its connection to Human Resources of the Hamptons, will be an eye-opening experience: something for a charity that helps those who are not so fortunate or wealthy,” says Mrs. Ono-Lennon. “I’m a child of the 60s myself, so having the opportunity to host an exhibit of John Lennon’s work is truly thrilling for me,” says Southampton Inn owner Dede Gotthelf, who plans on buying an art piece by the man who had been her favorite Beatle. The Inn is as famous for distinctive cultural events as it is for gracious hospitality and five-star dining, which is why it was approved by Mrs. Ono-Lennon for this first-ever Hamptons’ exhibition. The Ono-Lennon family weren’t strangers to the Hamptons. They rented a house in Montauk where they worked on art projects, enjoyed walks on the beach, and visited with such superstar friends as Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Peter Beard and Dick Cavett, who also maintained summer homes on the East End of Long Island. Before musician, songwriter, poet, artist and dedicated peace activist John Lennon was a Beatle, he was an artist who attended the renowned Liverpool School of Art and he continued to chronicle his remarkable life with distinctive line drawings. His style, reminiscent of Picasso and James Thurber but uniquely his own nonetheless – was comprised of quick sketches, free-hand drawings, caricatures and illustrations. “John’s theme was mostly about peace and love,” says Yoko. “He wanted to convey the message that the family and love are important and translate into world peace.”Come Together, produced by Legacy Fine Art Productions, includes over 100 pieces from 1968 – 1980, encompassing the final phase of Lennon’s Beatles career, his years as a solo artist, his romantic and creative partnership with Yoko Ono, his five-year hiatus in New York as a devoted stay-at-home dad with his son Sean, and his return to the music scene in 1980, which was cruelly cut short by his murder in December of that year. At the time of his death, Lennon had preserved several hundred drawings that he considered important. Although his Beatles fame prevented him from being taken seriously as a fine artist during his lifetime, he has since earned the respect and admiration of the art world. A number of his inspiring and emotional sketches are also in the permanent collections of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the John Lennon Museum in Japan. Come Together can be seen at Southampton Inn Friday, Aug 22, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Saturday, Aug 23, 11:00 am to 8:00 pm; and Sunday, Aug 24, 11:00am to 7:00 pm.