Peter Beard: Montauk’s Shindig Extraordinaire

Before there was the Sloppy Tuna and The Gig Shack, there was a place that trumped them all as the go-to spot for the ambitious party scene on the East End, if you got the invite. Of course there was the Memory Motel, The Rolling Stones let us know all about that, but then again The Stones might not have even come to Montauk if it wasn’t for this sacred East End hot spot.


Peter Beard at Home, Courtesy of Dans Papers, video still from Peter Beard: A Wild Life by Derek Peck

This spot was known for it’s eccentric parties, but even more for its eccentric owner, photographer/painter, Peter Beard. Beard’s “humble” $26 million abode was known as the place to be for the party scene on the East End, often attracting the likes of the 1970s and 80s Studio 54 scene. It has been rumored that a Beard party would last days, dancing and partying into the night on his acres, hugging the private beach by the Atlantic, suspended by cliffs, over looking the beauty of the ocean and the tranquility of the woods.

Mick Jagger, Catherine Deneuve and Andy Warhol on Peter’s Lawn in 1972. Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal taken by Peter Beard.

There has been confirmation and speculation of these events and proof lies in the photos from those special times, featuring those in the likes Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones, Jacqueline Onassis and Beard’s equally successful and eccentric artist neighbor Andy Warhol, among many, many more.

The Beard residence has now been on the market for a few years. The family is selling the home because it was first bought as a refuge for Peter after long stints in Africa photographing wildlife or in the city creating art, when Montauk was quiet and almost desolate. Now with the influx of new people and crowds, even though the house is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of town on the cliffs by the ranch, the Beard’s have grown distant from the estate. The Beard’s have always tried keep a low profile and the new popularity deters them from spending a lot of time out here, these days.

In the end though, the Beard Estate will forever go down in Montauk history as the prestigious party venue for the most eccentric and as a precedent for the party scene we all indulge in today. So cheers, Peter! Thanks for setting the tone!

The Wall Street Journal has been keeping tabs on the house’s activity on the market, so if you would like some more information about the house and would like to take a visual tour, check out the links below!

Make sure to check to Artsy’s Peter Beard page, an awesome resource that includes Beard’s bio, several of his diary works, as well as recent exhibitions his work has been featured in.