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Letter: Corporate Greed Goes Local

Since 1928, George DeForest Brush’s painting of a Matinecock Indian has hung on the walls of the Matinecock bank in Matinecock, Locust Valley. The painting was commissioned by Winslow Pierce, a founder of the Matinecock Bank and the son-in-law of Mr. Brush, and formally given to the bank in 1938. The Matinecock Bank building now houses the Matinecock/Locust Valley branch of the Bank of America.

That branch is slated to close at the end of July. Shockingly, Bank of America has refused our request to donate the painting to the Locust Valley community to be displayed at the Locust Valley Library – a public venue for which this painting can be viewed by all the residents. Instead, the bank plans to remove the painting from the area and subsume this masterpiece into a corporate art collection.

We are disheartened that Bank of America ignores the spirit of the original bequest – a painting of an original resident of the area, commissioned and owned by a then-present day resident of the area, painted in the area, and then formally requested to be displayed in the area in what was then a locally owned business. We are disgusted that a community talisman will become a line-item asset as a result of corporate greed. In addition to reducing their business services to our community, Bank of America is robbing our cultural heritage.

Ellen M. Hanes, president

Locust Valley Library Board of Trustees

Herb Schierhorst, president

Locust Valley Historical Society

Charles A. Brisbane, president

Matinecock Neighborhood Association

Jeff Lawton, president

Kaye Y. Weninger, V.P.

Locust Valley Chamber of Commerce