Recent PC acquisition

"Japanese Pillow w. Lid" by Piero Fenci

Recent PC acquisition

"Woodstock House" by Frank Swift Chase

Recent PC acquisition

Phil and Val Hicken (photo donation)

Recent PC acquisition

"Untitled" by Col. Julian Yates

Recent PC acquisition

"White Elephant Bulkhead" by John Austin

Permanent Collection in 2016

About Our 2016 Permanent Collection Exhibitions

"Family Ties"

Opened on July 22, at the Visual Arts Gallery, 24 Amelia Drive, curated by Robert Frazier

Through Friday, August 26.

Nantucket is more isolated than other towns, and here a career in the arts often runs in the family. Family Ties brings together fabulous works from the AAN Permanent Collection by those with close bonds. Parents and children. Siblings. Etc.


"Fred Clisby" by Walter G. Pollak       "Waterspout" by Louis S. Davidson       "Mitchy" by Walter G. Pollak

"Old Salts & Simpler Times"

Opened on April 25, at the Visual Arts Gallery, 24 Amelia Drive, curated by Robert Frazier

Old Salts & Simpler Times celebrated the intense photo-documentation of the 1930s and 40s by Pollak and Davidson.

Pollak and Davidson were major island photographers, close friends, and both served long terms as presidents of AAN.

Sample Pollak's work here.  Sample Davidson's work here.

About the Permanent Collection

To view a sample of the 2015 Acquisitions to the PC, click on this link.

Though no museum of contemporary Nantucket art exists, there is certainly an equivalent to such an institution – the Permanent Collection of the Artists Association of Nantucket. The Permanent Collection is equal to a local museum of contemporary art. Other island organizations collect older works in quantity, but, excluding private collections beyond the view of the public, no other lasting archive exists for contemporary Nantucket art.

The collection started with the AAN founders and their involvement in the Kenneth Taylor Galleries in 1945. This kernel of patrons and artists quickly metamorphosed into the Artists Association, and in the Forties important works began to gather at the association in a loose system, some donated and some accrued by purchase awards at AAN functions, until they were named as an official art collection. At first the art was stored under the attic eaves at the Macy Warehouse building, where the KT Galleries and the offices of the Association resided hand in hand. When the Galleries closed and the Association began its search for a permanent home, the collection moved about until it found its present, climate-controlled storage location.

The collection now consists of over 1,400 pieces covering the modern era, from the art colony roots of the 1920s to young artists active today. Media include sculpture, paintings, collages, ceramics, drawings, prints, photographs, and even sketch books and historic artifacts like photos and letters. The art is catalogued, watched over by committee, and, since 1992, has been actively guided into an ever-expanding entity. We continue to seek donations of important Nantucket artworks as well as seed funds to keep this legacy both preserved and exhibited on a regular basis.

Past Permanent Collection Events

Our 65th Anniversary Exhibition in 2010 was Icons, curated by Robert Frazier.

Our 2011 PC exhibition, Exiled on Main Street (see video tour), was curated by Robert Frazier and held during the summer months and fall Arts Festival Week of 2011.

During the summer of 2012, we presented The Waterfront Artists: Painters That Changed Nantucket, curated by Robert Frazier and hosted at the Maria Mitchell Association at 33 Washington Street, central to the studio locations for many of these artists.

For 2013 we had three major PC shows curated by Robert Frazier. The first was a collaboration with the Nantucket Historical Association celebrating the work of a single, iconic island artist. John Austin: One Artist's Nantucket in the Whitney Gallery throughout the summer. See our PC page for John here. The second exhibition was titled Nantucket Moderns: Contemporary Art 1945 -2013. This concentrated on mostly non-realistic, contemporary art and its flourishing role in our local art scene begun by the legendary 45 Group. See a sample of 6 works from the Moderns here. Our third exhibition was Island Masters, presented in collaboration with Sylvia Antiques and John Sylvia. To view 50% of the works click here.

2014:  Nantucket Cottage Style: Drawing Inspiration from the Oates–Euler Collection   The Artists Association of Nantucket / The Nantucket Historical Association. This 2014 exhibition--curated by Robert Frazier--explored Andy Oates and Bill Euler’s vision for a life well lived, epitomized by decades of mentoring local artists and collecting quality crafts as well as fine arts. Exhibition ran from April 25 through November at the newly titled McCausland Gallery of the NHA Whaling Museum. For a sample of works from this show go here.

2015:  Seventy Years On   This 2015 exhibition--curated by Robert Frazier--celebrated our 70th Anniversary with a timeline-based exhibition of island artworks and historical photos from each of the last seven decades. This was the first Permanent Collection show exhibited in the Visual Arts Center at 24 Amelia Drive, with an Opening reception: Friday, September 4, 6 – 8 p.m. and Gallery Talk held with Curator Bobby Frazier the following Saturday.


B&W portraits above: Bobby & Polly Bushong, Elizabeth Saltonstall, Bob Perrin, Isabelle Hollister Tuttle

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Visual Arts Center

24 Amelia Drive
Telephone: 508 228 0722
Fax: 508 228 9700


19 Washington Street
Telephone: 508 228 0294
Fax: 508 228 9700

Mailing Address:

Artists Association of Nantucket
P.O. Box 1104, Nantucket MA 02554