The Permanent Collection began with the AAN founders, who saw the need for documenting Nantucket’s art colony history. They also imagined the Collection providing a visual context for the association’s history while offering a precious heritage for the future. Many early donations were accrued through purchase awards at AAN functions. Today the works number over 1,600 and are carefully catalogued, watched over by committee, and actively guided into an ever-expanding entity. AAN continues to seek donations of important Nantucket artworks as well as seed funds to keep this legacy both preserved and exhibited on a regular basis. To inquire about donations, please contact AAN’s Artistic Director Robert Frazier.

Permanent Collection Visual Database

The Permanent Collection covers the modern century, from the art colony roots of the 1920s to artists active today. All traditional media are represented, and artifacts include AAN history documents, sketchbooks, biographical materials, photographs, and original show cards.

AAN welcomes Nantucket art history scholars and collectors to use AAN as a resource. Please review the list of past exhibitions curated by historian Robert Frazier below. You may also wish to contact Robert Frazier to reserve time for research or conversation.

The Permanent Collection Exhibitions

Preserving The Future: the 75th Anniversary Legacy Acquisition Project

The 2020 Exhibition will feature New Acquisitions to the PC by a variety of artists from the last 75 years of AAN...currently showing at dual venues: 41 Straight Wharf and 24 Amelia Drive.

And from the past century of the Nantucket Art Colony.

View the 2020 Permanent Collection Catalogue and AAN History book here.

View a sampler from our Acquisition Project here.

Recent Exhibitions from the Permanent Collection:
Curated by Robert Frazier

2020 - The Permanent Collection exhibition for 2020 is -- Preserving The Future: the 75th Anniversary Acquisition Project

2019 - Folk Tales To Fine Art: A John Lochtefeld Retrospective.

2018 - The Nature of Art: A Pat Gardner Retrospective; Master Printmakers; and Art Colony in the Greater Light, in collaboration with the Nantucket Historical Association, co-curated with Michael R. Harrison.

2017 - Wizard of the Whimsical: Tony Sarg’s Fantastic Art, co-curated with George Korn

2016 – Old Salts & Simpler Times: the Period Photographs of Pollak and Davidson; and Family Ties: Multigenerational Art from AAN

2015 – Seventy Years On, a 70th Anniversary Celebration

2014 – Nantucket Cottage Style: Drawing Inspiration from the Oates-Euler Collection, in collaboration with the Nantucket Historical Association; and Small Is Beautiful

2013 – Nantucket Moderns; John Austin: One Artist’s Nantucket, in collaboration with the Nantucket Historical Association; Four Grand Ladies; and Island Masters

2012 – The Waterfront Artists: Painters Who Changed Nantucket

2011 – Exiled on Main Street: The Main Street Gallery and its Fabulous Artists; and On Location

2010 – Icons: Influential Artists from AAN’s 65-year History

2009 – Sixty Years Ashore: A George Thomas Retrospective; and Small Works from a Big Heart

2008 – The Art Colony At Sea

2007 – An Island of Their Own, the First Ladies of Nantucket Art.

2005 – The Art Colony on Nantucket, co-curated with George Thomas