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 work number in over 1,500 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 Robert Frazier below. You may also wish to contact Robert Frazier to reserve time for research or conversation.

The Permanent Collection Exhibitions

Exhibition ended on August 22. The AAN 2017-18 Year In Review booklet is available at our gallery and also at our offices, featuring an illustrated 4-page article on Pat Gardner by Artistic Director Robert Frazier. We also have Pat Gardner gift cards and t-shirts here.

Pat Gardner was raised on Mount Vernon Farm along Hummock Pond, and she was instrumental in her last years at placing over forty acres of family property with the Land Bank. An avid birding enthusiast, Pat served on the boards of several arts and conservation organizations, including stints for the AAN starting in 1949. Pat studied carving with Earl S. Ray in the 1960’s, and she created her own version of Nantucket shorebirds, as well as artworks employing watercolors, oils, pastels, and printmaking. The AAN Artist/Patron award for plein air painting is named after this versatile and influential artist.

This exhibition will delight everyone in the family with bird imagery, journal entries, sketchbook entries, and iconic images of the natural island landscape created in a variety of media.

Recent Exhibitions from the Permanent Collection:
Curated by Robert Frazier

2018 - The Nature of Art: A Pat Gardner Retrospective; and Master Printmakers (August 24-Sept. 12)

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