Saturday, May 13, 2017

Remarks by NSAA Historian Peter Tysver at the May 7 Opening Reception Celebrating The North Shore Arts Association's 95th Anniversary

"Welcome to the opening reception at the North Shore Arts Association. This year we are celebrating the 95th anniversary of the founding of our organization.

Although artists had been coming to Cape Ann for years, the art colony developed in Gloucester around the turn of the twentieth century. More and more artists started summering here, staying at the waterfront hotels in East Gloucester. The first exhibits of artist's works were held in the lobbies of the hotels.

Around 1915, a wealthy New York couple who summered here, William and Emiline Atwood, commissioned their friend the prominent architect Ralph Adams Cram to design a large house for them overlooking the moors on Ledge Road in East Gloucester. They decided to add an Art Gallery to the property dubbing it The Gallery On The Moors. Mr. and Mrs. Atwood invited prominent local artists to exhibit at their gallery and because the Atwoods were well-connected the openings were covered in the New York Times, and became very popular, attracting large crowds.

By 1922, the artists realized that The Gallery On The Moors was too small for their growing needs. They also wished to have a more democratic way of choosing the artists to be included in exhibits, and decided the an art association would be the answer.

The artists started meeting to discuss forming an association in the summer of 1922. Local businessman and arts patron Thomas Reed offered them this building (our one and only home) that he used as a warehouse, for $15,000.00 (around $230,000.00 in 2017 currency). The artists quickly accepted his offer and incorporated on December 20, 1922.

So here we are, ninety-five years later, still in the same building and still very much a vibrant organization. We sincerely hope that we can enjoy another ninety-five years, at least. In order for that to happen however, we need the help of our members. We need you, members and non-members alike to donate time and/or money. We need volunteers in order for us to continue to be a vibrant organization. Please let us know if you can help, and please take some time when you visit the gallery this summer to look at the historic items in the display case on the second floor. They explain a bit more about our extraordinary history."

-Peter Tysver, Historian, Archivist, and Trustee of the North Shore Arts Association
May 7, 2017

The painting illustrating this post: "Gloucester Harbor" (1912), by Max Kuehne, is a view of Wonson Cove and Thomas Reed's maritime warehouse, which was soon to become the home of the North Shore Arts Association

Artists create our futures, imagine and inspire our best selves and hold up a mirror to our times. Come celebrate creativity with us and North Shore Arts Association's  95th Anniversary year!

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