Arts Association established in 1922, occupies one of the most
unique and attractive settings in New England. With its historic harborside galleries,
visitors from all over the globe are provided the opportunity to view
one of the largest and diverse collections of paintings, sculpture and
graphics on Cape Ann..
NSAA has a thriving membership of
over 600 Artists Members and Associate Members,
working in a variety of media and styles. In the interest of
community involvement, nationally recognized exhibitions, NSAA also offers
demonstrations, workshops, lectures, critiques, film
presentations, concerts, and our Annual Gala and Live Auction of
Fine Art in August of each year.
Board of Trustees
The artistic life on Cape Ann was first
centered in Gloucester where native Fitz Henry Lane, in the mid
1800’s, was building his reputation as an artist painting
luminescent harbor scenes. Francis A. Silva, William Trost
Richards, Winslow Homer, and many other noted artists of the
1860’s and 1870’s were attracted to Annisquam, Magnolia and
Rockport after seeing Lane’s work in Boston and New York
Bridging the last quarter of the 19th into the 20th Century were
Frank Duveneck and his fellow artists and students, John
Twachtman, Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, Theodore Wendel and
Edward Potthast. They were drawn to this ‘cradle-like serenity’
(as Theresa Bernstein described it) of East Gloucester with its
gem-like subject matter.
The first local art exhibitions were
held in the lobbies of the summer hotels until William and
Emiline Atwood built and opened the Gallery-On-The-Moors,
located on Ledge Road in East Gloucester.
After seven years the
Gallery proved to be too small for displaying the art of
hundreds of new artists coming to the art colony.
discussed the situation in the home of Mr. and Mrs.
William Weiss on August 5, 1922. Among those attending
were William Atwood, Paul Cornoyer, Cecelia
Hugh Breckenridge, Frederick J. Mulhaupt, George L.
Noyes, Walter L. Palmer, L. Edmond Klotz, and other
prominent artists and residents of Cape Ann. The North
Shore Arts Association was formed.
The new North Shore Arts Association held
an open meeting on September 21st to consider a
proposition made by Thomas E. Reed to sell his property
and building off East Main Street to the Association, an
offer that was so generous that the members unanimously
voted to accept it at once. The property overlooked
Gloucester’s inner harbor and the art colony of Rocky
||The artists immediately planned a
large exhibition to be held in the summer of 1923, the year of
Gloucester’s tercentenary celebration. The artists on Cape Ann
readily welcomed the new and larger Association in East
Gloucester, particularly since the purpose and aim of the
Association was to bring together each year a comprehensive and
representative exhibition of painting and sculpture, and to
persuade other artists to come to the North Shore and help in
the effort to further American art.
On December 2, 1922 the Association
was officially incorporated as a non-profit institution under
the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The North Shore
Arts Association of Gloucester opened its doors to the public on
July 14, 1923 in the refurbished Thomas E. Reed building. The
exhibition was held on two floors. There had never been a larger
collection of art shown at one time in Gloucester. There were
230 paintings, drawings and etchings, and fifteen pieces of
sculpture by more than 140 artists.
In addition to the
exhibitions, each summer for the past 90
years, the galleries have been the
center for a varied program of
entertainment: lectures, cabarets,
parties, memorials and concerts. Such
talented musicians as the Boston
Sinfonietta conducted by Arthur Fiedler,
the famous pianist Jesus Sanroma, George
Copeland, and the Gruppe trio from New
York have been heard and enjoyed.
Throughout the 94 years of the North Shore Arts Association’s
existence, each summer has ushered in large annual exhibitions
of paintings and sculpture. These exhibitions have attracted a
great many visitors, have won the praise of critics and museum authorities, and by purchases
from these visitors, have enriched many private collections.
Today the North Shore Arts
Association has over six hundred members and looks forward to a
still more active future.
- Ted Tysver, Former NSAA Historian