An Island Seen:The Artists Association of Nantucket and the Women Who Built It

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Artists Association of Nantucket, the AAN has partnered with the Nantucket Historical Association to create an exhibition on the origins of the Artists Association.

From the early days of the Art Colony the AAN has been overwhelmingly the province of talented, ambitious women, in the tradition of Nantucket’s whaling wives. The women who built the AAN were running businesses, purchasing and protecting historic and arts-focused properties, funding and leading non-profit operations, identifying teachers and mentors, acting as patrons and collectors and, above all, painting their vision of the island and its residents.

The exhibition is a long look into the storehouses of Nantucket art, showing works rarely seen and exploring a long, successful chapter of Nantucket history. It celebrates the hard work, time and treasure committed by these extraordinary women, and the men that worked alongside them, to provide a safe haven for artistic expression on the island. The Artists Association of Nantucket continues their legacy today, and the Nantucket Historical Association is proud to partner with the island’s artists and the Association in this way.








The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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