The Nantucket Art Colony 1920 – 1945

The Nantucket Art Colony came to life in the heart of maritime Nantucket – among the shacks, shanties, boathouses, and other old buildings that were the relics of the island’s long-vanished whaling past.

Beginning in the early 1920s, Florence Lang converted many of these wharf shacks into studio spaces available for rent to artists in the summer months: Harborview, Wateredge, the Scallop, the Barnacle, Sailloft, Barnsite, and more. Frank Swift Chase, the painter and teacher who would become the “dean of Nantucket artists,” arrived in 1920. In 1924, Lang opened the Easy Street Gallery, converting an old cooper’s shop into the island’s first modern art gallery. Soon a group of artists, known as the “waterfront artists,” arrived to study with Chase, to occupy the wharf studios, and to exhibit their work in August at the Easy Street Gallery- the Nantucket Art Colony was born. With the “esprit de corps” of the waterfront painters, and the influx of many talented visiting artists, the Art Colony flourished for the next two decades, bringing about a rebirth of the waterfront and a transformation at the heart of the island’s identity from a whaling port dependent on the sea to a haven and harbor for the arts.

The Nantucket Art Colony, 1920-45 was a collaborative exhibition presented by the Nantucket Historical Association and the Artists Association of Nantucket.

Art Before the Art Colony
Vision of an Art Colony
Art Colony Wharf Studios
Easy Street Gallery
Sidewalk Art Show

James Barker
Doris Riker Beer
Frank Swift Chase
Maud Millicent Clapp
Mary Cowles Clark
Anne Ramsdell Congdon
Hezekiah Anthony Dyer
Henry Stephens Eddy
Louise Emerson
Annie Barker Folger
Robert Freiman
Inna Garsonian
Emily Hoffmeier
Edgar Jenney
Charlotte Kimball
Richard Lever
Harriet Lord
Gertrude & Hanna Monaghan
Mary Sarg Murphy
Walter Gilman Page
Jane Brewster Reid
Lillian Gertrude (Smith) Rockwood
Elizabeth Saltonstall
Tony Sarg
Virginia Guild Sharp
Wuanita Smith
Austin Strong
Maude Stumm
Ruth Haviland Sutton
Emerson Tuttle
Isabelle Tuttle
Miscellaneous & Looking Forward

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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