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  • NHA & AAN Partner to Purchase Significant Artwork by Andrew Shunney 2019

    Ashley Santos, Associate Director of Marketing 
    Nantucket Historical Association
    ashley@nha.org, 508-228-1894, ext. 131

    Nantucket Historical Association and Artists Association of Nantucket Partner to Purchase Significant Artwork by Andrew Shunney

    NANTUCKET, MA – The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) and Artists Association of Nantucket (AAN) are pleased to announce the purchase of significant pieces by artist Andrew Shunney (1916–78).   

    This acquisition by both organizations includes five works of art by Shunney. The NHA acquired two of the works thanks to Patricia Anathan, NHA board member and collections and exhibitions committee chair, and her husband Thomas Anathan. The AAN acquired the additional three pieces through Peter Steingraber, AAN board member and exhibit committee chair. 

    Of the five drawings, executed in a fresh, relaxed yet deft ink wash with pen accents, two feature interiors. One is a view of the Nantucket Historical Association’s Sanderson Hall, filled with collection objects; the other is an interior of Nantucket’s beloved Atheneum. Both will be added to the NHA’s collection. The other three represent exterior views, two in Nantucket Town and one of a farmhouse and outbuildings on the moors. Shunney was an accomplished oil painter and watercolorist, but the present drawings represent the first black-and-white studies by him in the NHA collection. 

    Of the gift, Patricia Anathan says, “We were friends with Andrew Shunney, so this is meaningful to us. We are happy that two great Nantucket institutions will share this wonderful group of drawings. We are thrilled that the drawings will stay on the island and will be available for everyone to enjoy.”

    “This was a wonderful opportunity for both groups to share the work of a significant Nantucket artist,” says Peter Steingraber. “Each of us was able to add to our own permanent collections. It was a true win-win situation.”

    Shunney was born in Attleboro, Mass., and studied at the Rhode Island School of Design.  He later studied under Diego Rivera and then moved to Paris for inspiration in the work of French Impressionists. Summering on Nantucket from the early 1950s until his death, Shunney had a studio on Straight Wharf and also exhibited at the Lobster Pot Gallery.

    By working together, the NHA and AAN are excited to build their respective collections and ensure important works by Andrew Shunney and many others remain on island.  The NHA and AAN also partnered earlier this year to present the outdoor sculpture exhibit at various downtown locations, The Art of Seward Johnson, whose lifelike bronze sculptures have been exhibited internationally for decades.

    The NHA’s mission is to preserve and interpret 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.

    The mission of the Artists Association of Nantucket is to foster the visual arts on Nantucket.  We create a vibrant arts community by promoting, supporting and encouraging the work of Nantucket artists, providing educational programs in the arts, and preserving the legacy of Nantucket artists.