A Brief History of the Art Association

The history of the North Haven Art Association, originally called “The North Haven Society of Fine Arts”, speaks of the many years of interconnectedness between our library and North Haven’s year round and summer residents. In 1936, when some hoped-for financial support for the library did not materialize, two trustees of the library and two of the Bartlett’s Harbor artists who spent their summers here gathered together to raise money for the library through an arts and crafts sale. Their goal was to have an exhibit and sale in August, giving 20% of all proceeds to the library.

Herbert Winlock

Herbert Winlock

The earliest officers of the Art Association included Robert Wheelwright, Beatrice Van Ness, Mary Orne Bowditch, Alice Larkin, Bertha Sanders and Helen Winlock. It was Helen and her husband, Herbert Winlock, noted Egyptologist and former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art who gave invaluable counsel and encouragement to the fledgling organization. From the very beginning, artist Frank Benson supported the group and submitted his works for the benefit of the library. At the end of their first exhibit and sale, the Art Association was able to present a check for $61 to the library!

Frank Benson

Frank Benson

The Art Association show is a continuing tradition on North Haven and each year, after the sale is completed, the group makes a contribution to the library to help with its annual expenses. Over the years many amateur and professional artists from the island and from “away” have displayed and sold their works to support the library. In addition to Frank Benson, Mary Orne Bowditch, Beatrice Van Ness, artists such as Eliot Beveridge, Charles and Henry Cobb, Harriet Cheston and Millicent Pettit have displayed their works, sometimes giving the entire sales price of a work to the Art Association to benefit the library. By the 1980’s the names of Cabots, Crockers (especially Connie!), Saltonstalls, Hopkins and Hoppins, begin to appear in the list of artists whose works were exhibited. Doreen Cabot, Charlene Stone, Elsie Re Brown, Amber Quinn, Karen Cooper and many other island residents also have come out in force to support their treasured library.

This year, working as a group, Pat Curtis, Joan Guthrie, David Hopkins, Laura Jermann, Nan Lee,  Noreen O’Connor, Kate Quinn, Lisa Shields, Bonnie Waterman, and Phoebe Jane Winthrop are planning the August 2013 show and sale. The goal of the group is to incorporate a number of the innovations that Noreen created last summer and to re-create a larger sense of community involvement through the creation of specific committees and working groups. All additional volunteer help will be very gratefully accepted. The key to our success will be getting more, committed volunteers to work to improve and expand the show this summer. We are encouraging artists and crafters to get started now on summer entries. We especially would love to have a strong island representation. Please contact Pat Curtis or any of the folks listed above with suggestion or offers of help.