Nantucket Organizations Partner to Purchase Artwork

NANTUCKET – The Nantucket Historical Association and Artists Association of Nantucket partnered to purchase several pieces of artwork by artist Andrew Shunney.

The acquisition by both organizations includes five works by Shunney.

The NHA acquired two of the works thanks to Patricia Anathan, an NHA board member and collections and exhibitions committee chair, and her husband Thomas Anathan. Through AAN board member and exhibit committee chair Peter Steingraber, three additional pieces were purchased.

The five drawings feature a fresh and relaxed yet deft ink wash with pen accents.

Two feature the interiors of the Nantucket Historical Association’s Sanderson Hall and Nantucket’s Atheneum. Those will be added to the NHA’s collection.

The other tree drawings represent exterior views, two in Nantucket Town and one of a farmhouse and outbuildings on the moors.

Shunney, who died in 1978, was an accomplished oil painter and watercolorist, but the drawings represent the first black-and-white studies by him in the NHA collection.

Shunney was born in Attleboro in 1916 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 the island from the early 1950s until his death, Shunney worked in a studio on Straight Wharf and also exhibited at the Lobster Pot Gallery.

The mission of the NHA is to preserve and interpret the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

The Artists Association of Nantucket’s mission is to foster the visual arts on the island through promoting, supporting and encouraging the work of Nantucket artists, providing educational programs and preserving the legacy of island residents.

“We were friends with Andrew Shunney, so this is meaningful to us,” said Patricia Anathan. “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.”

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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