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Volume 40 Issue 15 • August 12-18, 2010
now in our 40th season

The Galleries

Bookshelves filled with rare and out-of-print art books line sections of one wall...beautifully colored art glass, sculpture,  and exquisite sailor's valentines are arranged atop of lovingly cared for antique furniture...walls are adorned with original paintings and framed historic documents.  Owner and art collector-dealer Kathleen Knight calls her new, second island gallery at 35 Main her "salon style gallery"—it's a gallery that lets visitors travel through time guided by art and by history.

Kathleen Knight first got interested in art and antiques at the tender age of eleven.  Her father, an architect and interior designer, often traveled in search of just the right accent piece.  "I was the oldest of five children," Kathleen explained, "so my Mom was looking to get rid of one kid every weekend...so I would travel with [Dad].  To keep me interested, he'd give me $20 ($30 if I was good) to buy things." 

She went through collecting phases: Hummels for a time, then whales' teeth, then decoys, all the time learning about antiques, about history, about art.

At 17, she purchased and then sold her first real painting. "I got it home, looked up the artist, and realized I had bought an Important Painting," she smiled.  "I called the Vose Gallery in Boston...My Dad drove me to the city and waited in the car.  I went in to speak to Mr. Vose.  He asked me 'Do you know what you have here?' and I said 'Yes, sir, I have a fine painting."  She did indeed, and Vose Galleries purchased it.   Kathleen had taken the first step toward her future career.

4 India
Gallery at Four India Street

Her early aspirations were to become a sculptor, and to pursue that goal, Kathleen attended art school after high school.  Her father, who wanted her to become an architect, told her that she had to earn the money to buy her art supplies, so she continued to buy and sell art.

Kathleen was 19 years old when she first spent a summer on Nantucket. She and her boyfriend loved the island.  They returned the next season as a married couple and spent the next several summers buying and selling art for private clients on the island.  They became experts in the Boston School,  collecting Edmund Tarbell and Childe Hassam, among others, and in so doing, met many collectors, museum curators, and dealers around the country. 

In 1985, Kathleen accepted a position as Gallery Director for the Artists Association of Nantucket, and when the right space became available, she opened her own gallery specializing in 19th century art. The following year, she added the work of two contemporary painters to The Gallery at Four India:  Pamela Pindell and Peter Layne Arguimbau, both of whom still show with Kathleen and will be featured in a special exhibit opening this Friday with a wine and cheese reception from 6 to 8 pm. 
The next season, ten more painters began showing with her, and Kathleen now represents fifteen contemporary artists, several of them local, including Edwin Rudd, Lauri Robertson, and Terry Pommett.

"I find good homes for [the art]," she commented. When asked if there have been pieces she just couldn't part with, she answered "Oh, yes, many!  Then the Collector takes them home.  But you can't keep everything...when you reach that level of collecting, the next level is even more fun."  This level is trading and deaccessioning. As a qualified appraiser of paintings and member of the New England Appraisers Association, Knight is as well suited to trading as she is to buying and selling.  She periodically hosts Trading Parties to draw out art collectors and to inspire people who have filled their homes on Nantucket to begin trading by offering a venue.  The next Trading Party at The Gallery at Four India will be held on September 6.

35 Main
Gallery at 35 Main

After 22 years at 4 India Street, Kathleen Knight ran out of space.  "There wasn't an inch left to hang a painting, but I kept trying."  So this spring, when the opportunity arose for Kathleen Knight to open a second Nantucket gallery at 35 Main Street, and she decided to separate her two interests. 
With the opening of The Gallery at 35 Main Street, Kathleen has turned The Gallery at Four India into a spacious Exhibition Gallery.  "It's a calming space—a tranquil gallery," said Kathleen.  "It has an exclusive feel that makes it conducive to conversation and art...deep down I've always wanted to be in the museum business.  I think I'm living a dream."

Each summer season the Gallery at Four India focuses on presenting fine exhibits designed to educate and to encourage new and old collectors to visit the on-going exhibitions relating to the region. Exhibits include works from the School of the Hudson River to Impressionism to Marine Art and Modern—Four India has a Red Room devoted to Old Masters and a 21st Century Room for contemporary work.

The Gallery at Four India has also become popular for private special events, wine dinners and wedding receptions are hosted here in association with Company of the Cauldron.

The Gallery at 35 Main, her new Salon-Style Gallery, contains two floors that offer a fascinating juxtaposition of art and of history. Among the many one-of-a-kind items that fill The Gallery are some amazing treasures: a Tiffany window and a Tiffany lamp, rare early Nantucket paintings from the mid-19th century, a walnut sugar chest from 1810, and letters written by George Washington and by Abraham Lincoln.  Each piece puts the others into perspective:  “At 35 Main the furniture works into the historic documents, which relate to the period of the rare books and the art."

Kathleen Knight is very comfortable in both her Nantucket galleries.  "I do this because I love it!  I don't know any other way of life. It's about the esthetics and the learning process...I love learning about and teaching people about the different periods of art and how they developed.” 

The Gallery at Four India, upstairs at 4 India Street, is open
The Gallery, at 35 Main Street, is open
www.thegallerynantucket.com

 

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