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Volume 41 Issue 11 • July 21-27, 2011
now in our 41th season

Design and Art at the NHA

Any artist who has ever set foot on Nantucket would probably agree that this island inspires creativity.  Just ask Vladimir Kagan, a renowned furniture designer, visionary artist, and longtime Nantucket summer resident.  The New York Times calls him “…one of the most important furniture designers of the twentieth century.”  An enduring designer of modern furniture, Kagan started designing in 1946, and by the early fifties, his innovative and sculptured designs had created a new look in American furniture.  Today, his creations are on the cutting edge of the twenty-first century, and his designs are spearheading creative designs for hotels, furniture, textiles, and home furnishings. In other words, Kagan is exactly the kind of guy you want arranging your home.  But since we cannot all have our own personal Vladimir Kagan, the next best thing is to learn his approach directly from him!  This coming Tuesday, July 26, the Nantucket Historical Association welcomes Kagan as a guest speaker and invites the public to enjoy his presentation, “The Architecture of Design: Everyday Designs that Impact Our Lives.”

From the audacious to the pragmatic, from knock-offs to the real McCoy, Kagan will examine the good and bad in the design world, including furniture, architecture, and mass-market products.  Join the NHA at the Whaling Museum, located at 13 Broad Street, on Tuesday, July 26 at 7 p.m. and learn from this master of design. A cocktail reception will follow the presentation.  Admission is $25; tickets are available at the door starting at 6:30 p.m.  Proceeds benefit the Nancee Erickson Memorial Fund, which supports the educational art programs at the NHA’s 1800 House.

From June through November, the 1800 House provides the opportunity to learn traditional Nantucket crafts from local and regional instructors who are leaders in their fields. More than fifty classes are offered, including those for making bandboxes, sailors valentines, bentwood willow chairs, pen work, fabric lampshades, shorebird woodcarving, hooked rugs, Shaker boxes, and tin weathervanes.  Classes range from one-day workshops to three-day classes, and some meet once a week for three weeks. 

All classes are held in the historic surroundings of the 1800 House, which was restored by the NHA and opened in 2005 as a center for instruction in traditional Nantucket arts and crafts.  You are invited to become acquainted with the 1800 House through an on-site Open House and Garden Reception that will take place on Thursday, July 28 from 5-7 p.m.  Meet the instructors and students, and see examples of the wide range of Early American arts and crafts that are taught.  There will also be a silent auction of works crafted and contributed by several instructors, so don’t miss this opportunity to take home a treasure!  You’ll find the 1800 House tucked away at 4 Mill Street.  For more information about these or any other programs offered by the NHA, call 508-228-1894, ext. 0, or visit


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