The Winter Show 2019 Loan Exhibition 'Collecting Nantucket, Connecting the World' Features the Nantucket Historical Association

  • NEW YORK , New York
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  • November 02, 2018

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Engraved whale’s tooth, 1825, Edward Burdett (1805–33). Sperm-whale ivory and ink; 2 3/4 x 5 1/2 in. Nantucket Historical Association Collection, gift of Robert and Nina Hellman

The Winter Show has announced its 2019 loan exhibition Collecting Nantucket, Connecting the World, celebrating 125 years of collecting by the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA). The Winter Show’s annual loan exhibition offers visitors a focused look at exceptional collections of art, antiques, and design from leading historic institutions, reflecting the quality, range, and expertise of the fair’s exhibitors.

From January 18-27, 2019, at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, The Winter Show celebrates its 65th year as the leading art, antiques, and design fair in America, featuring 70 of the world’s leading experts in the fine and decorative arts. The Winter Show is an annual benefit for East Side House Settlement, a community-based organization serving the Bronx and Northern Manhattan.

Spermo Cutting In Whales On Japan, 1822, ca. 1823, J. Fisher (life dates uncertain). Oil on canvas; 18 3/4 x 24 3/4 in. Nantucket Historical Association Collection, gift of the Friends of the Nantucket Historical Association

Collecting Nantucket, Connecting the World explores Nantucket’s extraordinary history through the Association’s renowned collection of paintings, craft, and folk art. For more than 150 years, the island of Nantucket, located off the coast of Cape Cod, has been well known for its whaling heritage, New England seaport atmosphere, and as a famous summer holiday destination. NHA’s Gosnell Executive Director James Russell adds, “Nantucket holds a special place in the minds of many. There is a yearning to reach this spit of land 30 miles out to sea that was a strategic crossroads in the 18th and 19th centuries. Our collection has been carefully shaped for 125 years, and the items chosen for the loan exhibition have much to teach our generation as we admire the global accomplishments, entrepreneurial genius, and artistic skill of Nantucket islanders from the colonial period and the early republic through the present.”

Nantucket’s diverse people, from Native Wampanoag sailors and English settlers to African American businessmen and colorful sea captains, find pride of place in a selection of portraits by such artists as Gilbert Stuart, Eastman Johnson, Elizabeth R. Coffin, Spoilum, and James Hathaway. Additional highlights include spectacular examples of sailors’ scrimshaw, journals from captain’s wives, and art inspired by the whale hunt and sea journeys to the far side of the world.

Sampson Dyer, 1802, Spoilum (active ca. 1785–1810). Oil on canvas; 23 x 18 in. Nantucket Historical Association Collection, gift of the Friends of the Nantucket Historical Association

The Association is also pleased, during the 200th birthday year of Herman Melville, to display the only surviving relics from the 1820 tragedy of the whaleship Essex, whose destruction by an angry whale inspired key aspects of Moby-Dick.

Helen Allen, Executive Director of The Winter Show adds, “We are honored to welcome the Nantucket Historical Association as The Winter Show’s 2019 lending institution and to showcase their extraordinary collection. The loan exhibition offers the fair’s collectors and visitors an opportunity to appreciate and be inspired by the rich history, depth, and scholarship of NHA’s collection.”

To purchase tickets for the Opening Night Party on January 17, 2019, call (718) 292-7392 or visit


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