Published: June 23, 2020
MYSTIC, CONN. – The Maritime Art Gallery, established in 1979 to support museum operations at the Mystic Seaport Museum, announced June 16 that it would be closing near the end of August. It celebrated its 40th anniversary last year.
The gallery offered for sale contemporary marine art by many of the nation’s leading and emerging artists in the genre. Its relationship with the museum and the American Society of Marine Artists ensured a long run of high-quality exhibitions, numbering to five or six throughout the year. The gallery was known for original maritime landscapes of sea, shoreline and wildlife in addition to ship models and scrimshaw.
“Unfortunately, the gallery has faced declining sales in recent years as art-buying trends have shifted and the demand for maritime art declined,” gallery director Monique Foster wrote in an email. “The economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced the museum to review all aspects of its business operations with a focus on sustainability. Therefore, after a great deal of deliberation, Mystic Seaport Museum has decided to close the Maritime Gallery on August 23.”
The gallery’s programming provided lectures, presentations and live demonstrations from its contemporary artists. The annual juried “International Marine Art” exhibition, held every September, was its marquee event and served as the door to which artists entered the gallery’s roster. Approximately 600 artists were shown over the gallery’s career, with about 150 of them active today.
The gallery was founded by Rudolph Schaefer III, who served as the museum’s president of the board of trustees from 1984-1988 and chairman from 1988 to 1990.
For more information, https://www.mysticseaport.org/maritime-art-gallery/ or 860-572-5388.
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