Island artists are the focus of Martha’s Vineyard Museum show

The museum's assistant curator Anna Carringer was pleased to talk about the show last Friday. — Photo by Susan Safford

Selected paintings from the permanent collection of the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association (MVAA) are on display at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. In a small but sweet one-room show prepared by assistant curator Anna Carringer, about one quarter of the group’s permanent collection of almost 100 works is on display.

Many of the paintings are done in an American naturalistic scenic painting style known as Regionalism. They depict Vineyard scenes in an almost whimsical style that evokes idyllic memories of the Vineyard from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. The collection includes work by Island artists Lois Mailou Jones, Vaclav Vytlacil, and Julius Delbos.

The MVAA first formed in the 1930s as a group of artists who often painted together. In 1954 they purchased a 200-year-old Edgartown building across from Memorial Wharf with the goal of creating a permanent space where they could work and learn. The building, called “Old Sculpin,” had been Manuel Swartz Roberts’s boat building shop since 1904. The artists renamed the building The Old Sculpin Gallery.

The show opened on April 5 and will run until May 31. On Thursday, April 11, Kate Cope and Rosalie Shane of the MVAA lectured on “The History of the M.V. Art Association.” For more information, call 508-627-4441 or visit