Vose Galleries is one of the oldest Art Galleries in Boston. Curator names, artists, history and luxury art inventory makes Vose Galleries one of the most popular art galleries in Boston and in the world. Joseph Vose, its founder, worked as a shoe manufacturer before expanding his business into the arts. In 1841, he purchased the Westminster Art Gallery of Providence, Rhode Island, from local artist Ransom Hicks. This gallery dealt primarily in the sale of moldings, prints, and picture frames, and was only marginally involved in what was then a quiet art market that revolved around commissioned works.
Seth Morton Vose, Joseph’s nineteen-year-old son, took over the family business in 1850. It was during this time that Seth discovered and fell in love with paintings by the French Barbizon School, a group of artists who became the avant-garde movement in France during the middle of the 19th century.
The Gallery featuring American art from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
The 1860s brought dramatic change to Seth Vose’s Providence art supply business, where in addition to selling art materials and frames, Seth began to act as a dealer for local artists and and would quickly become a source of advice and critical evaluation for famous artists of the period. Seth was admired for his critical eye and innovative purchases, as well as his perseverance. During the affluent period of the French Barbizon School, Seth Vose was rewarded for his efforts as curiosity emerged surrounding his inventory of Barbizon School paintings. His firm would import or advise the acquisition of nearly half of the pre-Impressionist French paintings in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Like his father Seth, Robert C. Vose (1873-1964) possessed the energy and entrepreneurial spirit necessary to run a successful business. During the next sixty-seven years, Robert was to steer the once provincial gallery into a position of national prominence. Also like his father, Robert would be remembered as one of the greatest American art dealers of his era. In addition to distributing masterpieces throughout the country, Vose Galleries helped to strengthen collections in Boston during the 1910s. The Gallery assisted Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in expanding their existing collection of English paintings through the acquisition of top-quality works such as Landscape with Blind Man Crossing a Bridge by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788).
Since 2001, when Vose Galleries returned to promoting the work of living artists after a forty-year hiatus, the gallery has been the site of solo exhibitions featuring varied forms of realism by Polly Thayer Starr, Virginia Precourt, David Brega, Robert Douglas Hunter, Robert Grady, Constance Pach, Joel Babb, Liz Haywood-Sullivan, Janet Monafo, Elliot Offner, John Whalley and most recently Warren Prosperi and Donald Demers.
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Hours of Operations:
Tuesday-Friday 9:30-5:30 | Saturday 10:00-5:30