Abstraction from the Permanent Collection

September 8 - January 1, 2018

Curated by:
Christine McCarthy
Opening Reception:
Friday, September 8, 8pm

About the Exhibition

This selection of abstract artworks, culled from PAAM’s permanent collection, represent a visual language of shape, form, color and line. Since the 1930s, Provincetown has been at the forefront of abstraction – in the 1940s and 1950s, Provincetown was a summer center for abstract painters. From Hofmann to Motherwell, the Abstract School has remained a constant practiced by many contemporary artists. PAAM is proud to present some excellent examples from the collection.

The permanent collection is an important measure of any museum’s value. At PAAM, the holdings of local and regional art is extensive and dynamic, comprising over 3,500 works by over 750 twentieth century and contemporary artists who have worked in Provincetown and on Cape Cod. Their styles were revolutionary and remain noteworthy in the history of American Art. The PAAM collection weaves together at least three major art movements—each a significant strand of American art history—and creates perspectives that uniquely position the Provincetown art colony as a pertinent fixture to the larger art world.

Another measure of a museum is how well it uses its collection. The PAAM collection serves as a foundation for many of our educational programs and exhibitions. Both the curating program and the fall art workshops make use of collection works to stimulate creativity. The Museum School courses take advantage of gallery exhibitions to clarify principles and techniques. And major museums and galleries borrow exemplary works for exhibitions around the country.

Embedded into PAAM’s mission, the collection is truly at the heart of our organization. A glance at the newly released Permanent Collection catalogue shows how many hundreds of people have been moved to express their generosity through contributions that make up virtually the whole collection. Amassed over an entire century, PAAM’s collection has been donated by people who really cared that the region’s art remain here.

IMAGE: MELISSA MEYER, PROVINCETOWN SUMMER 1974, 1974, GIFT OF JOHN AND JOANNE MEYER