About the Exhibition
For over 100 years, the permanent collection of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum has been the basis for many exhibitions and has assisted scholars, researchers and other museums concerning the history of art on Cape Cod. Encompassing 4,000 works from artists who have lived or worked on Cape Cod, the collection is a burgeoning historical record of the original Provincetown art colony. At PAAM, the holdings of local and regional art are extensive and dynamic; the styles were revolutionary and remain noteworthy in the history of American Art. The PAAM Collection weaves together at least three major art movements from Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism to the contemporary—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.
The permanent collection is an important measure of any museum’s value. The PAAM Collection serves as a foundation for many of our educational programs and exhibitions. Programs for both youth and adults in our Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Museum School use collection works to stimulate creativity. The Museum School courses take advantage of gallery exhibitions to clarify principles and techniques. Additionally, 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 catalog shows how many hundreds of people have been moved to express their generosity through contributions that make up virtually the entire collection. Bringing the art of Provincetown back to Provincetown ensures that PAAM will continue to uphold this incredible responsibility of maintaining the legacy of the oldest continuous art colony in the United States.