Rockport Art Association & Museum’s mission is to foster the creation and appreciation of the fine arts through a rich and diverse program of exhibitions and educational offerings. RAA&M provides opportunities for a wide range of people to engage with art, maintains an impressive permanent collection and carries forth the legacy of its founders by inspiring and cultivating artistic excellence and creative community on Cape Ann and beyond.
About the Rockport Art Association & Museum
Founded in 1921, the Rockport Art Association & Museum is one of the oldest and most active art organizations in the country. The Association has a long and distinguished history that has spanned 97 years. Each year the RAA&M welcomes thousands of visitors from all over the world. By promoting year-round programs of classes, lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions and community outreach, as well as an impressive museum collection, the RAA&M remains dedicated to making fine art appreciation accessible to all.
The RAA&M continues to be one of Cape Ann’s most prominent cultural beacons. Since its founding, the Association has steadily increased in size and currently includes approximately 250 artist & photography members, and hundreds of contributing members.
The Rockport Art Association & Museum has a spectacular Museum Collection of art representing a pictorial history of Cape Ann. Selections from the Museum Collection are displayed at various times throughout the year. In recent years the RAA&M has featured special retrospective exhibitions of historic artist members including Aldro T. Hibbard, Anthony Thieme, Paul Strisik, W. Lester Stevens, Harry A. Vincent and Emile A. Gruppé.
Throughout the entire year the RAA&M offers a variety of special events. In celebration of the start of every new season in the early spring, our Contributing Members are invited to exhibit their work in an annual exhibition. The Annual Art Auction is held on the first Saturday in May and features works by historic Cape Ann artists. This event is a major fundraiser for the Association and attracts art collectors from across the country. The high season officially begins in May with the opening reception to our 1st Summer Show. In June we award scholarships to graduating Rockport High School seniors pursuing an education focusing on the visual arts. Solo exhibitions are featured in the spring, fall and winter months along with the group exhibitions. In the summer, along with group exhibitions, the RAA&M offers numerous evening artist demonstrations. The RAA&M’s hand-painted holiday ornaments go on sale the day after Thanksgiving and, since 1945, the annual Christmas Pageant brings holiday magic to the Association in December.
Rockport Art Association & Museum offers extensive educational programs for adults and children.
- Sketch Groups
- Kids Workshops
- Gallery Walks
Our workshop programs provide instruction in a variety of mediums for students of all levels. Throughout June, July and August the RAA&M holds its artist demonstration series on Thursday evenings in the Association’s Hibbard Gallery. Also, during July & August the Rockport Art Association & Museum presents a wide range of educational programs for children in the RAA&M studio. Each course is geared toward a particular age group in a specific discipline.
The list is only partial, but those who’ve found inspiration in Rockport include: Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edward Hopper, Alexander Graham Bell, John Sloan, Maurice Prendegast, Katherine Anne Porter, Mischa Elman, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Arthur Fiedler, Harold Gomberg, Keith Jarrett, Eva Marie Saint, Cher, Hal Holbrook, Mark Twain, John Twachtman, and William Morris Hunt. No one is certain who the first painter was to discover this special place, but by 1900 many artists were arranging to spend their summers in studios on Bearskin Neck. According to town history books, those early days were communal times. Without television, movie theaters or home videos, people seemed to spend more time just talking, and certainly some of the talk must have been about art, for on July 22, 1921, a group of these artists formed an organization that would support their endeavors. One of the founders of this group will not only be remembered for his painting (his work now hangs in some of our country’s most important museums), but also for his love of baseball, his painting school, his community enthusiasm, and his love of Rockport. His name was Aldro T. Hibbard and by the time he’d been in town merely a year, he helped form the Rockport Art Association.
The Rockport Art Association & Museum offers something for everyone. Contributing membership is open to all and entitles you to the following benefits: discounts on workshops, 10% discount on selected items in the Art & Sea Gift Shop, a subscription to the RAA&M newsletter, participation in the spring Contributing Members’ Exhibition, and free admission to summer artist demonstrations. In our Art & Sea Gift Shop we offer unique items handcrafted by local artisans: sparkling jewelry, colorful textiles, hand thrown pottery, exquisite scarves, embroidered hats and t-shirts, and also carry a wide variety of art books and note cards.
No admission is charged to browse our galleries*, however donations are always welcome.
Our staff will be happy to assist you in any way to make your visit a pleasant one.
Visit us and discover the artistic and cultural splendor of Cape Ann.
*Occasionally special exhibitions require a nominal donation for entry