Found Art

A vast, eclectic gallery, way off the beaten track

2011marblerosephotography_GranaryPhoto: Susan Ogan

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ay off the beaten track, out near the Martha’s Vineyard Airport and stuffed into a restored grain-storage barn, hides the best art gallery on the Vineyard, the Granary Gallery, with an unexpectedly vast collection of art by artists who have all had some connection to the island. Among those on display are muralist and painter Thomas Hart Benton, island photographer Alison Shaw (she also has her own gallery in Oak Bluffs), Scott Terry, a commercial striped-bass fisherman who paints brilliantly colored oils of Vineyard scenes, and summer resident and extraordinary super-realist Heather Nell, whose paintings are so lifelike that they might as well be sharply focused photographs. Speaking of which, there are also historic black-and-white signed images by the late Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstadt, who held the first commercial showing of his work here and whose last photographs were taken on the gallery grounds of President Bill Clinton, his wife, Hillary, and their daughter, Chelsea. Much of the art is surprisingly reasonably priced, and the antiques that decorate the gallery are also for sale, as is a small selection of new handcrafted jewelry. But the Granary is worth a visit just to look around and chat with owners Chris and Sheila Morse, who are as friendly and unpretentious as they are knowledgeable. Free receptions are held every other week in an open courtyard behind the barn. And one nice thing about being so far from the island’s other galleries is that there are plenty of places to park.

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The Morses also run the Field Gallery in West Tisbury, which has more contemporary art and sculpture than the Granary, and the North Water Gallery in Edgartown, with more traditional works.

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