At a meeting held on August 26, 1922 at the home of Francis J. Flanagan, 25 Circle Street, Marblehead, the Marblehead Arts Association was formed with just eight artist members.
In the following years, members met at individual homes, growing to a membership of 153 by 1925.
By 1938, the MAA was thriving so well that larger premises were needed. At that time, the very dilapidated King Hooper Mansion came on the market, was purchased, and became the new home and exhibit space of the Marblehead Arts Association. The members were committed to restoring the Mansion as a historic house.
They did their job well, and in 1975 the Mansion was admitted to the National Register of Historic Places.
The MAA has continued to grow and prosper, currently serving 1000 members, 430 of them artists: artisans, painters, sculptors and photographers. There are three galleries with exhibits changing monthly. Activities abound: adult and children’s classes, dinners, musical and theatrical performances. There is a thriving gift shop of members’ wares and other unique gifts. The Mansion is available for rent for various functions and private parties.
As we have begun a new century, the Marblehead Arts Association can look forward to building on its 80 year tradition of fostering “the knowledge and love of the fine and applied arts and kindred subjects, and their application to industry and civic life.”
The Marblehead Arts Association has become an integral part of Marblehead and its attraction to visitors from all over the world.