An Exhibit to Celebrate the Life and Art of Albert D. Quigley, 1891-1961
From May 9 through September 8 the Historical Society of Cheshire County is featuring an exhibit on the life and work of Albert D. Quigley, a Monadnock region artist and musician who settled in Nelson, New Hampshire in the early 1930s. He married and raised a family, worked at the nearby Harrisville woolen mill, and became known for his paintings of area landscapes and people. He was also known for his fiddle playing at Nelson Town Hall dances, and he had a wood shop in an old cider mill where he made frames and fiddles.
The exhibit, entitled “Albert Duvall Quigley, 1891-1961: Artist, Musician, Framemaker,” includes 45 of Quigley’s paintings, most of them in frames that he made himself. A committee has been working on the exhibit since 2014, and the paintings have come from dozens of collections throughout Cheshire County and beyond. The exhibition is accompanied by a detailed catalog with over 150 of his paintings and reflections by writers such as May Sarton, Edie Clark, William L. Bauhan, Dudley Laufman, his son Barney, and the Nelson community.
Albert Quigley was employed during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration to paint murals in public buildings. He was a close friend and associate of Alexander James of the Dublin Artist Colony. Quigley’s paintings were often traded for goods and services. He painted a mural in the pediatric wing of Elliot Community Hospital in Keene and a mural in a doctor’s summer home on Spofford Lake to pay for the deliveries of his three children. In the 1950s Quigley painted watercolors for a greeting card company, Yankee Artists, in Keene. Quigley’s paintings were exhibited at major museums in New York, Boston, Washington, and the Currier Gallery in Manchester, New Hampshire.
The exhibit at the Historical Society of Cheshire County includes landscapes and village scenes from Nelson, Sullivan, Richmond, Keene, and Dublin, portraits, and watercolors from Yankee Artists. The exhibit also includes his handmade fiddle and recordings of his music. In conjunction with the exhibit, on June 7 Lance Tucker of Boston College will present “Albert Quigley and the Art of Southwest New Hampshire (1890-1960).”
The exhibit coincides with the Town of Nelson’s 250th anniversary, and on August 12 the Historical Society will sponsor a plein air painting event at the Nelson Old Home Day. Artists are encouraged to take part and families are welcome. Art supplies will be available.