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Monday, August 18, 2014

Max’s Readies for Aug. 31 Farewell

By James Lomuscio

With most of the store’s inventory gone and a closing date set for Aug. 31 after 59 years in Westport, owner Shirley Mellor sat at her desk today in the rear of Max’s Art Supplies, 68 Post Road East, and thought about the past and her future.

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Shirley Mellor (c) earlier this year with longtime employees Jay Cimbak and Nina Royce.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Well wishes, nostalgia and raw sentiment from the few customers near the the register echoed off the pressed-tin ceiling to where Mellor sat surrounded by tangible memories, most of them framed.

One was a stately painting her her late husband Max Kaplan who founded the store, once an iconic meeting place for scores of nationally known artists. Also surrounding Mellor’s office was original artwork from syndicated cartoonists who 1979 wished Kaplan a happy 65th birthday, “Max’s coming of age party,” Mellor said.

And there was the huge 1981 black and white photograph of the once famed arts community’s legends in front of the store for its 25th anniversary.

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