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Monday, October 03, 2016

WHS Exhibit Features Max’s Retrospective

For almost six decades, a tiny store on Westport’s Post Road East was at the center of the town’s arts community.

WestportNow.com Image
The Max’s sign came down in May 2015, nine months after the store’s closing. This photo became a poster for the exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

First as Fine Arts Stationers beginning in 1956 and later as Max’s Art Supplies, owner Max Kaplan doled out not only paints and pastels but camaraderie and commiseration.

Shuttered in 2014, the store is making a comeback beginning Friday with an exhibit at the Westport Historical Society called “Art to the Max.”

It features original art that graced Max’s windows from 1975-2014, including hand-drawn calendars by longtime Max’s employee Nina Royce.

Curated by Westport artists Nina Bentley and Miggs Burroughs, it will include a recreation of Shirley Mellor’s “back office” decorated with cards and original art gifted to her by various local artists. Shirley was Max’s wife. 

“We played a huge role in the art life of Westport,” Shirley says proudly. “All the artists knew us. And they were a sizable number.”

An announcement said: “This promises to be a sentimental journey as well as an enriching one, with some of the best Westport art on display.  Approximately 50 artists will be represented.”

Among those who came to Max’s for supplies, and stayed to socialize were Whitney Darrow Jr., Stevan Dohanos, Bernie Fuchs, Mel Casson, Dik Browne, Mort Walker, Stan Drake, Leonard Starr, Eric von Schmidt, Constance Kiermaier, Tom Funk, Gill Fox, Naiad and Walter Einsel, Ward Brackett, Neil Hardy, and Miggs Burroughs.

In the Molly Donovan Gallery “Up the Street From Max’s” will feature highlights from Westport’s retail history from 1975-2014.  Curated by Eve Potts, the exhibit will display content from local Westport shops, restaurants, and businesses that were active from 1975-2014.

The opening reception on Friday is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the exhibit will run through Jan 7.

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Posted 10/03/16 at 02:46 PM  Permalink



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