Art and Antique Gallery
Gallery founder Bill Union is a member of the New England Society of Fine Arts Appraisers.
He has long specialized in the works of Cape Cod artist Charles Webster Hawthorne (American, 1872 - 1930) and William Paxton (American, 1873 - 1965).
Art and Antique Gallery specializes in Seventeenth through Twentieth Century American and European Art. The Gallery is open for viewing by appointment only. The inventory includes White Mountain artists, marine art, Impressionism and post-Impressionism. Mr. Union is always seeking estates of artists, sporting art and Hudson River art. He has sold art to museums, private collectors and galleries.
"Emile Gruppe's works have received greater appreciation of late with rising auction prices." He has seen the market for Emile Gruppe and other Rockport artists go from nonexistent to thriving. In fact, he is arguably a primary catalyst for the market for North Shore art, particularly Emile Gruppe (1896-1978).
"I couldn't touch the Hudson River School," continued Mr. Union. And with $2,500 in his pocket, he could buy a van-full of art in the early days, spending between $300 and $700 per painting. Helping him sell those paintings were his regular advertisements in Antiques and The Arts Weekly. "I was in The Bee every week, and most of those paintings were by Rockport artists."
His willingness to buy has put Mr. Union in the right place at the right time. He was the first dealer to consciously take the plunge and consistently invest in art that no one else had noticed. "I have been buying Gruppes before anyone. I bought works by Margaret Pearson from the Rockport Art Association. I bought Leon Kroll's paintings from Mrs Kroll and Rocky Neck paintings before anyone had heard of Rocky Neck," said Mr. Union. Now, people are noticing in a big way.
He has not ventured into the modern art venue, as so many have.
Because of the many schools such as the Rockport School, artists Emile Gruppe, Aldro Hibbard and Anthony Thieme, Old Lyme painters and the New Hope school. I carry a very eclectic group of paintings for my customers, from Antonio Jacobsen to Southern Folk artist William Aiken Walker that painted slaves working on a plantation, to Yves Klein a “Work in Blue.”
I myself are still in awe of the Hudson River School of artists and painters. Frederic Church, Thomas Cole, A.T.Bricher and Albert Bierstadt were some of the most famous artists that painted along the Hudson River in the 1850’s to the 1920’s. There beautiful landscapes depicted the way the Hudson River looked in their time untouched with all the vegetation, wildlife and peaceful tranquility of an era gone by. Other painters in this time that are still being collected today are Arthur Parton, Hermann Herzog, and Charles W. Knapp. All these artists were actually historians painting landscapes around the Hudson River, along with scenes of the Adirondacks and Catskills long before the area became commercially altered.