A little history

“…Mary Jean Blasdale would like to know more about the works of the following New Bedford artists…”

It Started With a Newspaper Clipping!

The idea for – The Southcoast Artists Index – was stimulated decades earlier by this newspaper ad from the mid-1980s clipped from the New Bedford Standard-Times seeking assistance in finding information on nearly 150 individuals with the plea:

“A name, a birthday, an exhibition date… Mary Jean Blasdale would like to know more about the works of the following New Bedford artists. She can be contacted at the Whaling Museum in New Bedford.”

Mary Jean Blasdale, the curator of the New Bedford Whaling Museum until her retirement in 2006, went on to publish the Artists of New Bedford: A biographical dictionary (1990).

Ron Fortier was so inspired by her ad that he clipped it out and held on to it for nearly twenty-five years. He told his friend Jeff Wotton about it and the concept for a modern biographical index of the Southcoast’s creative community and launched was launched!

The Artists Index Website Project in July 2012. The ultimate goal remains to document the lives and activities of the community’s creative individuals and institutions, both past and present as completely as possible.

If you’re a practicing artist with direct or indirect ties to the Southcoast’s creative community, please contact us. Or, if have information on an artist from the Southcoast’s past; a friend, relative, or colleague, that you would like to ennter into The Artists Index and bookmark their place in history, please tell us about them!

Researchers, genealogists, educators or anyone with information to share about an artist or artists from the Southcoast’s past, please contribute your information! If you would also like to talk about or share any memories or information about an artist from the Southcoast’s past in our podcast, please contact us!




Artists Index

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