Provincetown – Arts & Antiques

Commercial Street, amid all its sights and sounds, has several antique shops, featuring furniture from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Oriental  items, vintage and estate jewelry, collectibles of all kinds, art deco, nautical objects and antiques that are not quite there yet but will be. 

Provincetown’s signature may well be written by its art galleries. Over 30 are based here, many as accessible as a stroll down Commercial Street. Window shopping, especially on a summer’s evening, reveals how the galleries with their elegant lighting resemble a luminous collage in their own right.  Step inside to become acquainted with the work of international, national and local artists. A mix of media and subject matter is offered, from a gallery devoted to the human form depicted by gay and lesbian artists to galleries focusing primarily on the work of one artist. In between, one can find contemporary art, work by Provincetown-connected artists past and present, sculpture, photography, one-person shows and group shows.

Provincetown evolved into an art colony beginning at the turn of the last century.  Over the years, painters such as Edward Hopper and Jackson Pollock worked in the area.  Eugene O’Neill came to write and his first plays were performed on a stage in a Provincetown fish house.  As for the present day, the poet Stanley Kunitz spends summers here.  Norman Mailer has long been a fixture in town.  The Fine Arts Work Center offers fellowships to emerging artists and writers as well as holding summer workshops with visiting writers and artists.  The Provincetown Art Association and Museum is well-known for its dedication to art and artists.  There are several theater groups in town.  Comedy, music and performance art are in evidence mostly in summer.  Provincetown has a film festival attracting nationally-known actors and filmmakers.