Tramposch doesn’t believe you need lots of bells and whistles when you have such a dynamic story as the history of Nantucket; but living on an island, he says, makes one be more inventive, particularly in using technology. The NHA has digitized 15,000 photos and 1,000 artifacts for online research. Its online genealogy research center is considered first-rate.
Every August, guests from across the country travel to the island for one of the highlights of the busy social season: NHA’s annual Nantucket August Antiques Show. Managed by the prestigious Antiques Council, an organization dedicated to ensuring the quality of antiques and historical works of art, the show’s gala Preview Party is held on August 5 this year, under a grand air-conditioned tent at Bartlett’s Farm—affording guests the chance to preview fine art; maritime, English, and American antiques; Oriental rugs; books; and Nantucket memorabilia. For the seventh consecutive year, the preview party is being sponsored by the Eaton Vance Investment Counsel, and the show opens to the public on Friday, August 6. The show is NHA’s major fundraiser, with proceeds going toward preservation and educational programs.
“The August Antiques Show is one of the premiere shows in the country, with established dealers and a sophisticated clientele,” says this year’s chair, Barbara Hathaway. Hathaway has been summering on the island for many years. “The island radiates such history and I feel very connected and love being here. There are so many worthy nonprofit organizations on the island. However, I am delighted to be associated with the NHA. I was originally drawn in by a friend seven years ago, and once involved with the Antiques Show, you feel you are truly helping a fantastic organization and are working for something very worthwhile.”
An experienced dealer and the Antiques Council liaison, Diana Bittel is delighted to be associated with the NHA Show. “It is exciting to be involved with the Nantucket show because it has a very strong dealer list and there is such major interest in Nantucket, with people who know what they are looking at and are great collectors,” says Bittel. Having recently arrived home after exhibiting at another show, Bittel remarks that “the Nantucket clients appreciate what we do there; it is a very exciting, major summer show, and actually quite incredible to have the selection of dealers we have under a tent on Nantucket. I am thrilled to be a part of this show, and the idea that it is such a major component of the NHA’s fundraising is very gratifying.”
Along with dedicated volunteers like Hathaway and Bittel and a hardworking, close-knit staff, Tramposch is positioning the organization to pounce on building NHA’s endowment when the economy improves. But in the meantime, he says, “We preserve the backbone, the identity of this place. Its ambiance and story can’t be tampered with.”