With appreciation for the Nantucket Historical Association
Those words are certainly true for Nantucket and its many eras; from the Native Americans who settled the island thousands of years ago to the lucrative yet violent period of the island’s role in the Whaling Industry to today as a premiere travel destination. Thanks to the Nantucket Historical Association's valiant efforts to study and preserve the island’s past, residents and visitors alike have access to a world-class museum and well-preserved historic sites that provide a living narrative to Nantucket’s history.
As a business deeply rooted in our own personal history, we identify with the NHA's mission of representing the legacy of those who came before us. Our history, seen in our simple weave structures designed by Andrew Oates in the 1960’s, in our original looms still used in our second floor weaving studio, to the CPO jackets collected over five decades hand stitched by Lia Marks to the oral history of forty years with the business shared by owner, Liz Winship. Without these heirloom products and the stories told, we are simply just a gift shop. Perhaps it is our Quaker role models who were centuries ahead of their time in empowering women in business that inspire us as a female owned and operated business. Or perhaps it is the humble perspective from our Main Street address that reminds us that the cobblestones will outlast us all.
It is in or shared reverence for history that make Nantucket Looms and the Nantucket Historical Association natural collaborators. In honor of our relationship, we are taking a look back at the projects that have brought us together, celebrating the island’s rich history while working to preserve it for future generations.
Cottage Style Exhibit at the Whaling Museum
“The legacy of Nantucket Looms stretches beyond fiber and fabric,” said Nantucket Historical Association Director James Russell. “Over five decades ago, and as Nantucket was experiencing a rebirth in the Arts, Nantucket Looms was producing recognizable and best-selling designs, establishing itself as a brand leader and commencing a record of success that continues to this day.” From the instrumental and integral to the craft revival in the 1960s, their iconic clothing, custom rugs, interior fabrics and woven fabrics Russell commends the Looms for inspiring others to follow suit. “The NHA Collections are curated to tell the stories of Nantucket, and in this regard we are honored to include the Andy Oates and Bill Euler Looms Collection, plus the important recent donation of Mary Beinecke's records and objects.”
In 2014, at the bequest of the Looms’ founders William Euler and Andrew Oates, the NHA along with the Nantucket Artist Association presented a curated exhibit of the partners’ artwork and antiques entitled "Nantucket Cottage Style. Drawing Inspiration from the Oates-Euler Collection". The exhibit paid homage to the legacy that Bill and Andy built in not only founding Nantucket Looms, but in their support of the island’s artist community, encouraging the careers of numerous artists such as Karol Lindquist, Ken Layman and Mark Sutherland.
A week every summer dedicated to exploring the new frontiers and trends in the world of Interior Design sponsored by the NHA.
The Oldest House Reimagined
In recent years, as the NHA’s major fundraising event has evolved from an emphasis on antiques to more of an overall interior design theme, students from the New York School for Interior Design have traveled to the island to 'reimagine' the Oldest House on Sunset Hill. Using furniture and accessories sourced from local stores, including Nantucket Looms, these talented future interior designers decorate the 17th century rooms with contemporary furnishings. It's incredible to see a dark, empty house come back to life. One finds themselves even imaging moving in!
2018 In-Store Brunch
Last year, in honor of our 50th Anniversary, our partners Bess, Stephanie, and Becky hosted a brunch and tour of Nantucket Looms in collaboration with influencer Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence. A group of Design Week patrons were taken through the shop and weaving studio where they learned about our past collaborations with I.M Pei, Billy Baldwin and Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Stacey moderated the event, providing the guests with an inside look into our archival fabric library. We were delighted to once again have the opportunity to share our story and toast to our milestone anniversary.
Design Week Luncheon
For the third year, Nantucket Looms was proud to be a sponsor of the Nantucket By Design Week, co-presenting the Guest Speaker Luncheon with Chairish. This year’s speaker was the legendary Bunny Williams. It was an honor to be in the good company of many local and visiting designers and to hear Bunny’s words of wisdom as well as her relatable anecdotes.
As we live alongside history each and every day, we are reminded of those who have come before us. For this reason, we feel it is our responsibility to represent the values and craftsmanship that Nantucket Looms was built upon over these past fifty years. We would like to thank the Nantucket Historical Association for their continued support in helping us tell our story.