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This exhibition features some of PAAM’s earliest collection works and traces the beginnings and traditions of the art colony, which still serve as the basis for much of PAAM’s contemporary programming.

For the past century, Provincetown has welcomed, nurtured and inspired artists from all over the world—not just to create, but to connect with the town and its people. Only in Provincetown could this unique relationship between artists and community members become the defining experience of this fabled, outermost point of Cape Cod. Life in Provincetown has for the past 100+ years been charted by the interactions between these two groups—from destitute artists trading paintings for lodging from owners of local homes or guesthouses, to fisherman offering a share of their day’s catch to provide a meal for an artist who might otherwise go without, to the walls of local cafes and homes lined with artwork given in exchange for simple kindnesses. PAAM represents art and everyday life, constantly mixing and connecting. The Provincetown Art Association, formed in 1914, became the center of the growing art colony, which was established in the late 1890s. Placing works in its exhibits became the goal of most young artists.