The Guild of Boston Artists is a nonprofit art gallery promoting representational painting and sculpture of enduring beauty by leading New England artists. We are committed to fostering a love of fine art through our gallery exhibitions and educational programs.
Established in 1914 by the prominent painters of the day, including Edmund Tarbell, William Paxton and Frank Benson, the Guild of Boston Artists was created to be an artist owned and operated gallery. With the mission of promoting both emerging and established artists living in the region, the Guild developed a reputation for excellence in quality and presentation.
As soon as the association moved into their 162 Newbury Street location, they began converting the space to suite their needs. A second exhibition space was added to the ground floor that featured a stunning skylight. This room became known as the President’s Gallery, named for those who ran the organization throughout the years.
In the 1930’s the Guild became a nonprofit arts association and added educational programs to their roster of events. The mission expanded to promoting the arts though lectures, demonstrations and social gatherings. The Guild was a center for interchange of ideas between the artists and the community.
Today the Guild still maintains their building at 162 Newbury Street, the heart of Boston’s Gallery District. The mission is to both provide exhibition space to local, traditional artists and to offer educational opportunities to the local community.
What is the Guild?
The Guild is an elegant nonprofit gallery, in the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay, exhibiting the work of New England’s finest living artists since 1914.
Like the early European guilds, artist members are selected because they adhere to the highest standards of excellence.
We are celebrating our Centennial Anniversary with Mayor Marty Walsh as the Honorary Chairman of our Centennial Committee.
Why is the Guild unique?
The Guild is unique in that it is the only nonprofit art gallery in Boston solely committed to exhibiting traditional painting and sculpture by living New England artists.
What is the Guild’s mission?
Our mission is to promote, nurture and encourage traditional art while adhering to the highest standards of quality and presentation.
Why does the Guild need to raise funds?
The Guild has a strong commitment to education and community outreach. We offer lectures, demonstrations,
informal gallery talks, historical exhibitions and art discovery classes for children,
all free to the public. Our income from sales of artwork does not fully cover the cost of these educational
offerings, requiring us to raise additional funds.
What is the Guild’s tax status?
The Guild is a 501c3 private foundation.
When was it founded and by whom?
Founded by Edmund Tarbell, Frank Benson, Lilian Westcott Hale, Bela Pratt, Frederick Allen and 37 other
exceptional painters and sculptors of the day, the Guild opened its doors to the public at its
current location, 162 Newbury Street, in November of 1914. More than a third of the 42 charter members were women.
What is the Boston School?
Edmund Tarbell, Frank Benson, Joseph DeCamp and William Paxton were founders of the Boston School
tradition of painting. They combined the emphasis on fine design and careful drawing of the
19th Century European academies with the vibrant color and light of the French Impressionists.
A number of our present artist members are descended academically from the founders.
What other painting traditions are represented by the Guild?
Cape Ann, Luminism, Tonalism, Impressionism.
Why support the Guild?
In this fast paced digital world, the Guild is a haven for those seeking a quiet place to enjoy timeless
fine art, by living artists, that celebrates the beauty of the natural world and connects us
with a deeper spiritual part of ourselves.
Board of Managers
Jean Lightman, President
Melody Phaneuf, Vice-President
Mary Minifie, Secretary
Lynne Mehlman, Assistant Secretary
Donald Parker, Esq., Treasurer
Stapleton Kearns, Chair of the Membership Committee
Alex Ciesielski, Gallery Director
Rosemary Joy Glidden, Assistant Director
Edmund Tarbell 1914 – 1924
Frank W. Benson 1924 – 1937
Leslie P. Thompson 1938 – 1950
R. H. Ives Gammell 1950 – 1952
Aldro T. Hibbard 1953 – 1959
A. Lassell Ripley 1959 – 1969
Dwight Shepler 1969 – 1973
Robert Douglas Hunter 1973 – 1978
Charles A. Mahoney 1978 – 1982
Robert Cormier 1982 – 1998
Thomas Dunlay 1998 – 2003
Paul Ingbretson 2003 – 2014
Jean G. Lightman 2014 –
The Guild of Boston Artists
162 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116