For over thirty-five years William Vareika Fine Arts Ltd has offered the finest museum quality historical art to collectors and museums from around the world.
Bill and Alison Vareika opened William Vareika Fine Arts Ltd in 1987 on famed Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island principally to showcase the work of the important 18th, 19th and early 20th century American artists who were attracted to and inspired by the rich history, unique society, and natural beauty of Newport and the Narragansett Bay region. Groundbreaking Vareika exhibits of the works of these artists have inspired the recognition of “The Newport and Narragansett Bay School” of American art and established Bill Vareika as the authority in the field. The Vareika gallery has also mounted several major exhibitions of the art of two of the most important nineteenth century artists associated with Newport, John La Farge and William Trost Richards, and they have probably handled more works by these artists than any other art dealers in history. The business quickly developed a national reputation as “The Newport Gallery of American Art,” consistently dealing artworks reflecting three centuries of the American experience to some of the most important art connoisseurs and museums in the country, while also regularly advising and working with novice and beginning art collectors. Most of the gallery exhibitions were mounted to help to raise public consciousness about and funding for a host of vital non-profit organizations with which the Vareika’s were affiliated.
William Vareika Fine Arts is located on one of the most distinguished and historic commercial blocks in the world: the Bellevue Avenue – Casino Historic District of the National Register of Historic Places. The gallery occupies spacious quarters in the 1892-93 Perkins and Betton designed King Block. Next door to the north is the 1870-71 Richard Morris Hunt designed Travers Block and the National Historic Landmark 1880-81 McKim, Mead, and White designed Newport Casino, which is the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum. Next door to the south is the Audrain Building designed in 1902-03 by Bruce Price, which today houses the Audrain Automobile Museum. Within blocks are also many important cultural attractions including the Newport Art Museum, Redwood Library and Athenaeum, Newport Historical Society, the Sailing Museum, Salve Regina University, and many of the Gilded Age mansions operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County and The Newport Restoration Foundation.
In 2003 the Vareika Gallery expanded its iconic Bellevue Avenue space and diversified its collections to include some contemporary art and works by European artists and those from other cultures, subtitling this enterprise as “The Newport Gallery of World Art.”
Over the decades, the Vareika inventory has included important artworks by the European artists Albrecht Durer, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Paul Signac, and Joaquin Sorolla, as well as the American Masters Edward Bannister, Frank Benson, George Bellows, Albert Bierstadt, Alfred T. Bricher, John George Brown, James Buttersworth, William Merritt Chase, Frederic Church, Thomas Cole, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Martin Johnson Heade, Hans Hoffman, Winslow Homer, Eastman Johnson, John F. Kensett, John La Farge, Jackson Pollock, Edward Potthast, William Trost Richards, Theodore Robinson, John Singer Sargent, James Sharples, John Twachtman, Andy Warhol, Benjamin West, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Worthington Whittredge, and NC Wyeth.
The Vareika gallery has proudly placed artworks in many museum collections including: Albany Institute of History and Art, Chrysler Museum of Art, Colby College Museum of Art, Corning Museum of Glass, Dallas Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, Fall River Historical Society, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, National Gallery of Art, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Terra Museum of American Art, The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, The Mattatuck Museum, The Milwaukee Art Museum, The New Bedford Museum of Glass, The Orlando Museum of Art, USS Constitution Museum, Vermont State House, and the Yale Art Gallery.
William Vareika Fine Arts displays over 500 paintings, watercolors, drawings, fine prints, sculptures and photographs within nearly five-thousand square feet of gallery space, in a wide range of prices from under one thousand to over one million dollars. Many more artworks are stored on site and can be accessed online or viewed in person by special arrangement. The purchase of original art in Rhode Island is exempt from Rhode Island sales tax assessment by a special act of the legislature.
William Vareika Fine Arts Ltd has achieved outstanding success in the art world and has made significant contributions to the economic, cultural, and educational environment of Newport County and the State of Rhode Island. In 2009 the gallery was elected a member of the prestigious National Antique and Art Dealers Association of America, Inc., the only Rhode Island business that has received this distinction. The Arts and Business Council of Rhode Island gave the gallery the “Small Business ENCORE Award” for contribution to the arts and culture of RI, and the Newport County Chamber of Commerce also gave its “Excellence in Business Award” to the Vareika Gallery. The William Vareika Fine Arts gallery has been recognized as “Best of RI” by Rhode Island Monthly Magazine and “one of the outstanding reasons to visit New England” by Yankee Magazine.
Bill and Alison Vareika launched William Vareika Fine Arts gallery in order to share their passion for art and fascination with the rich history and nationally significant artistic heritage of Newport and the Narragansett Bay region. Over thirty-five years later, after curating dozens of special scholarly exhibitions and hosting thousands of visitors from around the globe, their art gallery has itself become an enduring part of the fabric of the unique Newport community and the city’s distinguished institutional and cultural history.
“On any given day at William Vareika Fine Arts, one is apt to run across the work – who’s who in early American Art – of John La Farge, William Morris Hunt, John F. Kensett, Winslow Homer, Worthington Whittredge, Alfred T. Bricher, William Trost Richards, William S. Haseltine, George Bellows, John H. Twachtman, Childe Hassam, John S. Sargent, and Martin Johnson Heade. All are artists who found inspiration in the unique society and sublime natural environment of Newport and the Narragansett Bay Region.”
Edward Rubin, Berkshire Fine Arts
“The Hidden Treasures of Newport, Rhode Island”
“The most serious museum-quality gallery in Newport– some say in all of New England– is William Vareika Fine Arts. I happened upon this little bit of heaven – think of it as a mini Metropolitan Museum or even a room or two at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts…”
Ed Rubin, New York Art Critic
“The show, occasioned by the most recent of a number of major gifts to the college’s McMullen Museum of Art by La Farge devotee and dealer William Vareika and his wife Alison, includes more than 90 works. It was organized by BC’s Jeffrey Howe, with assistance from Vareika, who knows as much about La Farge as anyone.”
Sebastian Smee, Pulitzer Prize Winner, Boston Globe
“La Farge’s works…rarely united for exhibitions… A survey with about 150 pieces opens at William Vareika Fine Arts”
Eve M. Kahn, New York Times
“Bill and Alison Vareika operate what may be the state’s best commercial art gallery”
Bill Van Siclen, Providence Journal
“More like a miniature museum than a gallery…One of the outstanding reasons to visit New England”
YANKEE MAGAZINE’S TRAVEL GUIDE
“Esteemed among galleries”
“Nothing short of miraculous”
“A remarkably substantial show”
“Gallery Show of Shows”
“A show that most museums would be proud to have”
“A show that’s not only a joy to look at, but a pleasure to recommend.”
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