Abbot W. Vose (Bill)
Abbot Williams Vose is the fifth generation of his family to lead the gallery and recently celebrated his forty-fifth year in business. Bill and his wife and partner, Marcia Latimore Vose, are delighted to have brought in their daughters, Carey and Elizabeth, as the sixth generation to head the family firm.
Bill was born and raised in the Boston area. He graduated from Hobart College in Geneva, NY, with a degree in American history, which tied in well with his love of American art, especially American Impressionism. Ironically, Bill’s father, Robert C. Vose, Jr., tried to steer Bill away from a career in the art business, because of the uncertain financial aspects of the market. Bill’s father had led the gallery through the Great Depression and World War II, and the finances had been mired in red ink for over thirty years. Bill, however, could not be dissuaded. After all, he had been surrounded by his family’s prime American painting collection while growing up and heard his father’s many tales of discovering paintings in attics and dealing with eccentric collectors.
Bill joined the firm in 1969 after recovering from a serious boating accident two years earlier. During his tenure, he has seen the fortunes of the art market surge to new heights in the eighties, stumble in the early nineties, rebound in the late nineties and early 2000s and take another plunge during the recent market turmoil that began in 2008—shades of his father’s warnings! Bill notes, ”When I started at the gallery interest in American paintings was just coming into vogue. Only a few professionals had heard of American Impressionism in the seventies, so I made it my personal mission to bring this group to light. I gave 175 talks all over the country and helped bring American Impressionists to prominence in the 1980s. As a young person I learned immensely about people from all walks of life at my talks, who shared a common passion for art. It was a source of great pride that I had helped American Impressionism become highly prized on the world stage and remain so to this day.