Robert Duff, a native of South Eastern Massachusetts, grew up at the head of Herman Melville’s Acushnet River. An ideal childhood of long summer days playing along the shores of the river or skating on local ponds left Bob with a deep appreciation for all the beauty that New England has to offer that is evident in all of his art, prints and posters. “My lifelong dedication to art was born in an instant when as a young man I saw an exhibit of Hudson River School paintings in the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s collection. Huge canvasses of mountain and river vistas, capturing the early morning or evening light air took my breath away. My life was changed. Reading all that I could find and studying all that I could see, I’ve spent the last 30 years developing my way of capturing the beauty around us. It must have been wonderful for the 19th century artists to have so much natural beauty around them, horizons broken by large sailing ships, harbors with forests of masts. I am pleased to be living in an area where you can still find beautiful countryside or a historic old schooner such as the New Bedford based Ernestina.”
Having exhibited extensively in the region Robert and his wife Debra opened their first gallery in 1986. Their love of art, history and architecture led them to acquire an Old Colony Railroad station in Freetown, Mass., where they have enjoyed the galley business selling art, prints and posters for fourteen years.
“A 1997 solo exhibit at the New Bedford Art Museum rekindled our interest in the City. Exciting revitalization of New Bedford as a tourist city with its newly appointed Whaling National Historic Park status was a draw to us that we could not resist. Fate led us to a wonderful Greek Revival building circa 1815 in the heart of the historic district next door to the world class New Bedford Whaling Museum. Ironically, the new gallery is located across the street from where I first began to sell paintings twenty-five years ago at the Centre Street Summer Festival. Moments away from Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, I am presently indulging myself with large doses of coastal scenery. I enjoy painting a wide variety of subjects, still lifes, New England farms, classic sailboats and schooners in New England waters, a rose covered cottage in Nantucket or a Great Blue Heron in a saltmarsh.”