Winter Harbor, Maine
How often do gallery owners invite visitors into their home to see the collection?
Kelly and Jane Littlefield, owners of Littlefield Gallery, do it daily—their home, an 1891 New Englander and an adjoining 750-foot exhibition space, is the gallery. Visitors drop by to see the art that’s hanging on the first two floors. “People come wandering through the kitchen or sit at the dining room table,” Kelly says. “They come as visitors, perhaps become clients, then become friends.”
The Littlefields, former schoolteachers who retired to Winter Harbor, started collecting art more than 30 years ago. Neither has a formal art background but the high-quality works they show and the artists they represent are widely recognized. “We just bought what we liked,” Kelly says. “We had no idea what we were doing when we opened the gallery in 2008. We wanted to be part of the community, so we designed the gallery as a destination.” The Littlefields feature works by a number of contemporary Maine artists, including painters
Amy Bernhardt, Terry Hilt and James Linehan.
The couple’s true passion, however, is sculpture, which is found in the yard as well as inside their home and includes pieces by
Don Best, Hugh Lawson, Mark Harrington and Dan Miller.
With every exhibition, the Littlefields host an opening (often attracting between 100 and 200 people) as well as a dinner for the artists, inviting locals, visitors and others for food and conversation. Recently, they endowed a sculptor in- residence program at the University of Maine. And they continue to attract more visitors each year.