385 Commercial Street

 
September Morn Fine Estate Jewelry | September Morn Private Estates | Ptown Scoop

The larger, harborside building on this property was once the Vinton Studios. Opened in 1913, these “were the first studios for general rent in Provincetown,” Ross Moffett wrote in Art in Narrow Streets (1964). They were also the home of two very significant figures on the Provincetown cultural scene: Mary Grove Bacon Bicknell (d 1968), organizer of the Wharf Players Theater at 83 Commercial Street (obituary in the Scrapbooks of Althea Boxell), and her husband, William Harry Warren Bicknell (1860-1947), a noted etcher who was — The Advocate said astutely — “especially noteworthy for his fluent lines, his rare use of white spaces and his economy of unessential detail.” (Biographical sketch at Gallery Ehva.)

I don’t know if the current structure, a condominium known as September Morn Private Estates, is a remodeled version of the Vinton Studios or a replacement structure. It certainly has a smaller footprint than the Vinton Studios, but that’s not to say some portion of the older building couldn’t have been incorporated into the one we now see. The Bicknells were here in the 1930s and 1940s, as were other artists. “Although Mr. Bicknell lived during the winter months in Winchester, he regarded Provincetown as his real home,” his obituary stated. (“W. H. Bicknell Dies, Was Noted Etcher,” The Advocate, 26 November 1947.) “With his death the last of the Old Guard of the artist pioneers who brought so much fame to Provincetown passes.”

Capt. Anthony Russell bought the property in 1940 and found himself bedeviled after World War II by the establishment of large fish-packing plant just two lots away. The small of fish offal, known as gurry, “blasts you out of the place,” he said.

In the mid-1970s, the commercial space was occupied by Small Pleasures, described in the New Bicentennial Guide as a “fascinating shop … specializing in antique jewelry, small objects of art and ethnic artifacts from Africa, Persia, New Guinea and South America.” By 1992, Small Pleasures had moved to 359 Commercial Street and September Morn, owned by Ronnie Szeszler, had opened. Gillian Drake described it in The Complete Guide to Provincetown: “Antique and Oriental art, decorative items, and a wide selection of fine estate jewelry and collectibles.” A 2004 phone book shows the Annie Dew Original Art gallery at this address, run by Annie Dewaniero, along with September Morn. The Burke Gallery, run by Patricia Burke, was in the side building as recently as 2010. In 2011, Collette “Coco” Glaude and Colleen Sjogen opened Ptown Scoop, a homemade ice cream shop.


 

 

 

 


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