447 Commercial Street

447 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

447 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Ilona Royce Smithkin, by David W. Dunlap (2013).

Ilona Royce Smithkin, by David W. Dunlap (2013).

Karen Katzel, from Sarah Thompson and Diane Stafford.

Karen Katzel, from Sarah Thompson and Diane Stafford.

447 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

447 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

From the beach side, it’s easy to guess who’s here: the lady with the longest eyelashes in town — Ilona Royce Smithkin (left), artist, teacher, and performer. She and the late Karen Katzel (right) ran the Karilon Gallery here and together owned Poor Richard’s Landing. Smithkin left Poland in the ’30s and studied at the Art Students League. Utterly photogenic, she appears in the documentary Advanced Style. This mid-19th-century building was the birthplace in 1932 of Paul Smith’s Provincetown Bookshop, a store and lending library specializing in works by town-related authors. It is now at 246 Commercial. Isadora Duncan’s nephew, Menalkas Duncan, occupied this space in the ’50s, doing business as the Duncan Sandal Shop. Selma’s Jewelart was here, run by Selma Dubrin, as was the Stuttman Gallery, run by Esther Stuttman.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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