Elizabeth Moss is the scholar and gallerist behind Elizabeth Moss Galleries, a fine art gallery in Falmouth, Maine, dedicated to showcasing the work of 20th century and contemporary artists from Maine with a focus on the Monhegan Island region. She had a lifelong interest in the visual arts, describing art as a source of comfort and something that just made her feel good. As a young teenager, she would often take the Metro to downtown Washington, D.C., to visit museums. She fell in love with the National Gallery of Art, where she was transfixed by the room-sized works of abstract expressionist painters Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell. By age 17, her enjoyment of art had extended to an excitement for fashion and clothing design, and she decided to pursue postsecondary education in fine arts.
She enrolled at Salem College in 1986, graduating in 1990 with two bachelor’s degrees; one in fine and studio arts management, and the second in management and French language. Ms. Moss’ career began in 1991 as an administrative manager for the United States Beet Sugar Association, where she would continue to serve until 1997. During this time, she continued her education at George Washington University, graduating magna cum laude in 1996 with a Master of Arts in museum studies. Recognizing the impact that her teenage museum visits had on helping develop her curiosity about the visual arts and art history, Ms. Moss’ interest in art curation and gallery work only became stronger. After leaving the United States Beet Sugar Association in 1997, she focused on the arts industry, spending the next several years as a member of staff at a number of area art galleries.
In the course of her time as a gallery assistant and curator, Ms. Moss became certified by the National Association of Appraisers and started to explore the possibility of launching her own establishment highlighting the breadth and depth of fine art produced in Maine and throughout New England. Her formal studies had focused on 20th century American fine and decorative artists, and she had always been passionate about the expressivity and diversity of oil painting. As she made a name for herself in the regional arts community, Ms. Moss also became recognized as a singular expert in New England plein air and landscape painters.
Ms. Moss’ vision came to life in April of 2004, when she established Elizabeth Moss Galleries in Falmouth, Maine. Drawing on her expertise in landscape painting and regional artists, she has curated shows featuring Maine and Monhegan Island painters from the 1930s on, and currently represents more than 40 nationally- and internationally-celebrated artists including Lynne Drexler and Nathaniel Meyer. Hardly limited to traditionalist landscapes and representative works, Elizabeth Moss Galleries works with a large number of abstract and modernist artists, shattering stereotypes of regional painters and fine arts scenes. Among other accolades, Elizabeth Moss Galleries was named a Distinguished Family Owned Business by the Portland Business Association in 2012, and was included in Art Info’s 2014 list of the Top 100 Galleries in North America.
Elizabeth Moss Galleries has been selected to participate in Art in Embassies, a prestigious cultural exchange program created by the United States Department of State to foster cross-cultural dialogue and strong diplomatic relationships by placing works in international consulates, embassies, and diplomatic residences, and she has exhibited at both the New York and Boston Art Fairs. Ms. Moss remains the gallery’s president and executive director, and is currently preparing to open a second location in light of her long-term presence as a pillar of the Maine arts community. Located in Portland, Maine, she hopes to use the new space to expand her representation of experimental and modernist works, with planned exhibitions by Richard Keen, Phoebe Porteous, and more. In addition to her work running Elizabeth Moss Galleries, Ms. Moss has also provided reviews of museum and gallery exhibitions for the Maine Sunday Telegram since 2004, and is the founding executive director of the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts, Maine’s only institution dedicated to preserving and collecting work based in photography, videography, installation-based pieces and new media artworks.
Ms. Moss attributes her success to her lifelong passion for visual arts and a genuine love of introducing others to the media that has inspired her. She considers herself fortunate to have met and worked with so many artists, collectors, and curators throughout her professional journey, and hopes to one day be considered a contributor to the legacy of 20th century American art. Ms. Moss is a member of the Maine Women’s Executive Forum, the Smithsonian Young Benefactors, and the Zantauf Women’s Organization, and regularly uses her platform to host fundraisers and auctions on behalf of organizations including Partners for World Health and Spurwink, a nonprofit providing behavioral and mental health services for children and youth.