History of the Hardy

docship1Nowhere in the Midwest are the arts more intertwined with the life of a community than Door County and nowhere in Door County is the passion to connect the arts to the community greater than at the Hardy Gallery in Ephraim, WI.

Founded in 1962 by the Peninsula Arts Association (PAA) in honor of Francis Howe Hardy, the Hardy Gallery has initiatives that address the needs of the local artist community and the creative enrichment of local youth, and is more focused than ever on educating the public and promoting the visual arts and artists of the Door County Peninsula. The Gallery is located on Ephraim's historic Anderson Dock – an integral part of Ephraim's history.

The Dock was built by brothers Aslag and Halvor Anderson in the late 1850s, and quickly became a turning point for the struggling village of Ephraim. Any vessel now sailing the shores of Green Bay would be able to dock in Ephraim's waters. Thirty years later, the Dock would serve as a standard port-of-call for passing steamships. The Goodrich, Hill, and Hart Line steamers would stop on their appointed rounds, bearing the summer visitors that would fuel Ephraim's economy around the turn of the century.

The Dock quickly became the business and social center of the community, with the Anderson Warehouse (the Hardy's home) being built around the same time. The Dock and Warehouse hold a lot of meaning for Ephraim residents and visitors alike, not to mention the decades of boaters who would paint their respective vessel's name on the Warehouse's clapboard siding.

The Francis Hardy Gallery is home to some of the most creative and popular gallery exhibitions in Door County, and once you visit, it is easy to see why established and emerging artists alike love to show their work in a simple wooden warehouse.

In addition to being recognized for its outstanding exhibits, the Hardy continues to fulfill Francis Hardy's vision to create a climate of understanding and appreciation of the arts. The Hardy is committed to providing the Door County community with innovative educational programming for people of all ages in the arts.

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