Maggs to show late friend’s art in new barn

  • An exhibit at Jan & John Maggs Antiques and Art in Conway features work by Boston-area artist Virginia S. Precourt, including this image called “Whistlestop.” The exhibit opens Feb. 16 and will be on display through March 3. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE

  • An exhibit at Jan & John Maggs Antiques and Art in Conway features work by Boston-area artist Virginia S. Precourt, including this image called “New Earrings.” The exhibit opens Feb. 16 and will be on display through March 3. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE

  • Jan & John Maggs Antiques and Art is holding an exhibit of work by Virginia S. Precourt, after having rebuilt the barn that houses the antiques and art following a 2017 tornado. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • John Maggs, above, surveys the footprint where his barn used to be. The barn was destroyed by a tornado in 2017. STAFF FILE PHOTO

  • The barn housing J&J Maggs Antiques was leveled by the Feb. 27, 2017, tornado in Conway. STAFF FILE PHOTO

  • STAFF FILE PHOTO STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 2/13/2019 3:32:31 PM

CONWAY – The barn at Jan & John Maggs Antiques and Art is ready to host an opening of a new show two years after it was demolished in a freak tornado.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the barn at 2 Old Cricket Hill Road was rebuilt on its exact site about a year ago, and over the course of the next three weekends will be used to celebrate the paintings of cherished family friend Virginia S. Precourt, who was a painter from Dover and the mother of Ashfield resident Geoffrey Precourt, who is also close friends with the Maggs. She died in 2008 at 92.

“(She) was a remarkable woman,” John Maggs said.

“Winter Light — The Art of Virginia S. Precourt” will open on the first floor of the new barn on Saturday. It will stay open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. that day and from noon to 6 on Sunday and Monday, as well as Feb. 24 and March 3. The paintings will include “Whistlestop” and “New Earrings.”

According to an email from Geoffrey Precourt, his mother’s work was featured at Boston Symphony Hall. Her final major exhibition was in 2004. Her work went into storage after her death, but her family took possession of it over the summer and started collaboarting with the Maggs on the show that will begin 10 days short of the two-year anniversary of the tornado.

John Maggs said the show symbolizes his company’s extension into the world of fine arts, not just antiques. He and his wife have historically specialized in English furniture and jewelry from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Jan Maggs said the new barn spans 4,500 square feet and consists of three stories, if the stone basement is counted. The former barn was 75 by 45 feet and almost five stories high, counting the stone basement.

Jan Maggs recalls how the day that changed her life could not have been predicted. She said she and her husband were visiting his daughter in Natick and returned home for an appointment with a customer. Arriving early, they decided to sit and have some beer and cheese.

“The power went off at 7:15 (p.m.), and by 7:18, it was all over,” she said. “It was a whopping three minutes of unbelieveable sound.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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