Harington Beard emigrated to the United States from England with his family in 1879, settling in Chicago. There he helped with the family stationary store. When he married in 1886, he moved to Minneapolis and opened “Harington Beard Fine Art Shop,” which sold fine art, art supplies, and stationary. It was the first art gallery in the Twin Cities, and although it has changed names, locations, and owners over the centuries, the legacy of his original gallery remains today.
Harington changed the name of the gallery at a certain point in time to “Beard Art Galleries.” The gallery specialized in the sale of local and other American artists. It was a struggle to keep the shop open during the Great Depression, but he persevered so that his employees would have work. Just before he died in 1940, the gallery was bought by Joseph Walton, who began specializing in antiques.
In 1983 Richard Beard Thomson, the grand-nephew of Harington Beard, re-purchased his family business. In 1996 he sold the gallery to Vern Carver, whose art gallery was the second-oldest in the region. Vern’s two sons Jon and Chris Carver run the gallery today under the name “Vern Carver and Beard Art Galleries,” located on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.
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