Nina Royce Heads West

She’s not a politician. She’s not a civic volunteer. She’s not a noted artist.

But politicians, volunteers and artists — especially artists — all love Nina Royce.

And we’ll all miss her, now that she’s left the Westport she loved and served so long and well.

She moved here in 1969, from New Haven. She married a Harvard guy, David Royce. Three children — and a master’s in fine arts — followed.

Nina spent 45 years at Max’s Art Supplies — the beloved downtown gathering spot for artists, designers, and anyone else needing pens, paint or paper. Nina was an important part of the glue that kept this town’s arts scene connected and vibrant.

Nina Royce (far left) with Max’s colleagues — and the store’s famous Karron’s clock.

For the past 3 years — ever since Max’s closed — you could find Nina at Age of Reason. She worked her magic on that innovative toy store’s many devoted customers — young and old.

Nina was also a regular at the Senior Center. She enjoyed exercise classes — and everyone there enjoyed her quiet, sunny presence.

Now it’s time for a change. Nina is moving to Ashland, Oregon. She’ll be near her son Zach, and granddog Otto. Seattle (son Peter) and Minneapolis (daughter Casey) are not too far away.

Nina has put out the welcome mat for Westporters heading west.

Happy (Oregon) trails, Nina, from all of us whose lives you have enriched!

(Hat tip: Jo Shields)

Nina Royce (seated, center) was feted by friends last week. She’s already on her way to Oregon.

8 responses to “Nina Royce Heads West

  1. John Brandt

    To make sure Nina has a soft landing in her new home, we’ve put her in touch with our family in town. They will make sure she finds all the treasures in the perfect town for Westport’s Nina. There’s theater, a thriving arts community and one of the best farm to table collection of restaurants anywhere. And we’ll be visiting her in October to see that she’s enjoying the Oregon lifestyle. Au Plaisir de Vous Revoir, ma petite.

  2. Lucky Ashland and happy landings to a Westport treasure.

  3. Good for taking your time, Nina, as you thought carefully about your next destination for the past year. Ashland sounds like a perfect fit. I enjoyed the times we spent over the years talking about our doctor daughters and comparing notes on grandmotherhood, You will be missed. Enjoy life.

  4. Ana Messenger

    Max’s art store was a gem in Westport and so was Nina. I have countless memories of being helped by her to find just the right supplies for my kids or myself. I miss the store and Nina’s kindness and knowledge. I wish her a smooth transition and a wonderful beginning in her new home.

  5. Dorothy Abrams

    I echo Ana’s message. I remember when you spent so much time with me to find the “right” color for a desk pad. And it was perfect. Still have it.

  6. there’s that clock again. that clock, Jack, and his store were a regular event
    in my life for 29 years. always set my watch as i walked past and waved hello to Jack.
    and Nina, if you ever come to Whidbey Island, to our town of Langley, just ask most anyone where to find Billy the Celloist. would love to meet you.

  7. My late father was a cartoonist and I remember tagging along with him hundreds of times over the years to go to Max’s to load up on supplies. Nina was a big part of what made Max’s so special.

  8. Worth noting, from the other side of the counter… At lunch, Nina mentioned that she might take up painting again, an artful pursuit she’s been missing since Yale and her early days in Westport. I hope she does, and I wholeheartedly agree with Eve: Lucky, lucky Ashland!