Vose Galleries originated in the 1840s, when Joseph Vose purchased a small artist's supply store established in 1841 by Ransom Hicks and located at 186 Westminster Street in Providence, Rhode Island. Within a year his son, Seth Morton Vose, had joined the business and begun its expansion. Seth began purchasing paintings by Barbizon school artists and by the last quarter of the century had operated galleries at several successive addresses in Providence. Seth was responsible for several large exhibitions held at the First Light Infantry armory from 1880-1886 and 1891, as benefits for various charities. [Catalogues from these exhibitions are in the Vose Gallery Archives] In 1897 Seth's son Robert C. Vose opened his own gallery at 320 Boylston Street in Boston. When street expansion forced the destruction of this building, Vose Galleries moved to two adjoining second floors on 394 and 398 Boylston. There Robert's brother Nathaniel M. joined the firm as an equal partner, and nephew W. Charles Thompson joined as a salesman. In the second decade of the twentieth century, Nathaniel and Robert parted ways; Nathaniel was given half the painting stock and left to start his own gallery in Providence and Robert made plans for new building at 559 Boylston Street on Copley Square. During the Depression, the fourth generation, Robert C., Jr., S. Morton, II, and Herbert P, joined the firm. In 1963 the Vose Gallery moved to its present location at 238 Newberry Street, where it is run by the fifth generation, Robert C., III, and Abbott W. Vose.
"Four Generations." Art Digest 15 (March 15, 1941): 20.
Vose, Robert C., Jr. "Boston's Vose Galleries: A Family Affair." Archives of American Art Journal 21, no. 1 (1981): 8-20