Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Art of the Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum is a small art and history museum in Gloucester, MA.  It features exhibits about the local sailing and fishing trade, the granite quarry, and local artists, both present and past, all in a beautiful building close to the center of town.

"The Dancing Girls"
Charles Hopkinson (1869-1962)

Apparently John Singer Sargent, a famous painter of the time who painted the murals in the Boston Public Library, visited Charles Hopkinson with none other than Isabella Stewart Gardner (of the museum), and gave Hopkinson the idea for the painting.

They had two boats in a large room in the museum, and both looked fairly unassuming...until you read the plaque that said a man went across the Atlantic in 66 days in this tiny little boat, all by himself.  And he capsized during a storm, but apparently the ship was so well-designed that he was able to right it in 20 minutes!  This is when I start feeling like I need to accomplish something. 

portion of "Cape Ann"
Leon Kroll (1884-1974)

"H. H. and her sister"
Charles Hopkinson (1869-1962)

There was also a portrait downstairs of Virginia Lee Burton, the woman who wrote "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel" --- what a blast from the past!

Her husband was a sculptor, and she founded the Folly Cove Designers, a group of artists who began the renaissance of linoleum block printing on fabric as an American art form.

There was also a wonderful room with Marsden Hartley paintings - think Georgia O'Keefe but bleaker. 

The verdict?  Highly recommended for a summer day trip.  It's an easy drive, and there are innumerable other places you can stop on the way up or down for food: seafood, Kelly's Roast Beef, ice cream...there are options.

1 comment:

scott davidson said...

How about this for a design for a wall painting, in the tried-and-true Art Nouveau style?:, by the famous English artist, Audrey Beardsley himself. You can also order a canvas print of the picture from