The museum was founded in 1873, originally as the Cape Ann Scientific and Literary Association, and moved to its current location in the Captain Elias Davis House in the early 1920s. At this point the museum began curating its collection of historical, artistic, and literary artifacts. Today, the Cape Ann Museum includes galleries, an auditorium, a library, gardens and historical homes, as well as a children’s activity center. They host lectures, readings, and film screenings, as well as musical events. Their ‘Music in the Courtyard’ series, held the fourth Friday of every summer month in the Sculpture Garden, portrays a variety of musicians and genres, and is free and open to the public.
The Cape Ann Museum holds some extensive permanent displays, including a broad collection of the work of Fitz Henry Lane, one of the most significant marine artists of the mid-19th century and a Gloucester native. The permanent exhibitions also includes collections of portraits, landscapes, sculpture, and contemporary artwork, as well as examples of furniture, textile, and decorative arts. In addition to the expansive permanent collections, the museum hosts a range of temporary exhibitions year-round, featuring a wide variety of artists from all over the world, specializing in different mediums.
The 2019 season includes the photographic panorama exhibition “Green Places/Green Spaces/Greenhouses” by Esther Pullman from April 13 - June 16. Stephanie Cole’s collection of ‘memory sculptures’, “My Life in Pieces: Painting with Stuff” will be on display from May 18 - July 7. Then, starting August 3, the museum will be exhibiting works by Winslow Homer, an American painter and printmaker best known for the work he did with marine subjects. This exhibition, entitled “Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869-1880”, will run until December 1.
The Cape Ann Museum is a vital piece of Gloucester’s culture and history, and makes an effort to partner with local businesses and organizations. This is why guests of the Beauport Hotel Gloucester are able to obtain free passes to the museum year-round. Check out their website (www.capeannmuseum.org) for a schedule of the various educational programs, entertainment, and exhibitions on offer.
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