Cape Ann has lured many of this country's most accomplished and renowned sculptors.

May 6, 2021

Walker Hancock (1901-1998), Left: Sky Hook, 1964, bronze. [Acc. #2576.37]; Center: Passing Off, 1963, bronze. [Acc. #2576.23]; Right: Foul Shot, 1963, bronze. [Acc. #2576.31]. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA. Museum purchase, 1982, with funds provided by Evelyn Bartlett.

Dear Friends,

With spring fully upon us and summer just around the corner, we’re eagerly turning our attention to art outside. In this issue of CAM Connects, learn about sculptures in the Museum’s collection and take a stroll throughout Gloucester with CAM's digital map of local sculptures.

To learn more about CAM’s sculpture collection, please join us in the courtyard on 27 Pleasant Street on May 21 for our second hybrid lecture of the year, Conversations with Contemporary Sculptors. There are limited in-person tickets available to hear directly from Chris Williams and Ken Hruby about their sculptures on view. The lecture will also be live streamed for free on Vimeo and Facebook.

The Museum is also excited to announce an upcoming exhibition at the Janet & William Ellery James Center at CAM Green, Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, Brad Story, and the Great Marsh. On view from June 18 – July 30, 2021, Monnelly’s photographs and Story’s sculptures are both inspired by their surroundings here on the North Shore and in particular the Great Marsh.

We hope to see you both at CAM Green, and at our Pleasant Street campus, soon! Please reserve your timed entrance now.

Oliver Barker, Director


Just as Cape Ann has attracted some of the very best painters to its shores over the past two hundred years, so has it lured many of this country's most accomplished and renowned sculptors. A listing of their names reads like a who's who of American sculpture: Anna Vaughn Hyatt HuntingtonCharles GraflyWalker HancockKatharine Lane WeemsGeorge Aarons, and Paul Manship. Some made short pilgrimages to the area while others made Cape Ann their home. All are inextricably linked by the inspiration they drew from this singular place and the people who inhabit it.

In the early 1980s, under the guidance of Walker Hancock, the Cape Ann Museum began exploring and documenting the lives of Cape Ann's many sculptors and, at the same time, building its own sculpture collection. Today, 40 years later, important scholarship has been undertaken and the Cape Ann Museum has amassed a distinguished collection of sculpture. Read on as we highlight several artists and pieces in the collection.

Monumental Sculpture

Learn more about Cape Ann’s long tradition of attracting monumental sculptors to work in the area with two selections from CAM’s Video Vault. These recorded lectures feature Rebecca Reynolds, the Executive Director of the Manship Artists Residency and Studios in Lanesville, who shares her vast curatorial expertise in American sculpture with CAM’s audiences.

VL13 - A Monumental Place - Cape Ann's Sculptural Legacy with Rebecca Reynolds - 09-13-2008

Video still from VL13 – A Monumental Place: Cape Ann’s Sculptural Legacy. Speaker: Rebecca Reynolds. Date: 9/13/2008. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives. Click here for lecture transcript.

In this lecture and slideshow from 2008 that was offered in concert with CAM’s exhibition Carved and Gilded: The Sculpture of James T. McClellan, Rebecca Reynolds traces the lineage of renowned sculptors who made Cape Ann their home from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. She relates what drew each of them to the area, how it inspired them, and the places around the world where the objects they created while working on Cape Ann can still be seen. 

Proving Her Metal: The Life and Sculpture of Katharine Lane Weems - 3-31-2021

Video still from Proving her Metal – The Life and Sculpture of Katharine Lane Weems. Presenters: Rebecca Reynolds, Manship Artists Executive Director; Jonathan Fairbanks, Katharine Lane Weems Curator Emeritus, MFA Boston; Robert Shure, Skylight Studios. Date: 3/31/2021. Image in bottom right corner: Charles Hopkinson (1869-1962), Portrait of Katharine Lane Weems, 1920, oil on canvas. Tufts University Art Gallery.

This recent virtual program takes an in-depth look at the work of Katharine Lane Weems, one of America’s most notable sculptors, who is particularly distinguished for her insightful representation of animals. The Cape Ann Museum is fortunate to have many pieces by this Manchester artist in its collection, images of which complement this discussion of Weems’s work, her influences, and her challenges as a female artist working throughout the 20th century.

Creating Monumental Sculpture

Have you ever looked at a monumental sculpture such as Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington's Joan of Arc in Legion Square in downtown Gloucester and wondered how it was made? The process of producing works of this grand size is called “scaling up.” Learn more about the steps necessary to transform a small clay model into a large bronze finished piece with this video that features the work of Katharine Lane Weems: From Clay to Bronze, Harvard Film Science.

As visitors to the Cape Ann Museum walk from the Central Gallery on the main floor into the atrium space, many find the sculpture hanging on the wall to the left visually stunning due to its subject matter and large size. At 24’6”, this piece is actually a small-scale version of a much bigger work that stands 39’ tall overall. Learn more about Walker Hancock and The Angel of the Resurrection that he created as a World War II memorial for the Pennsylvania Railroad Station with this clip from the video. 

Walker Hancock (1901-1998), Pennsylvania Railroad War Memorial, 1949-1952, plaster. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA. Gift of Deane Hancock French, daughter of the artist, 2001 [Acc. #2001.10]. Right: The sculpture "Angel of the Resurrection" located in the waiting room of 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The statue commemorates employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad who lost their lives in World War II.

And for more on Hancock, listen to this 1989 Oral History interview between Hancock and Marion Harding (1936-2020), who at the time of the conversation was an Assistant Curator at the Cape Ann Museum.

Take a Sculpture Stroll

As the weather gets warmer and we all look for excuses to get outside, discover an amazing collection of sculpture in Downtown Gloucester. Click here to see a map of select public sculpture within walking distance of the Cape Ann Museum.

Albert Atkins

When you pass by CAM’s headquarters in downtown Gloucester, the bronze sculpture Sprit of the Sea on display in the courtyard may catch your eye. Take a minute to learn a bit about the piece and about the artist who created it, Albert Henry Atkins (1880-1951).

Albert Henry Atkins inside his studio on Lincoln Street in West Gloucester. His 1914 work, Spirit of the Sea, can be seen at the right; photo taken c. 1927. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA.

Atkins was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and from 1909 to 1925 served as head of the sculpture department at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He received his artistic training at the Cowles School of Art in Boston and in Paris at the Académie Julian and the Académie Colarossi. It was likely at RISD that Atkins met Louise Allen Hobbs (1880-1953), who would become his wife in 1922 and was also a sculptor. Locally, the pair exhibited at the Gallery-on-the-Moors (1916-1918) in East Gloucester and at the North Shore Arts Association; today both are represented in museum collections as well as by outdoor public pieces. In 1924, the Atkins purchased the old Haskell House in West Gloucester (c. 1650), filling it with a collection of early American furniture and decorative arts. Albert maintained studio space in an adjoining barn where, in addition to sculpture, he also made etchings.

Left: Albert Atkins. The Toilers of the Sea, c. 1923, plaster. Modeled in honor and memory of the Gloucester fishermen. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA. Gift of the estate of Albert H. Atkins, 2017 [Acc. #2017.056.1]. Right: Model of submission for Fishermen's Monument by A. H. Atkins. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA.

In 1955, a few years after Albert and Louise Atkins passed away, CAM purchased the Haskell House from the Atkins family. With the House came the Atkins’ extensive collection of early Americana. Examples of the pairs’ sculpture also came with the property. Times were different at CAM in the 1950s and the organization’s sculpture collection was practically non-existent. The Museum kept just a few examples of the Atkins’ work and placed the rest in private collections. It was not until 2006 that Albert’s 1914 piece, Sprit of the Sea officially came into CAM’s holdings and was placed on its perch in the courtyard. A handful of other works by Albert Atkins remain in CAM’s collection including Toilers of the Sea, a plaster thought to have been created for the 1923 competition to select a sculpture to go on Stacy Boulevard as part of Gloucester’s 300th Anniversary celebration.

Our Lady of Good Voyage

Left: Alice M. Curtis (1871-1961), Our Lady of Good Voyage, c. 1932. Center: Angelo Lualdi (1881-1979), Our Lady of Good Voyage, 1915, polychromed, wood, metal. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA. Gift of the Parish of Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, 1984 [Acc. #2410]. Right: The statue, Our Lady of Good Voyage, is carried from the Portuguese vessel Gil Eannes in Gloucester, May 28, 1942.

“As young children who lived on Portuguese Hill, the sight of Our Lady’s statue between the iconic blue towers signaled that we were close to home.  To this day when I drive down Prospect Street and the statue appears, I still feel a sense of coming home.” – Elizabeth Roland

The original sculpture of Our Lady of Good Voyage was made of painted wood and metal by Angelo Lualdi. It was lifted to the top of Gloucester’s Portuguese church in 1915 after the original wooden church was destroyed by fire in 1914; Lualdi's work remained between the church’s twin domes for almost 70 years. In 1984, because of deterioration at its base, Our Lady was removed from its perch. On the recommendation of sculptor Walker Hancock, a polyester fiberglass copy was made to replace it. The original has been on display at the Cape Ann Museum since then.

Kevin Quadros, whose father and grandfather were both fishermen, has helped carry a second, smaller rendition of Our Lady in St. Peter’s Fiesta since Fr. Eugene Alves asked him to help fifteen years ago. “The first time I carried the statue, I noticed how meaningful it was to the older generation. No matter how heavy it was, they wanted to make sure they got their one carry in,” recalled Quadros. Jean Mason, who Quadros met on the Boulevard, told him that she was seven or eight years old when they first brought this statue from Portugal. “She brought a picture one time to show me that she was the little girl in the picture of the statue coming over.”

“The Virgin Mary represents our faith to whom we often pray, our church where we gather for Mass and other rituals, and our community, many of whom immigrated from the Azores and the mainland of Portugal. For our Portuguese grandfathers, fathers and uncles who fished on the Grand Banks, the first glimpse of Our Lady’s statue was also a signal that they were safely close to port.  My father, who fished for 10 years on various Portuguese boats, said that the first thing they would look for was the statue. With her arm stretched outward, it was as if she was guiding them the final distance.  The schooner cradled in her arm represented the dangerous livelihood many of them endured.” – Elizabeth Roland 

Conversation with Contemporary Sculptors

Left: Chris Williams, Sea Serpent, 2019 bronze, glass, granite. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum, Museum purchase, 2019, commissioned by the Cape Ann Museum in honor of Ronda Faloon, Director of the Museum from 2006-2019 [Acc. #2019.46]. Right: Ken Hruby, Uneasy Throne, 1986, steel with bronze patina. Gift of Ed Myskowski, in memory of Dorothy A. Brown, 2015 [Acc. # 2015.49]. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Gloucester, MA.

The courtyard at the Cape Ann Museum will be the focus of this month’s lecture series on Friday, May 21 at 1:00 pm. Featuring contemporary sculptors Chris Williams and Ken Hruby, this hybrid event will be live-streamed for free on Facebook and Vimeo and there will be limited in-person seats available in the courtyard. Learn about the artists before the event with these two videos from our Video Vault: Chris Williams - Making the Sea Serpent and Ken Hruby’s 2008 lecture.

For more information and to register, click here