Each year the rejuvenation of Spring feels like a reward for enduring another hard winter. The season embodies hope and every corner of Cape Ann is now in full bloom.

May 21, 2020

JOHN SLOAN (1871-1951). Sunflowers, Rocky Neck, 1914. Oil on canvas. Gift of Alfred Mayor and Martha M. Smith, 2008. [Acc. # 2008.14]

Each year the rejuvenation of spring feels like a reward for enduring another hard winter. The season embodies hope and every corner of Cape Ann is now in full bloom. Spring has most definitely sprung. Through this inspiring lens, this week at CAM we are looking back at important lectures and exhibits held at the Museum, learning about historical figures and celebrations, and for the CAMKids, sharing a spring-inspired art project to make at home.

Video Vault Lecture Series

Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to check out CAM’s Video Vault Lecture Series, but if not, you can catch up on what it’s all about here! And for a full list of videos, finding aids, and a growing number of transcriptions, visit this brand-new page on our website.

This week’s featured Video Vault lecture takes us back to 2008 and into The Trustees of Reservations’ Ravenswood Park, in a lecture by Electa Kane Tritsch titled: Ravenswood Parks: From Wilderness to Special Place

Ravenswood : Wilderness to Special Place with Electa Kane Tritsch - 11-15-2008

Tritsch, both historian and archeologist, looks back at thousands of years of geological and settled history, including important figures in the Park’s history such as Samuel Elwell Sawyer (for more on Sawyer, browse the finding aid of his archival collection, held at CAM’s Library & Archives) and Mason Walton.

Mason A. Walton’s cabin in Ravenswood Park, 1890s. George Kimball Collection, CAM Library & Archives. [Acc # 2539].

We’ve all been to the park (and we will again), so now is the perfect chance to enrich that experience with this incredibly in-depth lecture and visual look at historic documents, photographs, and maps that all help explain how Ravenswood Park became what it is today!

(Please note the lecture is very briefly disrupted at the one-hour mark due to the tape needing to be switched back in 2008! Look how far we’ve come!)

And for more ‘Spring is Sprung’ Video Vault content, see: VL32, Conversations with Contemporary Artists: Brad Story, Sculptor, as he discusses, among many influences, how birds, fish, and flowers inspire his work.   

Looking Back:
Cape Ann Blossoms

Photograph detail by Melissa Cooper, May 4, 2019

On May 3-5, 2019, Museum visitors were treated to the floral arrangements of 21 designers, garden clubs, artists, and civic organizations. The arrangements interpreted an array of works on display through the Museum. The response was enthusiastic—over 1,400 visitors attended both the Friday night preview party and during extended hours over the weekend. The event was dedicated to outgoing Museum Director Ronda Faloon, who arrived at the time of the first Cape Ann Blossoms 13 years prior. What a joyous way to welcome Spring!

     Gail Anderson
       Cape Ann Blossoms committee member and Museum docent

Looking back on the experience, Beth Genovese and Gina Russo of Sage Floral Studio had this to say:

It was such a privilege and a challenge to have the opportunity to interpret the Fresnel Lens from the Twin Lights in Rockport. We wanted to capture the texture and natural beauty of the lens, so we decided to forgo using any color and use just foliage to interpret the waves crashing on the rocks and driftwood being pushed ashore during storms. The Fresnel Lens is such an important piece to the Museum, and we were so happy to be the designers to work alongside of it.

Paper Flowers with Nell Blaine

NELL BLAINE (1922-1998). Rubrum Lily, 1980, Oil on canvas, Gift of Arthur W. Cohen, 1990, [Acc. # 2714].

Have you ever painted or drawn a picture of a flower? Have you ever helped to plant a garden? Does nature inspire you?

Nell Blaine (1922 – 1996), a widely respected painter, first came to Gloucester in 1943. By the mid-1950s when she began staying in the area on a regular basis, she was already a well-established New York artist. In 1974, Blaine purchased a house in East Gloucester which served as her summer residence and studio for the next 22 years. She had a love for her garden at her home in East Gloucester and painted many landscapes and still lifes full of color and excitement that capture the essence of summer on Cape Ann. Use Nell Blaine’s floral paintings to inspire paper flowers.

The Spring Kings

First Crowning at Our Lady of Good Voyage Church,1902 Cape Ann Museum Archives, Gift of Rosalie Harty [Acc. # 2682].

A sure sign of spring on Cape Ann is the annual Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit which is celebrated by Our Lady of Good Voyage Church and the D.E.S. Portuguese Club. The ceremony is traditionally held on Pentecost Sunday and has been taking place in Gloucester since 1902, thanks to a special Portuguese sea captain, Joseph P. Mesquita (1859-1933). After he and his crew survived a perilous ordeal at sea, Mesquita took it upon himself to bring to Gloucester a crowning ceremony that was widely practiced in the Azores. To read more about Capt. Mesquita’s ordeal and the crowning, visit our website.