Cape Ann Museum CAM Connects
In observation of Memorial Day this issue of CAM Connects seeks to remember the ways in which Cape Ann has been touched by war and to honor the U.S. military personnel who have died in service.

May 26, 2022

Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios (1909-1968), Detail of Give Your Blood, They are Giving Theirs (Sketch for Blood Donation Poster), 1944, watercolor on cardboard. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA. [Acc. #2022.032.04].

Dear Friends,

This Memorial Day weekend we reflect on the ultimate sacrifices made by those who served in the armed forces. Over the centuries Cape Ann has supplied its share of service members and this issue of CAM Connects pays tribute to defense of freedom. There are statues here to commemorate them, and statues here by them. For instance, did you know that the famed Cape Ann sculptor Walker Hancock was one of the real-life Monuments Men in World War II? Read about him in this issue.

Memorial Day is the traditional start to summer, and CAM is getting set to welcome you at both of our locations. June 11 is opening day for CAM Green with an exhibition of handmade quilts by long-time Gloucester resident Doris Prouty called In Her Mind's Eye. CAM is hosting Gloucester's Juneteenth Celebration on June 19th, and later in the summer we have an exhibition by Tim Ferguson Sauder entitled Americans Flags. CAM Green will be open this summer each week Friday through Sunday at no charge. 

So enjoy this start to summer by savoring the patriotism of Cape Ann residents and come visit us at both our locations to learn more.

With all best wishes,

Oliver Barker, Director


In observation of Memorial Day on Monday, May 30, this issue of CAM Connects seeks to remember the ways in which Cape Ann has been touched by war and to honor the U.S. military personnel who have died in service.

The content below includes a guided tour of the various war memorials around downtown Gloucester, the story of two young local women who found themselves in France volunteering for the American Field Service, the tale of a Monuments Man whose mission was saving art, a look at a red coat that switched sides, and a spotlight on the Veterans of Cape Ann.

To continue your exploration of military history on Cape Ann during your next visit to the Museum, check out the cannon ball on display that was lodged in the First Parish Church in downtown Gloucester during the Revolutionary War. Afterwards, stop by the Library & Archives to peruse the materials about the Grand Army of the Republic—the organization of former Union soldiers and sailors whose proclamation led to the first widely observed Memorial Day on May 30, 1868 commemorating the sacrifices of the soldiers in the Civil War.

We also invite you to explore the online archival exhibition Unfolding Histories to learn about wartime on Cape Ann before 1900, and to watch the CAM Video Vault program Two Brothers: Stories from the Front Lines of WWI.

Monuments of Gloucester

Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973), Joan of Arc monument in Legion Square, Gloucester, MA.

Learn about the various war memorials located in downtown Gloucester with the Cape Ann Museum’s guided video tour. This video highlights some of the monuments dedicated to the Gloucester men and women who fought or lost their lives in major conflicts throughout U.S. history. These conflicts include: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The video also touches upon the structure of these various monuments and gives some background on how they were made.

Behind the Scenes of the American Field Service: Lucy & Charlotte MacDonald

By Martha Van Koevering,
Historic New England

Caroline Armington, American Field Service Headquarters, Rue Raynouard Paris. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA. Gift of Robert and Ann DeMaine, 2018 [Acc. #2018.24].

War-torn France was an unlikely destination for a young woman from Gloucester, but it is where Lucy MacDonald found herself in 1918. In modern terms, she and her sister Charlotte were on the ground floor of a new start-up, the American Field Service.

At the outset of World War I, A. Piatt Andrew founded the American Field Service, an all-volunteer ambulance service working on the battlefields of France. While Piatt Andrew oversaw field operations in France, his neighbor on Eastern Point, Henry Sleeper, managed fundraising and recruitment efforts from the Boston office. Between 1914 and late 1917 when the United States entered the war, 2,500 volunteer AFS drivers transported more than 500,000 casualties.

(Left to right) Lucy MacDonald, host on ship, and Charlotte MacDonald on a trip to Cuba, early 1920s. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA. Gift of Robert and Ann DeMaine, 2018 [Acc. #2018.24].

Less well known are Charlotte and Lucy MacDonald, who worked alongside Sleeper and Andrew to support the American war effort. Born in Gloucester, the sisters lived with their parents at #2 Kent Circle. Working as Sleeper’s private secretary, Charlotte (1891-1978) supported the AFS fundraising efforts and recruited volunteer ambulance drivers from the Boston office. Lucy (1893-1988) traveled to Paris in 1918 to work as secretary at the headquarters of the American Field Service. She met and later married one of the volunteer ambulance drivers, Harry DeMaine, an accomplished artist.

Both Lucy and Charlotte treasured their work with the AFS. It must have been exciting to be part of a new venture, serving one’s country, and traveling overseas. Few women born in the nineteenth-century had a chance to view historic events from such a first-hand perspective, let alone contribute to them. These two sisters from Gloucester embraced the opportunity and left their mark on history at the same time.

The CAM Library & Archives is the proud repository of an archival collection of material pertaining to the sisters and their time with the American Field Service.

Walker Kirkland Hancock:
A Monuments Man

By Anne Rogers Haley,
CAM Board Member

(Left to right) George Stout, Sgt. Traverse, Walker Hancock, and Steven Kovalvak during the excavation of Bernterode, Germany in May 1945. Stout, Hancock, and Kovalvak were part of the group known as the Monuments Men. From the Walker Hancock Papers, 1911-1995. Courtesy of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Walker Kirkland Hancock (1901-1998) was first and foremost an artist: a sculptor of great repute. His first introduction to Gloucester and Lanesville - where he would eventually build his studio - came in the summer of 1921 when the prominent sculptor and teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, Charles Grafly (1862-1929), invited Walker to share his summer studio. Subsequently in 1930, Walker purchased a former granite quarry – Deep Hole – and built his studio. He continued to live and work in Gloucester until his death in 1998.

Walker was one of just ten British and American men (two were killed in action) who were working as Monuments Men in Europe during World War II before D-Day. [June 6, 1944, known as D-Day or Operation Overlord, was the day when 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on 5 beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy Region].

Working from limited information about monuments, archives, and fine art collections located throughout Europe, Walker was involved in many different sorts of salvage operations. In Belgium and later at the German mines (repurposed by the Germans for storing looted objects) in Siegen and then at Bernterode, Walker's work included discovering and salvaging diverse material stolen by the Nazis, keeping in mind that the packing and removal was hampered by hazardous conditions, limited supplies, and a lack of sufficient transportation and staff. Indeed, Walker and the other Monuments Men had to be ingenious and intrepid to complete their duties.

Continue reading here.

The Red Coat

Red Coat (Infantryman's Coat- 104th New Brunswick Regiment), c.1812, wool. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA. Gift of Annie S. Webber, 1946 [Acc. #1150.1].

During the War of 1812, a ship bound from Great Britain to Quebec was intercepted in the North Atlantic by a Salem privateer. Its cargo, which included 1,100 uniforms intended for the 104th New Brunswick Regiment, was seized.  Not long after, the uniforms were sold to the United States Army for four dollars each. Their acquisition was cited by the US Commissary General of Purchases in an 1813 letter to then Secretary of State James Monroe. He suggested that the coats’ buttons be removed and that they be issued to US Army musicians, as there was “no scarlet cloth in market” at the time. 

During this period, field musicians were typically outfitted with bright red uniforms, allowing them to be spotted more easily in the chaos of battle by commanding officers who made use of their drums and fifes to broadcast commands. In an era before modern radios, walkie-talkies, and megaphones, field musicians played a crucial role in communicating orders not just on the battlefield, but also during marches and at camp. Troops were trained to listen for an extensive vocabulary of drumrolls and fife calls that signaled everything from the simple “turn left” to more nuanced commands like “fetch firewood” and “gather all officers.”  

It's likely that not every coat from the shipment seized in 1812 made its way into US Army hands. In 1946, Annie S. Webber of Gloucester donated an unaltered 104th New Brunswick Regiment coat to what would later become the Cape Ann Museum. This coat was almost certainly among those captured, having somehow avoided the subsequent sale, and retaining its regimental buttons. Today, it is likely the only surviving example of a British enlisted man’s uniform from this rank and period in the country. It remains in the Cape Ann Museum’s collection, quietly on display in the Cape Ann Gallery, a far cry from the tumult of war, privateers and the stormy North Atlantic.

Cape Ann Veterans Services

(Left) Navy veteran Jo Ann Sanfilippo holds her self-portrait.
(Center) Army veteran and Gloucester police Patrolman Brendan Chipperini looks at himself in a mirror as he draws himself.
(Right) Cape Ann Veterans Services Director Adam Curcuru holds his self-portrait. Photographs by Paul Bilodeau, 2021. Images courtesy of the Gloucester Daily Times.

To this day, Cape Ann is home to a large population of Veterans, many of whom work with Cape Ann Veterans Services. This local organization provides a community delivered approach to Veterans services and resources. At its foundation, the office is guided by Massachusetts regulations in the issuance of low-income state benefits to Veterans and their families and assists Veterans in navigating the federal VA benefits they have earned. Cape Ann Veterans Services aims to foster relationships between Veterans and Community, build upon the concepts of service and togetherness, and educate future generations. 

In conjunction with local Veterans organizations, Cape Ann Veterans Services hosts Veterans Day and Memorial Day observances and works to actively increase community involvement and education. Cape Ann Veterans Services recognizes community needs and services through partnership with existing community organizations and ensures services are reaching Veteran audiences. Currently, the organization is working with the Gloucester 400+ Stories Projecta citywide undertaking with the goal of collecting, preserving, and sharing 400 stories of Gloucester and its people. Through this collaboration, the important stories of Cape Ann Veterans will be accessible for future generations.

In 2021, several Cape Ann Veterans joined with the Cape Ann Museum to created portraits for Quilted Together: An Exhibit of Community Portraits in an event called "Patriots, Portraits, and Picnics," featured in the above photograph. The Veterans also participated in “Saluting Flags and Veterans,” one of the first events at CAM Green in 2020.  Adam Curcuru, District Director of Cape Ann Veterans Services, and Vee Chipperini, District Veterans Benefits Coordinator, spoke about what being a veteran means to them and the meaning behind the American flag. The flag was then raised by some of the youngest members of the Cape Ann Museum community while local bugler Jim Dalpiaz played. 

The City of Gloucester's Memorial Day Observance will be held inside Gloucester High School Auditorium on Monday, May 30, 2022, at 9 a.m.

For more information on the services provided by the Cape Ann Veterans Services organization, click here