Gloucester Sea Serpent
The Gloucester Sea Serpent is like a Massachusetts Loch Ness monster though an ocean rather than freshwater creature. Alleged sightings date back to 1638; see excellent research by Lise Breen for the HarborWalk marker #19 “The Sea Serpent”.
In 2017, the Cape Ann Museum (CAM) celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Sea Serpent’s peak folklore moment when hundreds of accounts were published in newspapers. (In comparison, the first written record of a monster in Loch Ness dates way back to 565, picks up popular speed by 1802, and on to global recognition by 1933). Swampscott and North Shore sightings surged as competition with Newport and other summer tourism hotspots increased. Sea serpent inspired art across media continued into the 20th and 21st centuries.
Below: A Sea Serpent at Cressy Beach Stage Fort Park in Gloucester was originally painted by fine artist Robert Stephenson circa 1960 and is kept fresh by adoring community. Many moons ago, a free standing climber serpent was a favorite element at the Stage Fort Park playground. My photos in this post span years/seasons, roughly 2011-2019. Hover for descriptive details or double click & enlarge.
July 20, 2019
The new sculpture commission, Gloucester Sea Serpent, by Chris Williams at Cape Ann Museum was dedicated July 20, 2019, to honor Ronda Faloon, distinguished Cape Ann Museum Director (2006-2019) who retired in 2019.
Look for the serpent’s nocturne visage: the Williams sculpture is the first one on museum grounds to incorporate light amidst its mixed media.
The Gloucester Sea Serpent at the entrance joins other sculptures on view in the Cape Ann Museum Courtyard and Sculpture Garden, a special public space dedicated to the memory of Harold Bell, President of Cape Ann Museum (1979-2003).
ALBERT HENRY ATKINS (1880-1951) Spirt of the Sea 1915 bronze [fun fact courtesy Alex Monell: architect (Cape Ann Museum & CAM board) Don Monell held this sculpture on his property until the best re-siting]
ROBERT AMORY, Reflection, 1970 gift of the artist
KEN HRUBY Uneasy Crown, Uneasy Chair, Uneasy Piece, 1986 (cast 2008) Gift of Judith McCulloch in memory of Harold Bell
And dappled today, GEORGE DEMETRIOS bronze fountain, Spring
Across the street, the Cape Ann Museum sculpture park and gardens designed by Clara Batchelor, CBA Landscape Architect Principal, opened in 2011. Its centerpiece features
JOHN RAIMONDI sculpture, Dance of the Cranes