Gloucester Sea Serpent Sighting | Cape Ann Museum unveils new public art

CHRIS WILLIAMS_Sea Serpent bronze glass granite Cape Ann Musuem commissioned sculpture tribute to Ronda Faloon_unveiled July 20 2019_Gloucester MASS_©c ryan (2).jpg
photo caption: Chris Williams, Gloucester Sea Serpent, 2019, 9 feet tall mixed media metal sculpture (bronze, glass, granite), collection Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., a 2018 commisioned gift of CAM and donors in honor of Ronda Faloon, Cape Ann Museum Director (2006-2019). Chris Williams resides and works in Essex, Mass. © c ryan

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.

Sea Serpent exhibition banner_Cape Ann Museum Gloucester MA_20171028_©c ryan
photo caption: Cape Ann Museum – street banners heralding Sea Serpent Exhibition 2017

 

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.

CHRIS WILLIAMS_Sea Serpent bronze glass granite Cape Ann Musuem commissioned sculpture tribute to Ronda Faloon_unveiled July 20 2019_Gloucester MASS_©c ryan (7)

 

Before

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]

ALBERT HENRY ATKINS_ 1880 to 1951 _Spirit of the Sea_1915 bronze_Arion_Cape Ann Museum_Gloucester MASS_sculpture courtyard _20180830_©c ryan.jpg

 

ROBERT AMORY, Reflection, 1970 gift of the artist

ROBERT AMORY sculpture_Cape Ann Museum courtyard sculpture garden_20171028_© cryanLooking back to city hall through ROBERT AMORY sculpture Cape Ann Museum courtyard_Gloucester MA _20180830_©c ryan

 

KEN HRUBY Uneasy Crown, Uneasy Chair, Uneasy Piece, 1986 (cast 2008) Gift of Judith McCulloch in memory of Harold Bell

KEN HRUBY Uneasy Crown Uneasy Chair Uneasy Piece 1986 cast 2008 _Cape Ann Museum courtyard sculpture garden_20171028_© cryan

 

And dappled today, GEORGE DEMETRIOS bronze fountain, Spring

dappled GEORGE DEMETRIOS Spring bronze fountain_Cape Ann Museum_sculpture courtyard_Gloucester MASS_©c ryan _20190721.jpg

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

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