Massachusetts Museum Guide: upcoming art exhibits at 150 institutions

installation view at ICA The Water Shed_JOHN AKOMFRAH PURPLE_2019_© photograph catherine ryan (5).jpg

Last Chance! These must see 2019 shows are closing soon: Don’t miss ICA Watershed Purple (installation view above) closing September 2;  DeCordova New England Biennial and the Provincetown Art Association & Museum’s 1945 Chaim Gross exhibition close September 15; and catch Renoir at the Clark before it’s gone September 22nd.

A few of the listed upcoming exhibitions to note: the NEW building and exhibits at PEM are opening September 2019; Homer at the Beach is on display at Cape Ann Museum thru December 1 (and catch a Richard Ormond lecture on John Singer Sargent’s Charcoals Sept.28 at Cape Ann Museum (ahead of the Morgan exhibition opening October);  three new shows opening at MFA; Gordon Parks at Addison; and Alma Thomas at Smith. A Seuss-focused experience was pronounced destined for Boston, ahead of its TBD venue, by the LA entertainment company co-founders. Some shows I’ve already visited and may write about, mostly from a dealer’s perspective as that is my background. Exhibition trends continue to evolve and reveal new directions. A few patterns I see in the exhibition titles: what’s annointed for display and how it’s contextualized (corrective labels); immersive exhibits; revisiting colonial methodologies and themes; major solo surveys; women artists (and this upcoming season boost underscoring womens’ suffrage and 100th anniversary of the ratification of women’s right to vote); illustration; environment; and issues of humanity and migration. The list is illustrated with images of the sites. All photographs mine unless otherwise noted. Right click or hover to see info; click to enlarge. – Catherine Ryan

The guide – Massachusetts Museum Guide, Fall 2019

Note from author: The list below is alphabetized by town, and details upcoming exhibitions at each venue as well as some that are closing soon. Click the word “website” (color gray on most monitors) for hyperlinks that redirect to venues. For a list alphabetically sorted by venue, see my Google Map (with a Candy Trail overlay) “Art Museums in Massachusetts” here and embedded at the end of this post. I pulled the map together several years ago. No apps to download or website jumping. Easy scroll down so you don’t miss an exhibit that’s closer than you think to one that you may already be exploring. A few are open seasonally (summer) or weekends only–call first to check before visiting. Major new architectural building projects are underway at BU (closed) and MIT. The 54th Regiment Memorial on Boston Common will undergo restoration. Get ready for close observation of conservation in process.  – Catherine

AMESBURY

1. John Greenleaf Whittier historic Home and Museum website 

AMHERST 

2. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art website

  • September 7, 2019- March 1, 2020 Under the Sea with Eric Carle
  • Through October 27, 2019 The Picture Book Odysseys of Peter Sis video of exhibition
  • November 10, 2019 – April 5, 2020 The Pursuit of Everything: Maria Kalman’s Books for Children
  • Through December 1, 2019 William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary

3. Emily Dickinson Museum website ongoing special guided tours through two historic house museums- Homestead and Evergreens, and programs

4. Eli Marsh Gallery – Amherst College website

  • September 16-October 11, 2019 Do Things to Images: An Exhibition by Odette England

5. Mead Art Museum –  Amherst College website

  • Opening September 12, 2019 Rotherwas Project 5 | Christopher Myers: The Red Plague Rid You for Learning Me Your Language
  • Through September 11, 2019 Fleeting Nature: Selections from Collection
  • Fall 2019 Ten Years of Trinkett Clark Memorial Student Acquisitions
  • Opening December 2019 Students’ museum seminar exhibition
  • Through January 5, 2020 Constructing Collage

ANDOVER

6. Addison Gallery of American Art Philips Andover website

  • September 1, 2018- July 31, 2020 A Wildness Distant from Ourselves: Art and Ecology in 19th-Century America press release
  • September 1, 2018 – December 15, 2019 The Art of Ambition in the Colonial Northeast press release
  • September 1 – November 15, 2019 George Washington: American Icon press release
  • October 5, 2019 – January 5 2020 Men of Steel, Women of Wonder press release
  • February 1 – April 26, 2020 Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940-1950 press release

ARLINGTON

7. Cyrus E. Dallin (1861-1944) Art Museum website

ATTELBORO

8. Attleboro Arts Museum (like NSAA) website

BELMONT

9. The Belmont Woman’s Club & 1853 Winslow Homer (seasonal) website historic house museum

BEVERLY

10. Montserrat College of Art website

  • Through September 13, 2019 Montserrat Gallery | Julian Howley: Building Better Mobs
  • Through September 21, 2019 Ashley Brown Durand: It’s Ok to Feel Things
  • Through October 12, 2019 301 Gallery | Adrian Fernandez Milanes

11. Murals, Cabot Street Beverly

 

12. Beverly Public Library website

 

13. Long Hill historic home and gardens 114 acres website 

BOSTON

14. Boston Athenaeum website

  • September 17, 2019 – March 14, 2020 Required Reading: Reimagining a Colonial Library on display in the Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery press release

15. Boston Black Heritage Trail, NPS website

photo info: Visitors will see the Robert Gould Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial undergoing conservation beginning fall 2019

16. Boston Children’s Museum website

Boston Children's Museum_20190828_Hood icon © c ryan

  • Through September 30th HUMAN GARDEN | Handmade Installation by Lani Asuncion on display in The Gallery
  • Through Fall 2019 Pickup Music Project www.pickupmusicproject.com
  • iconic permanent public art/architecture, i.e. Hood Milk Carton; mini temporary displays and/or art commissions integrated every floor

17. Boston Freedom Trail website

18. Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park website

(photos show info gateway on the Greenway near the ferry access to Boston Harbor Islands)

  • Summer 2019 public art: Boston Harbor [Re]creation The Project: Artists Marsha Parrilla; Robin MacDonald-Foley; Brian Sonia-Wallace more(Jury: Luis Cotto MCC; Lucas Cowan, The Greenway; Celena illuzzi, National Parks; Caroly Lewenberg; Denise Sarno-Bucca DCR; Courtney Shape, City of Boston; Rebecca Smerling Boston Harbor Now; Kera Washingon; Cynthia Woo, Pao Arts Center)

19. Boston Public Library website

  • Through November 10, 2019 America Transformed: Mapping the 19th Century, special exhibitions, more

20. Boston Society of Architects website

  • Through October 25, 2019 Canstruction 2019
  • Through December 31, 2019 2019 BSA Design Awards 
  • December 6 – January 2, 2019 8th Annual Gingerbread House Design Competition
  • January 10, 2020- May 15, 2020 The Architecture of Time
  • February 14 – April 5, 2020 Women in Design Award of Excellence 20th Anniversary celebratin and exhibition
  • February 21 – May 31, 2020 Durable: Sustainable Material Ecologies Vilna Shul website

21. Boston University BU Art Galleries website

  • Reopening Fall 2020 – 808 Gallery (temporary closures)
  • Reopening Fall 2020 – Faye G., Jo & James Stone Gallery (temporary closures)
  • Annex

22. Design Museum, Boston website

23. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway website 

Super A_ Stefan Thelen_Resonance_2019_Greenway mural Boston Massachusetts© photograph c ryan.jpg

  • Unveiled 2019 – Super A (Stefan Thelen) Resonance, 2019, latex and spray paint
    • Note to Greenway (see photo notes below): food trucks by the stop should be relocated to other food truck areas (and maybe one tree) to optimize and welcome sight line to the Greenway and public spaces from streets, sidewalk, and South Station. There are pauses elsewhere along the lattice park links, and a generous approach past the wine bar. The temporary commissioned mural could extend verso (or invite a second artist) so that the approach from Zakim Bridge/RT1/93North is as exciting as the approach from Cape Cod.
  • Skip the app AI download– swamped my phone battery despite free WiFi on the Greenway.
  • See complete list of 2019 public art currently on view at The Greenway here
  • The Greenway packs a lot of punch in a compressed area; its lattice of dynamic public spaces and quiet passages are an easy stroll into the North End or along the HarborWalk to the ICA, roughly similar in size and feel as walking Battery Park and Hudson River Park in New York City.
college students from Boston University volunteer grounds keeping before the semester kicks off_ at The Greenway_Boston Mass_20190828_©c ryan.jpg
photo credit: Grounds help | College students from Boston University volunteering before the semester kicks off at The Greenway, Boston MA © c ryan _20190828_
ICA needs to be on these wayfinding guides.jpg
p.s. Need to add ICA to The Greenway wayfinding 

24. Innovation and Design building (aka Boston Design Building makeover in process in winter 2016 photos posted here) website

25. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum website

  • Through September 15, 2019 BIG PLANS: Picturing Social Reform more
  • Through October 20, 2019 Contemporary Art  Joan Jonas: i know why they left more
  • Through January 14, 2020 Anne H. Fitzpatrick Facade Laura Owens: Untitled 
  • October 17, 2019 – January 20, 2020 In the Company of Artists featuring Sophie Calle, Bharti Kher, Luisa Lambri, Laura Owens, Rachel Perry, Dayanita Singh, and Su-Mei Tse

26. Guild of Boston Artists website

  • Through September 28, 2019 Annual Regional Juried Exhibition 2019 Winners announced September 21, 2019. The 2018 gold winner, Leon Doucette of Gloucester, exhibiting again, and Melissa Cooper. more

27. ICA Institute of Contemporary Art website

ICA BOSTON_silvery day_©c ryan.jpg

  • On display at The Water Shed ICA Boston venue

installation view at ICA The Water Shed_JOHN AKOMFRAH PURPLE_2019_© photograph catherine ryan (7)

  • Through September 2, 2019 at The Water Shed, ICA Boston John Akomfrah: Purple more 
  • What’s coming in 2020 to The Water Shed? Still TBA
  • Through September 22, 2019 ICA Less Is a Bore: Maximilist Art & Design more

Nice installation with a few surprises and thoughtful connection to other exhibtions on view. (The LeWit and Johns selections triggered what about that work or artist? I wish May Stevens and Harmony Hammond were included and my list grew from there. That’s part of the fun of the exhibit.)

ICA installation view_Less is More 2019 © photo copyright Catherine Ryan

  • September 24 – February 7, 2021 ICA Yayoi Kusama: Love is Calling more
  • September 24 – February 7, 2021 ICA Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama more
  • October 23, 2019 – January 26, 2020 ICA When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art more
  • Through December 31, 2019 ICA 2019 James and Audrey Foster Prize Boston area artists: Rashin Fahandej; Josephine Halvorson; Lavaughan Jenkins; Helga Roht Poznanski more 
  • Through December 31, 2019 ICA Vivian Suter more 
  • January 17, 2020 – March 15, 2020 ICA Fineberg Art Wall | Nina Chanel Abney mural more

ICA Boston installation view_Fineberg Art Wall_ artist Nina Chanel Abney _ 2019 © photograph copyright Catherine Ryan.jpg

  • January 20, 2020 – July 5, 2020 ICA Tschabalala Self: Around the Way more
  • January 20, 2020 – July 5, 2020 ICA Carolina Caycedo more
  • February 26 – May 17, 2020 ICA Sterling Ruby more
  • July 1, 2020 – October 18, 2020 ICA Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech more

28. John F. Kennedy JFK Presidential Library & Museum, UMASS Boston website

  • Through November 28, 2019 JFK 100: Milestones & Mementos  more
  • Through December 31, 2019 Freedom 7 Space Capsule more

29. Massachusetts State House art collection website  and Boston Commons public arts and spaces

30. McMullen Museum of Art BC – Boston College website

  • September 9, 2019 William Trost Richards: Hieroglyphs of Landscape more
  • September 9, 2019 Simon Dinnerstein: “The Fulbright Triptych” more
  • September 9, 2019 Alen MacWeeney and a Century of New York Street Photography more 
  • September 9, 2019 Mary Armstrong: Conditions of Faith more

31. MAAH – Museum of African American History, Boston website

32. MFA – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website 

Museum of Fine Arts Boston_20170113_Manship sculptures © c ryan.jpg

  • September 13, 2019 – May 3, 2021 Women Take the Floor (The fugitive textiles and printmaking sections will rotate out Part 1 May 2020) at the MFA more 
  • October 12, 2019 – August 9, 2020 Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Family and Friends at the MFA more
  • October 13, 2019 – January 20, 2020 Ancient Nubia Now at the MFA more 

installation at MFA underway _20190820_readying for Ancient Nubia ©c ryan.jpg

  • Through October 14, 2019 Community Arts Mindful Mandlas at the MFA
  • Through December 15, 2019 Viewpoints: Photographs from art dealer Howard Greenberg Collection at the MFA more 

big league photo art dealer Howard Greenberg stellar vintage photography collection.jpg

  • Through January 20, 2020 Make Believe: Five Contemporary photographers at the MFA more
  • Through January 20, 2020 Kay Nielsen’s Enchanted Vision at the MFA more
  • Through February 20, 2020 Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death at the MFA more
  • Through February 23, 2020  Jackson Pollock |  Katharina Grosse Abstraction on a Massive Scale at the MFA more

POLLOCK at MFA orginially commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim.jpg

  • March 1, 2020  – May 25, 2010 Lucian Freud: The Self Portraits at the MFA more 
  • Through March 8, 2020 Collecting Stories: Mid Century Experiment at the MFA
  • Through March 29, 2020 Boston Made Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork at the MFA more
  • Through June 30, 2020 Conservation in Action: Japanes Buddhist Sculpure at the MFA

33. Otis House Museum, Historic New England website historic house museum

34. Paul Revere House website

35. Society of Arts & Crafts, at Pier 4 Boston website 

  • Sepember 10 2019 – November 10, 2019 Kogei-Kyoto x SA+C, Boston more
  • save the date: Society visits Gloucester, Mass

36. USS Constitution, NPS website

BREWSTER 

37. Cape Cod Museum of Natural History website

  • Long term display in the Naturescape Gallery James Prosek and Barbara Harmon (see also Thornton Burgess in East Sandwich) 

BROCKTON

38. Fuller Craft Museum heads into 51st season website

  • Opens September 7, 2019 Striking Gold: Fuller at Fifty press release 
  • Opens September 7, 2019 Gleam: Golden Selections from the Permanent Collection press release
  • Through September 8, 2019 Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Latino Artists
  • Opens September 28, 2019 Human Impact: Stories of the Opiod Epidemic
  • Through October 6, 2019 Brockton Youth Creates
  • Opens October 19, 2019 Stitch by Stitch: Activist Quilts from the Social Justice Sewing Academy
  • Through October 27, 2019 Take It Outside: Works from the Boston Sculptors Gallery
  • Through October 27, 2019 Maine Crafts Association: Ten Years of Master Craft Artistshttps://larzanderson.org/exhibits/goldenage/
  • Through November 17, 2019 Elizabeth Potenza: “Look up,” she said, “there is more color than you ever imagined.
  • Opens January 25, 2020 Stephanie Cole: Secular Cathedral
  • Opens May 2, 2020 Another Crossing: Artists Revisit the Mayflower Voyage
  • Through May 3, 2020 Tending the Fires: Recent Acquisitions in Clay

BROOKLINE

39. Larz Anderson Auto Museum website

  • Through mid April 2020 Golden Age – Era of Distinction, Style and Grace 1915-1948 more
  • Permanent display – The Anderson Collection 

CANTON

40. Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate  website

41. Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon website

  • Through September 15, 2019 Under Pressure– Birds in the Printed Landscape: Linocuts by Sherrie York more
  • Through September 29, 2019 The Shorebird Decoys of Gardner & Dexter more

CAMBRIDGE

Harvard – 

42.  Harvard Art Museums (Fogg; Busch-Reisinger; and Arthur M. Sackler) website

Why do any of the Harvard museums charge an entrance fee?

  • Through January 5, 2020 Winslow Homer: Eyewitness (in conjunction with Cape Ann Museum Homer exhibition) University Research Gallery
  • Through January 5, 2020 Early Christian Africa: Arts of Transformation
  • Through January 5, 2020 Critical Printing
  • Through January 5, 2020 Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art
  • Through November 14, 2021 On Site Clay — Modeling African Design

43. Harvard – Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts website

  • Through September 29, 2019 Anna Oppermann: Drawings

Harvard Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts closed for event_20190705_©c ryan.jpg

The Carpenter Center was closed for an event on the day I scheduled to see the Oppermann exhibition – good reminder to call first for the must see shows on your list.

  •  Jonathan Berger: An Introduction to Nameless Love
  • Harvard Film Archive weekly film series

44. Harvard – ‘The Cooper Gallery’ / The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art website

The Cooper Gallery Harvard University_20190705_Boston MA_ ©c ryan.jpg

  • September 16 – December 13, 2019 The Sound of My Soul: Frank Stewart’s Life in Jazz photography, curated by Ruth Fine
  • the Gordon Park exhibition that recently closed was on my list of top shows for 2019

45. Harvard – Gutman Gallery website

  • Through August 30, 2019 Sneha Shrestha (aka Imagine), Ed.M.’17

46. Harvard –  Graduate School of Design Gund Hall Exhibition website

47. Harvard – Ernst Mayr Library website

48. Harvard – Houghton Library website

49. Harvard – Lamont Library (Harvard ID required) website

  • Through March 29, 2020 Harvard College International Photo Contest Winners

50. Harvard –  Museum of Natural History website

  • September 25, 2019 – December 31, 2019 Rotten Apples: Botanical Models of Diversity and Disease at Harvard Museum of Natural History more
  • Ongoing, Glass Flowers Gallery

51. Harvard – Peabody Museum of Archaeology website

  • Through December 31, 2019 Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology more

52. Harvard- Pusey Library Exhibition Gallery website

  • Through October 31, 2019 Mapping the Moon in Black and White Harvard Map Collection
  • Through January 22, 2020 The Rittase Touch: Photographic Views of Harvard in the 1930s

53. Harvard – Widener Library (Harvard ID required) website

  • Though September 30, 2019 Colonial North America: Portals to the Past

54. Central Square Murals, Cambridge website

MIT –

55. MIT Museum website  **OCTOBER 2021 MIT Museum moving to KENDALL SQUARE**

  • Through September 1, 2019 Arresting Fragments: Object Photography at the Bauhaus  more
  • Opens October 11, 2019 The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology more 
  • Opens November 7, 2019 Making Digital Tangible more
  • Through May 1, 2021 Lighter, Stronger, Faster: The Herreshoff Legacy design and engineering and the Hereshoff Manufacturing Co. more
  • Ongoing Harold Edgerton exhibit; Holography collection; and Gestural Engineering: The Sculpture of Arthur Ganson

56. MIT List Visual Arts Center website MIT Media Lab more

  • Through September 15, 2019 Student Lending Art program more
  • Through October 20, 2019 List Projects: Farah Al Qasimi more
  • October 18, 2019 – January 5, 2020 Alicja Kwade: In Between Glances more
  • December 12, 2019 – February 9, 2020 List Projects: Becca Albee more
  • February 7, 2020 – April 12, 2020 Christine Sun Kim: Off the Charts more
  • February 7, 2020 – April 12, 2020 Colored People Time: Mundane Futures, Quotidian Pasts, Banal Presents more
  • March 17, 2020 – May 17, 2020 List Projects: Rami George more

57. MIT Hart Nautical Gallery website

58. MIT Museum Studio and Compton Gallery student projects website

59. MIT School of Architecture Galleries website

  • September 1 Gallery 9 SA+P Thesis show website
  • School of Architecture Dean’s Gallery website
  • School of Architecture Keller Gallery website
  • Rotch Library Exhibition space website
  • Through September 30 GRAND CANYON: Geology, Exploration Tourism and Architecture more 
  • Through October 4, 2019 A theater without theater on display Maihaugen Gallery and Rotch Library more
  • Opens December 9, 2019 ACT Fall Studio Final exhibit
  • PLAZmA Digital Gallery website

60. MIT Wiesner Student Art Gallery website Stratton Student Center

  • Through September 15, 2019 Surrounded by Digitized Faces and Bodies 

61. Mount Auburn Cemetery website 

62. Museum of Science, Boston website

Museum of Science_20170530_George Rhodes 1987 commission, Archimedean Excogitation, mesmerizing audiokinetic sculpture ©c ryan.jpg

  • Temporary art and photography exhibitions top floor moments of excellence
  • Ongoing George Rhodes 1987 commission, Archimedean Excogitation, mesmerizing audiokinetic sculpture (Relocated to lobby 2015- I prefered lower level.)
  • Ongoing Katherine Lane Weems (1899-1989) animal sculptures. MoS is the largest repository of her work.
  • Historic Eames installation dismantled 😦

CLINTON

63. Museum of Russian Icons website

  • Through October 20, 2019 Wrestling With Angels Icons from the Prosopon School of Iconology and Iconography more
  • November 15, 2019 – March 8, 2020 Emil Hoppe: Photographs from the Ballet Russes more

CONCORD

64. Louisa May Alcott Orchard House 399 Lexington Road, Concord, Massachusetts 01742, United States (978) 369-4118 guided tours year round plus special events

65. Ralph Waldo Emerson House (seasonal) website

66. Walden Pond State Reservation – Henry David Thoreau website

67. Concord Museum website

  • Opening October 19, 2019 Concord Collects 
  • February 14, 2020 Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere press release

COTUIT

68. Cahoon Museum of American Art website

  • September 6 – October 30, 2019 Through the Looking Glass: Daguerreotype Masterworks from the Dawn of Photography
  • October 6 – October 30, 2019 Cahoon Contemporaries: Jodi Colella, Jackie Reeves, Kimberly Sheering
  • November 8 – December 22, 2019 Soo Sunny Park: Boundary Conditions installation
  • November 8 – December 22, 2019 Gretchen Romey Tanzer Weaver
  • Rotating – Highlights from the collection; New Acquisitions; Cahoon studio tours; and historical installation designed by Mary Ann Agresti  

DALTON

69. Crane Museum of Papermaking website Founded in 1930. Mill venue dates to 1844, built after papermaker Zenas Crane’s retirement

DENNIS 

70. Cape Cod Museum of Art – 39th year website

  • Through October 6, 2019 Milton Teichman sculpture
  • Through October 20, 2019 Ship of State…Paintings by Robert Henry
  • Through December 21, 2019 Interpreting Their World: Varujan Boghosian, Carmen Cicero, Elspeth Halvorsen and Pual Resika

DUXBURY 

71. The Art Complex Museum (Weyerhaeuser collection) website

  • August 18 – November 10, 2019 Steve Novick: Approximation 
  • September 15 -January 12, 2020 Draw the Line
  • September 15 – January 12, 2020 Rotations: Highlights From the Permanent Collection Nocturne including Lowell Birge Harrison (American, 1854–1929), Suzanne Hodes (American, b. 1939), Kawase Hasui (Japanese, 1883–1957), George Inness (American, 1825–1894), Johan Barthold Jongkind (Dutch, 1819–1891) Martin Lewis (American, 1881–1962), and Henri Eugene Le Sidaner (French, 1862-1939)
  • November 17 – February 16, 2020 George Herman Found Paintings

EAST SANDWICH

72. Thornton W. Burgess Society Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen website *may join Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster to combine and become the Cape Cod Museums of Natural History

ESSEX

73. Essex Shipbuilding Museum website

  • September 8th and 15th, 2019 Clam Basket Making Workshop
  • September 12-13th,2019  The Great Rowing Adventure, the first collaborative rowing program with Lowell’s Boat Shop and the Essex Shipbuilding Museum

74. TOHP Burnham Town Hall & Library, Essex website don’t miss Alexia Parker paper collage

TOHP Burnham town hall and library_20190416_©c ryan.jpg

FITCHBURG

75. Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM) website

  • Through September 1, 2019 84th Regional Exhibition of Art and Craft
  • Through September 1, 2019 Broad Strokes: American Painting of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries from the FAM collection
  • September 7, 2019 – January 5, 2020 Sage Sohier/David Hilliard: Our Parents, Ourselves more
  • September 21, 2019 – November 10, 2019 Adria Arch: Reframing Eleanor more
  • September 21, 2019 Daniela Rivera: Labored Landscapes (Where Hand Meets Ground) more 
  • September 21, 2019 – January 12, 2020 David Katz: Earth Wares more
  • Ongoing Evoking Eleanor; Discover Ancient Egypt; Thurston sculpture by Douglas Kornfeld

FRAMINGHAM

76. Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham State Univ.  website

  • September 7 – October 13, 2019 Populux Steven Duede | Sean Sullivan on display in the works on paper gallery
  • September 7 – December 30, 2019 Dressed! Exhibiting artists include Catherine Bertulli, Jodi Colella, Merill Comeau, Mia Cross, Nancy Grace Horton, and Marky Kauffmann
  • September 7 – May 2020 Highlights from the Permanent Collection

GLOUCESTER

Continue reading “Massachusetts Museum Guide: upcoming art exhibits at 150 institutions”

Gloucester in the news: Nell Porter Brown fabulous Beauport Sleeper McCann article in Harvard Magazine

Harvard Magazine, May-June 2018,  “Gloucester’s Beauport Mansion” by Nell Porter Brown is well done, sprinkled with quotes from site manager Martha Van Koevering, and with special upcoming tour announcements for the season at this Historic New England property, 75 Eastern Point Blvd, Gloucester, Mass., open May 26-October 13. Beauport was designed by Henry Davis Sleeper and executed by and with architect Halfdan Hanson. One must go and go again to Beauport!

excerpt:

“Sleeper’s brother inherited Beauport, but couldn’t afford to keep it. In 1935, the conservation-minded Helena Woolworth McCann, heir to the Woolworth department store chain, bought the mansion and preserved it virtually as Sleeper had left it. The McCann family spent several years summering there, but by 1941 both she and her husband had died. Their children, knowing their mother’s wish that Beauport be preserved as a house museum, donated it to Historic New England with the caveat that they could stay there whenever they wanted. One of them often did, into the 1970s, amicably closing the door to her quarters in the “Red Indian” room when tours came through. And therein lies much of Beauport’s appeal. It’s not…”

 

Read more – Download PDF

 

 

 

$463,141: City Council okays 14 CPA grants for 2016. Info meeting for 2017 application February 8th

Congratulations to the 2016 (round 7) awardees!  Their final presentations were at City Council on Tuesday.

 

Since Gloucester voted to approve the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in 2008, the city has administered 7 rounds of funded projects throughout our community. Have a look at who you helped fund in 2016

  1. North Shore CDC and Action, Harbor Village *missing this photo but great presentation!
  2. Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association, Wheeler School House & GFD Riverdale Hose, No 2
  3. Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Civil War Monument
  4. Generous Gardeners, Stacy Boulevard Gardens
  5. Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee, Welcome Center Renovations
  6. Community Development Dept., Stage Fort Park Beautification Project
  7. City Clerk’s Office, Archives Initial Storage Project, Phase I
  8. Oak Grove Cemetery, Oak Grove Cemetery continued restoration
  9. Gloucester Committee for the Arts, “Out of the Shadows: Gloucester’s historic Depression Era Mural” preserve & restore murals with refined project scope,discovery and schedule of work
  10. Historic New England, Beauport Museum, outer building roof replacement
  11. Sargent Museum, Preservation of porch, granite steps & retaining wall
  12. Gloucester Writers Center, Preservation of Maud/Olsen Library & GWC Archives
  13. Maritime Gloucester, Rehab & Restoration of the railway
  14. Friends of Burnham’s Field, Continued rehab of Phase I of Burnham’s Field Restoration

Safe bet you might know someone assisting one of these projects. Who else helps?  The volunteers on the Community Preservation Committee are fantastic: Catherine Bill Dugan, Catherine Schlichte, Henry McCarl, David Rhinelander, John Feener, Barbara Silberman, Heide Wakeman, Ellen Preston, and Scott Smith. There’s no break for this committee. From start to finish the process from an applicant’s perspective takes nearly a year. Depending upon the project, it will involve assistance from the Community Preservation Committee, City staff and various departments, City Council, City Council sub committees, and the administration.  Just as one round winds down, the next year’s process and round of applicants gears up. Visit the Community Preservation Committee page on the City website to learn more about the CPA and to see prior projects.

Save the date:The Community Preservation Committee will be hosting an information meeting for prospective 2017 applicants at Sawyer Free on  February 8, 2017 at 6pm. Applications are due April 17, 2017.

Debbie Laurie, a Senior Project Manager in the Community Development Department who manages Grants and CPA for the City writes about the info meeting: “We want to help guide applicants through the process and answer any questions you may have before filling out an application.  We can also determine if your project is actually eligible or not.  Please pass the word around if you know of anyone that may be interested. “

Proposed building plans Sawyer Free Library, City Hall…Whoa! In the news plus the 1973 appeal led by Joseph Garland, universal access, and archives

“No finer place for sure, downtown.”

photo-from-c-r
“Fate of historic buildings uncertain” Gloucester Daily Times, Ray Lamont, Jan 3 2017

Seeing double? Yes, you’re supposed to. The Sawyer Free Library addition was designed to mirror Cape Ann Museum as a balanced and nuanced architectural symmetry in deference to City Hall, and catalyst for a graceful center.

img_20161207_114325
Cape Ann Museum, December 2017

Sawyer Free Library has announced a public meeting January 11th for discussions of a new building. (See the flyer at the end of this post.)

City Hall may have some upcoming construction on the Dale Avenue side as well.

Both projects are largely in the name of accessibility of a physical nature. Can they be cost effective, worthy of our history and culture, protect our significant buildings, and address current and future needs? The following are some of the issues, local coverage, links to resources, and archival material for your interest.

HANDICAP PARKING SPACES BY CITY HALL- Do we have enough?

Although there are several new handicap parking spaces along Dale Avenue by City Hall, carving out the landscape on the left for more spots is in the cards because of grant money. Why? Several people told me that Dale Avenue parking spaces are hazardous for anyone exiting on the street. Although I do not want to minimize any pressing needs, I still ask, “Really?” Have we become so car dependent we would rather a thoroughfare here than the elegant streetscape we have (once a tree lined walk from the train station.) I was also told that it will increase visitation counts. It is an unfair advantage that historic sites with access to more funding (Monticello, Smithsonian, Colonial Williamsburg, and more) are better equipped to face these seemingly no-win situations. But there are creative retrofitting options for Gloucester, too.  Universal design is about balance, not chasing funding sources at the expense of preservation and beauty, nor backwards planning.

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Dale Avenue c.1910
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City Hall, December 2017
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The site of possible razing and paving

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NEW LIBRARY 2016. And 1973.

Before the current 2015-16 library outreach, the library hosted extensive visioning sessions throughout 2013. I went to a couple, and I was invited to take part in a focus group (on schools and the library.)  A completely new library and jettisoning of the historic Saunders library building was not an expressed community value. What were some common discussion points? A strategy for digitization of historic archives and newspapers, more staff, more hours of operation (Sundays), better bathrooms, parking issues, air conditioning, electrical work, maintenance, security, maximizing technology/ content access with schools, ditto Cape Ann TV, and attendance (see this great video from Lisa Smith by kids for kids ) were some goals that were mentioned.

So it was a surprise to see the unveiling of new architectural renderings that did not showcase the Saunders house. It’s like the White House not featuring the White House. I think the Saunders house should be key and central to any building overhaul, not tossed aside. Providing universal access should preserve the intended awe factors if there are any, FOR EVERYBODY–such as the architectural details, proportion, welcoming entrance and unique heritage of a historic building. In this proposal, with Saunders severed there is zero physical access to the main event. What a missed opportunity. And for a library. What do you think?

Today’s paper mentioned that the Saunders house could be used for other purposes instead of the library. Why can’t that be the case and the library maintain its #1 asset? The downtown cultural district (which is not going forward in the same capacity) and other organizations could use the library meeting spaces. Do we really need to conjure up another stand alone endeavor?

Back in 1973, the Trustees of the Library began a fund drive for the new library addition; the city of Gloucester paid 2/3. As the Library’s General Chairman, Joe Garland led that campaign. Not surprising, the text of the brochure is a good read! The architect was Donald F. Monnell. (In 1971 Monnell was quoted in the papers speaking about the attributes of Central Grammar.  One likes him more and more.) The population served was 27,000–nearly what it is today.

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Awesome design  on this 1973 brochure for the fundraising campaign for the Sawyer Free library– led by the Joe Garland (cover). See photos of complete pamphlet
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See “Preserving our Civic Center,” great letter to the editor by Prudence Fish, Gloucester Daily Times, December 23, 2016

Working together

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2016 Planning term and movement- “Scaling Up”

A quip about the concept of Scaling UP that I remember from a conference this past September at Peabody Essex Museum and hosted by Essex National Heritage was to “think about the farm not just a barn”; in this case a downtown, or an entire city and region. I like thinking this way in general–architecture and planning, art, and schools. But this conference pushed me to add overlays beyond my areas of expertise or focus like wildlife and waterways. Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts–there’s so much! Mayor Romeo Theken is committed to working together and feels that planning is important and broad. One example, see Gloucester Daily Times Dec 19, 2016 Officials: City to Prioritize Its (competing) Needs 

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City Looks to Prioritize its Needs, Gloucester Daily Times, Ray Lamont, Dec. 19, 2016

There are several looming questions, evaluations, and decisions.

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Every era has choices. The prior library expansion plans began well before 1972. Possibilities swirled as they do now. (Back then, Central Grammar was also in the news, may or may not have been razed, and possible uses favored senior housing, commercial development, an annex to City Hall, and a courthouse police station.) Today there are competing building needs and uses floated for properties as diverse as: the Cape Ann YMCA on Middle Street, the post office on Dale, the Gloucester Fire Department, police headquarters, St. Ann’s, and the elementary schools–and that’s just to name a few. Let’s celebrate enviable architectural strengths, and not fuss with buildings that should be venerated, unless it’s to help them be accessible and healthy. Let’s get the balance right.

HISTORY MAKING PLEA- Archives for all

The prohibitive costs of best practice historic preservation (ADA compliant, temperature and humidity controls, security, sustainability, in house scanning/OCR/audio transcription, etc) is impossible for all the worthy collections in town, and pits them as foes when vying for funds. Let’s flip that impediment on its head and make Gloucester a model for the state.  Its treasures would be available worldwide if they were truly accessible –digitized.Two words may help accomplish this goal and free up cash for individual operations: shared overhead. It’s one hope I continue to stress–the need to share necessary resources for a state-of-the-art research and warehouse repository. This universal hub should be large enough to encompass any holdings not on view. There could be a smaller downtown central site combined with a larger off site location, such as at Blackburn. The list of sharing institutions could include and is by no means exhaustive: our municipal archives that date back to 1642; Cape Ann Museum; Sawyer Free Library; North Shore Art Association; Beauport; Hammond Castle; the Legion; Amvets and other social clubs; Sargent House; several places of worship; Gloucester Daily Times; Annisquam historical building collections; Lanesville; Magnolia’s historic collections; artists/writers estates; Veterans office; our schools; Isabel Babson Memorial Library, and perhaps businesses such as Cape Pond Ice and Gortons. The library plans don’t appear to retrofit their site(s) for this goal.

If incentives and policy supported neighborhood character over less generic construction collages51

that would be wonderful.  It’s not just Gloucester.

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Continue reading “Proposed building plans Sawyer Free Library, City Hall…Whoa! In the news plus the 1973 appeal led by Joseph Garland, universal access, and archives”

Gloucester Motif Monday: coastal homes with cut out shutters

From where I was standing in Gloucester neighborhoods, here are several homes (and one gallery) with cut out shutters; beginning with the green shutters seen on the Beauport, Sleeper-McCann house, one of Gloucester’s two National Historic Landmarks, and a Historic New England property.

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Beyond shutters: beginning with “Lookout Hill”, estate built by Natalie and John Hays Hammond, Sr :

Super special offers September 24 Holland America Cruise Ship and Trails&Sails

How exciting that  Holland America  and Trails and Sails are coming to Gloucester and Cape Ann this weekend! There are many special offers and events to help welcome visitors. This will be the second of three big cruise ships coming into port this month to Cruiseport Gloucester. It won’t leave Gloucester harbor till 11PM.  Last time I expected sight seeing, museum visits and shopping as reasons passengers disembarked. They did that. If you go by the clicker counter, 844 (give or take another hundred), plus 650 who pre-booked excursions, came ashore.

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photo caption: Elizabeth Carey Discover Gloucester greeted and clicked. Peter Webber Cape Ann Chamber photograph.

I was surprised by how many passengers from a seemingly all inclusive cruise opted to take a whale watch trip and dine out. They did that, too. I’ll report back fun facts, but today I wanted to post about the special offers and events.

Working TOGETHER to welcome everyone is a beautiful thing. Thanks to the organizers (with a big shout out to Jeanne Hennessey, Joe Ciolino, Kathie Gilson, Peter Webber, Lorre Anderson, Bob Ryan and Elizabeth Carey):

 

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photo caption: Bob Ryan/CATA, Jeanne Hennessey, Paul Talbot at Cruiseport planning out logistics for Saturday September 24, 2016

CATA created a special map for continuous downtown trolley loops (“frequency is key”) and to Rocky Neck and Rockport. The special pass covers their bus routes. What an incredible deal! They are extending operations until 10PM.  A new addition: Beauport Ambulance Services will be offering a shuttle bus for an Essex/Manchester/Cruiseport route. Kathie Gilson prepared and made hundreds of copies of a lobster roll list (a big common request), special events, and the Gimme Sound music schedule. Kudos to the volunteers, organizations and businesses for their hard work and creativity.

And now for Gloucester downtown Special events and offers. You can click logos to follow links.

Continue reading “Super special offers September 24 Holland America Cruise Ship and Trails&Sails”

Art museums in Massachusetts are closer than they appear. Gloucester, Google maps and upcoming exhibitions

 

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Last week I was in the Amherst area to meet with clients at a museum. I added on a couple of exhibitions that I knew were closing before I’d be back in that area. I have to map out shows or I miss them.

If you do an online search for ‘art museums in Massachusetts’ or ‘best of’ museum inquiries there are several helpful lists that pop up. The New England Museum Association for one has stepped up their digital presence for their membership directory. Still, must-see institutions on the North Shore and Cape Ann are rarely high lighted, buried deeply, and frequently absent from compilation lists ( see omissions at Artcyclopedia, Massvacation, Tripadvisor, visit Massachusetts, art-collecting, etc.)

Here’s a link to Massachusetts Art Museums created in Google maps. Part 2 Massachusetts 2016 fall/winter museum exhibition guide coming!

Upcoming show trends include: illuminated manuscripts, citizenship, art of picture books, and vintage and contemporary photography.

 

 

 

Live blogging from Cape Ann Museum and Our Lady: eloquent and moving portrait from Linda Brayton and Jen Holmgren on their grandfather and great-grandfather, notable architect Halfdan Hanson

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L-R Linda Brayton, Jennifer Holmgren, Lisa Sawall (Sleeper’s grand niece) before a special Beauport Sleeper McCann tour focusing on the  correspondence and collaboration of Sleeper and architect Halfdan Hanson which was led by Lorna.

 

Photographs in this post are from yesterday’s special Beauport Sleeper McCann program, stemming from the Cape Ann Museum Design/Build exhibition. Lorna Condon, senior curator of Historic New England’s Library and Archives, led this tremendous tour.

Neither Sleeper not Hanson family members knew they’d be there together at this tour. Yet members of both  families wore the same shoes!

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Other special guests included Chris Sicuranza from the Mayor’s Office and the Rev. Rona Tyndall, Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for the Grace Center of Gloucester. Mayor Romeo Theken also wanted to go.

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More pictures coming of these back to back events!

Continue reading “Live blogging from Cape Ann Museum and Our Lady: eloquent and moving portrait from Linda Brayton and Jen Holmgren on their grandfather and great-grandfather, notable architect Halfdan Hanson”