Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker Exhibit extended through March 5, 2017

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The curator’s job sounds relatively simple: just surprise us. Show us something we haven’t seen before, or lately, or in such depth, or with such clarity. Try to avoid the predictable and familiar, the market approved or academically sanctioned, or what other curators have already done. Try to step outside your museum’s comfort zone or carefully manicured institutional persona with something eccentric, an intuitive leap. After all, there is plenty of art out there.
—Roberta Smith, “Museums Embrace the Unfamiliar” New York Times, September 16, 2016

The current exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum would be music to Ms. Smith’s ears. Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker is the unpredictable, eccentric delight she calls for. Indeed, the Museum has leaped forward with its intuition that Mr. Adams’s peerless craftsmanship has exactly the genius and beauty for the rapture of an unsuspecting public. And from all accounts, its public has agreed!

A formal lyricism in this exhibition commands attention to more than one art form. From the fabrication of brass hinges to bone keys (not to mention the skunk-tail sharps and cow-toenail couplers!), to sculptural stands and the exacting, exquisite joinery that must move unerringly to create music, the show reveals the prodigious skill and artistry of Jeremy Adams, one of the most gifted musical instrument makers in the United States. Meticulously presented in the Museum’s largest gallery, the exhibition showcases an impressive selection of harpsichords inspired by Flemish and French designs of the 17th and 18th centuries, a chamber organ, a clavichord, a demonstration organ chest, and a beautiful, witty silent keyboard, all built in their entirety by Adams in his Danvers, Massachusetts atelier. Curated from over 40 instruments built since the 1960s, these works reside in public and private collections around the world. The exhibit’s centerpiece is the stunning French (Blanchet) double-manual harpsichord with its very modern stand, which emerged from the Adams workshop this summer and is featured in events for the duration of the exhibit, sometimes in tandem with other instruments in the room. Also in the gallery, Paul Cary Goldberg’s elegant photographs, commissioned by the Museum, document the Adams workshop—the tools, details, atmosphere and the droll, quirky personality from which the instruments come. Continue reading “Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker Exhibit extended through March 5, 2017”

BREAKING NEWS: JEREMY ADAMS AND MARTHA OAKES APPEARING ON WGBH OPEN STUDIO WITH JARDED BOWEN TONIGHT!!

Watch Open Studio tonight at 8:30 on WGBH for a profile of Jeremy Adams and the Voicing the Woods exhibition. Jared spoke with curator Martha Oaks in the gallery and with Jeremy Adams in the gallery and at his workshop. Adams even plays a little harpsichord music!jeremy-adams-cape-ann-museum-copyright-kim-smith

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Photos from today’s 9th Annual Women’s Luncheon at Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum was closed today and early yesterday to prepare for their incredible luncheon. This year it was throughout the museum with formal seating upstairs and downstairs and a rock star video feed. It was elegant, inspiring and fun! For more information see the earlier GMG post. 

Mariposa founder Livia Cowan with Mariposa designers, Shelly Bradbury and Michael Updike, were the featured speakers. Timothy S. Hopkins catered; it was scrumptious. Tiny special red peppers looked like ornaments in our salads and were a discovery for many. The new tote bag featuring the Lee Natti chicadee print was flying out the museum shop. Kathleen Adams (harpsichord) and Dawn Pratson (flute) filled our hearts with LIVE music directly from the Jeremy Adams exquisite special exhibition. The Paul Manship tortoise was festooned for the holidays which seemed extra fitting as last year’s luncheon raised more than $25,000 towards this acquisition.

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BRAVO TO JEREMY ADAMS AND THE CAPE ANN MUSEUM!

jeremy-adams-cape-ann-museum-copyright-kim-smithJeremy Adams at Friday night’s lovely gala opening event at the Cape Ann Museum

The outstanding exhibit of Jeremy Adams instruments and furniture is not to be missed. To accompany the exhibit Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker, the Cape Ann Museum is offering a series of mini concerts and instrument demonstration. The series runs as follows:

Saturday, November 5 at 11:00a.m.  – Kevin Birch

Birch has performed throughout the United States, Europe and South America. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Iowa with previous studies at the Sweelinck Conservatory (Amsterdam) and the New England Conservatory (Boston).

 

Saturday, December 3 at 11:00a.m.  – Jeremy and Kathleen Adams

Kathleen Adams is the organist and choirmaster at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA. She studied singing at the American Conservatory of Music and organ and conducting at Harvard University. Jeremy Adams, one of the most gifted musical instrument makers in New England, studied at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.

 

Saturday, January 7 at 11:00a.m.  – Frances Conover Fitch

Fitch is an internationally touring harpsichordist and organist. She is currently on the faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music, Tufts University and Brandeis University.

 

Saturday, February 4 at 11:00a.m.  – Carolyn Day Skelton and John Skelton

Carolyn Day Skelton has served as the summer organist at Emmanuel Church in Manchester-by-the-Sea since 1984 and received her Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory. John Skelton also began his career at the New England Conservatory and has served as music director at the Maple Street Church in Danvers for 28 years.

jeremy-adams-kristina-martin-cape-ann-museum-copyright-kim-smithKristina Martin and Jeremy

This program is free for CAM members or with Museum admission paid upon arrival. Space is limited; reservations required. Reservations can be made by calling 978-283-0455 x10, emailinginfo@capeannmuseum.org or online at Eventbrite.