Gloucester in the news: Cape Ann Museum back to back stories in the Boston Globe

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More than just kids’ stuff: Children’s literature inspires shows at the MFA and Cape Ann MuseumBoston Globe by Mark Feeney October 14, 2018

Mark Feeney highlights the Cape Ann Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in the Boston Globe Sunday Arts Museum Specials edition because of  concurrent spectacular and rare exhibitions: Winnie the Pooh Exploring a Classic opened September 22 and continues through January 6th, 2019 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston;  Virgina Lee Burton “The Little House: Herstory” opens November 3rd at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester and continues until March 31, 2019.

Mark Your Calendars! Here are Cape Ann Museum art shows inspired by children’s literature on display now, upcoming and not to miss:

  • Harrison Cady exhibition continues through November 9th retrospective of a dazzling Golden Age of Illustration legend, cartoonist and fine artist 
  • Virginia Lee Burton exhibition The Little House: Herstory opens November 3rd  Burton resided and worked in Gloucester, Mass., where she created some of America’s most popular and seminal children’s books. She received the Caldecott medal in 1943 for The Little House. Other books include Katy and the Big Snow and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. She is renowned for her influential work as a Folly Cove textile designer and founder. Cape Ann Museum is the biggest repository of her art and archives. This 2018 survey will be gorgeous!

If you time it right there is a window of overlap where you can visit both the Harrison Cady and Virginia Lee Burton exhibitions.

  • A group show celebrating Cape Ann Reads new original children’s picture books by local artists and writers will open in January

Barr-Klarman Foundations team up on 25 million arts initiativeBoston Globe October 3, 2018 

Cape Ann Museum received $375,000 Barr-Klarman investment funding in recognition of its stellar contribution to arts and culture in Massachusetts. The Barr Klarman Arts Initiative will disperse 25 million to 29 arts organizations; Cape Ann Museum is one of 3 North of Boston recipients.

Virginia Lee Burton “The Little House: Herstory” opens November 3 at Cape Ann Museum! Pre opening concert by New England Philharmonic Chamber Players October 20

The Little House: Herstory comes home to Gloucester. I can’t wait to check out Cape Ann Museum’s new Virginia Lee Burton show!

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Model of Little House is back from the major Virginia Lee Burton survey in Japan (see photos from the installation)   

from the museum: “2017 marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of the children’s book The Little House, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton (1909–1968). In recognition of that milestone, for the past two years the Cape Ann Museum has been pleased to collaborate with Gallery A4 at the Takenaka Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, creating an exhibition exploring Burton’s extraordinary career and legacy. The Sawyer Free Library in Gloucester, the University of Minnesota, the Burton-Demetrios family and the Tokyo Children’s Library also contributed to the project. The exhibition that resulted from this partnership featured archival material and a model of the little house at the center of Burton’s story. After being on display at Gallery A4 the exhibition traveled to a handful of other venues around Japan including Spiral, a multi-purpose cultural center in Minami-Aoyama. The exhibition was greeted enthusiastically by large crowds at each site. Now, a year later, the model of Virginia Lee Burton’s Little House that was at the center of the exhibition is on its way to America where it will soon be on display at the Cape Ann Museum.”

Creative and exciting programs are planned for the Burton exhibition. There is an inspired pre-exhibition warm up heralding Folly Cove designers:

New England Philharmonic Chamber Players: The Power of Pattern

Saturday, October 20, 7:00 p.m. Continue reading “Virginia Lee Burton “The Little House: Herstory” opens November 3 at Cape Ann Museum! Pre opening concert by New England Philharmonic Chamber Players October 20″

Warms the heart! Beloved Stage Fort Park play sculpture rebuilt in Gloucester MA

Gloucester’s Stage Fort Park playground and glorious natural setting spark imagination and exciting adventures. The gigantic truck play sculpture was re-built and resited and it’s been tricked out with a slide and an official Cape Ann license plate. Hoping a sea serpent returns with a few Virginia Lee Burton icons one day soon.

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Join in planning now for #GloucesterMA 400th Anniversary in 2023!

All are invited to have fun, join in, share ideas for Gloucester’s 400th Anniversary possible celebrations in 2023. A public meeting will be held at City Hall on Saturday, April 28, 2018 from 1-3pm. Can’t attend? Email your input to the 400th steering committee: email gloucester400@gmail.com  and check out the 400th Anniversary Facebook page For More Info

“Although Gloucester’s 400th Anniversary is five years away, we know that those years will go by quickly.  400 years deserves a year long celebration in 2023 and a steering committee has been meeting for the last six or seven months to get the process started. Three Captains have been chosen to lead the group:  Bruce Tobey, Bob Gillis and Ruth Pino. The Committee is sponsoring a public meeting on Saturday April 28, 2018 in City Hall Auditorium…What should happen during 2023? What would you participate in? What would you miss if it didn’t happen?” 

With so much advance notice, it’s fun to ruminate. Three words come quickly to mind for one idea: Virginia Lee Burton. Burton was one of the most influential children’s book author-illustrators of the 20th century and Folly Cove textile designer and founder. She received the Caldecott medal in 1943 for The Little House. Whether for the 400th Anniversary or not, I hope one day that there are tribute commissions for Virginia Lee Burton’s beloved characters Katy from Katy and the Big Snow and Mary Ann from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel at Stage Fort playground.  Life Story and Song of Robin Hood were also informed by landscape and her life in Gloucester. (The Burton tributes could be massive, interactive and accessible bronze sculptures. Tom Otterness commissions were completed at this scale. Why not Burton? They don’t have to be. Also bring back the monumental sea serpent and the big truck. These memorable imaginative expressions were wood in the past and maintained for years. Perhaps they could be recreated with modern decking materials. And add in Burton’s Little House! )

 

Archives

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Gloucester has a history of producing major anniversary celebrations which makes looking back through archives* inspiring for future plans. Here are a few I’ve pulled:

*digitizing Gloucester Daily Times and Gloucester’s municipal archives is another oft repeated plea of mine and others–am sending that one along to a 400th dream wish list…

1892

Link to Gloucester’s 250th memorial celebration BOOK: https://archive.org/stream/memorialofcelebr00glou

1942

August 16, 1942– the city’s second (!) Tercentenary Celebration.

 

1923 Fighting for public art –  the Fisherman at the Wheel memorial commission

On May 21, 1923, the Gloucester Daily Times published an article about the appropriations and planning for the city’s 300th Anniversary which is remarkable in content and its late date–the celebration was just months away!  The idea itself and related costs concerning a public art commission –the one that would become Gloucester’s renowned Fisherman at the Wheel Memorial– were hammered out at a heated City Council meeting. Here’s the nearly complete transcription:

COUNCIL RECONSIDERS AND VOTES $5000 TO CELEBRATION: Equal Amount Will Be Reserved for Permanent Memorial Fund–Executive Committee Held Prolonged and Animated Session Saturday Evening. May 21, 1923 (*note ______ indicates illegible copy)

After three hours of discussion and a conference of the municipal council behind closed doors lasting about three-quarters of an hour on Saturday evening, it was voted to reconsider their action whereby the $10,000 appropriated for the anniversary committee should be alloted for a permanent memorial and voted for _____ committee to expend a sum not exceeding $5000 for the celebration, and the other $5000 to be used for the creation of a permanent memorial.

The agreement as finally reached is ______________ provide for the dedication in whole or in part of a permanent memorial to be erected and paid for jointly by the _______ city of Gloucester. “The municipal council agrees that a sum of $5000 of the amount appropriated by the city for the celebration will be for the general purposes of the committee if necessary, with the understanding that all expensea for additional police protection incurred by the  committee on public safety will be paid for by the anniversary committee. And with the further understanding that the anniversary committee will do all possible to have this sum of money applied to the permanent memorial in addition to the sum reserved ____ by the municipal _____ surplus after the celebration is over, this surplus also to be for the purpose of a permanent memorial.” The meeting opened at 8.15 o’clock, with a reading of the records by Secretary Harold H. Parsons, and following this there came without hesitation_____ ing of the celebration from those present, and for a time, one was reminded of the old town meeting days. ___________ A Piatt Andrew ___________ carnival parade by members of the art colony of the city were accepted and adopted. 

Plain Talk by Chairman Barrett-  Chairman Barrett then arose and addressed the members present and said: “I sent a communication to the municipal council some time ago to find out just what standing this celebration had with them. The letter I received was not

Continue reading “Join in planning now for #GloucesterMA 400th Anniversary in 2023!”

Little houseboat in the great frozen salt marsh #Gloucester MA

A photo journal after the storm documenting and comparing a few iconic and sweeping Gloucester vistas on January 7, 2018, when all was white ice frozen, and again after the Great Thaw on January 13 2018.

Gloucester Motif- the house boat in view just before the turn off at Nichols

Little house boat in the great frozen salt marsh - Gloucester MA January 7 2018 three days after historic winter storm © c ryan_095245

 

The Little House boat in the great frozen salt marsh reminded me of a mash up of two of Virginia Lee Burton’s children’s picture books inspired by Gloucester — Little House and Katy and the Big Snow. Here’s the little floating houseboat after the thaw at low tide January 13, 2018.

Little house boat in the great salt marsh - Gloucester MA January 13 2018 after thaw from historic winter storm © c ryan__133100

At high tide earlier in the day, January 13

Little house boat in the great salt marsh - Gloucester MA January 13 2018 after thaw from historic winter storm © c ryan__072700.jpg

Good Harbor Beach drive by three days after the storm

 

Good Harbor Beach salt marsh drive by one week after the storm and great thaw

 

Below the read more break: additional winter comparison photos (icebergs on the marsh by Lobster Land, Good Harbor Beach parking lot, Good Harbor Beach salt marsh, Stoney Cove pier at Little River & Annisquam River)

Continue reading “Little houseboat in the great frozen salt marsh #Gloucester MA”

Things to do with Kids!

It’s winter-the kids are inside most of the time. If you have children and they’re flapping like a haddock (or maybe you are!), here are some ideas to keep the whole family happy. Visit Flapping like a Haddock for updates,  parenting info, family activities, and things to do around Cape Ann.

Astronomy Night at Halibut Point  State Park

Free movie at Rockport Library

Katy and the Big Snow

The History of Dolls and Doll Collecting

Reminder-Cape Ann Symphony Concert this Saturday

This year’s family concert features the world premiere of “Katy and the Big Snow” by local composer Robert J. Bradshaw. Commissioned by the Cape Ann Symphony to commemorate award-winning author & illustrator Virginia Lee Burton’s centennial year, the musical retelling of the children’s classic with a Cape Ann connection is destined to become a classic in its own right. This joyous performance will appeal to the young at heart of all ages.

Be sure to check out Flapping like a Haddock for more things to do on Cape Ann.

Thanks! —Sharon

Cape Ann Symphony Concert Jan. 24

This year’s family concert features the world premiere of “Katy and the Big Snow” by local composer Robert J. Bradshaw. Commissioned by the Cape Ann Symphony to commemorate award-winning author & illustrator Virginia Lee Burton’s centennial year, the musical retelling of the children’s classic with a Cape Ann connection is destined to become a classic in its own right. This joyous performance will appeal to the young at heart of all ages.

Be sure to check out Flapping like a Haddock for more things to do on Cape Ann.

Thanks! —Sharon