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

Visitors to Gloucester from Missouri

_2018_08_20_109119

A wonderful family from Missouri. We had a great conversation about Gloucester’s history, we even talked about the famous Sea Serpent in Gloucester.  I truly enjoyed speaking to this family and hope they come back to Gloucester.

See Previous posts about the Famous Sea Serpent by Wayne Soini.

GLOUCESTER’S SEA SERPENT – COMES ALIVE WITH AUTHOR WAYNE SOINI

GLOUCESTER’S SEA SERPENT AUTHOR BOOK SIGNING AT CAPE ANN MUSEUM

GLOUCESTER’S SEA SERPENT – COMES ALIVE WITH AUTHOR WAYNE SOINI

A SEA SERPENT SONG THAT NEEDS MUSIC

Free Trails & Sails events today throughout Gloucester, Cape Ann, all of Essex County

Here’s the link to all the listings for  Essex National Heritage 2017 Trails & Sails today and tomorrow throughout Gloucester, Cape Ann and all of Essex County.

Here’s the list of Gloucester events at City Hall, Cape Ann Museum, Maritime Gloucester, Gloucester HarborWalk, Rocky Neck, Magnolia Library, Cape Pond Ice, and Pauline’s Gifts:

Continue reading “Free Trails & Sails events today throughout Gloucester, Cape Ann, all of Essex County”

Sea Serpent Captured and Skewered! From Fred Bodin

Fred writes-

Since Gloucester had its own Sea Serpent, I thought it appropriate to post this news story from New Jersey. It’s a scary serpent-like monster, but not even close to the size of ours (or as good looking). This bloody photo went viral on the internet. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions and ID it in the comments box:

image

I wonder if Joey ever off-loaded one on the dock? Recipes?

Fred

Gloucester’s Sea Serpent Author Book Signing At Cape Ann Museum Dec 18th

Soini Book Cover

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present a book signing and reading with Wayne Soini, author of Gloucester’s Sea Serpent (History Press, 2010). Mr. Soini will be at the Museum on Saturday, December 18 at 3:00 p.m. This program is free and open to the public. Books will be available to purchase through the Museum Shop. Surprise a loved one this holiday season with an autographed copy of this new publication!

In 1817, as Gloucester, Massachusetts was recovering from the War of 1812, something beneath the water was about to cause a stir in this coastal community. It was a misty August day when two women first sighted Gloucester’s sea serpent, touching off a riptide of excitement among residents that reached a climax when Matt Gaffney fired a direct shot at the creature. Local historian Wayne Soini explores the depths of Gloucester harbor to reveal a treasure-trove of details behind this legendary mystery. Follow as he tracks Justice of the Peace Lonson Nash’s careful investigation—the world’s first scientific study of this marine animal—and judges the credibility of numerous reported sightings.

Wayne Soini was born in Gloucester in 1948, regrettably too late to see the sea serpent swim into or out of the harbor. He graduated from Gloucester High School in 1966. His most recent degree, a master’s degree in history from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, was awarded in 2009. Soini coauthored the biographical sketch and local sports history book, Judge Fuchs and the Boston Braves, with the late Robert Fuchs in 1998. Soini is a member of the National Writers Union, Local 1981, Boston Chapter, and of the Boston Athenaeum. He makes his living as a lawyer and lives with his partner, Anne, in Brookline, where he basically reads and watches his weight. Mr. Soini is donating the proceeds of his book to benefit the Cape Ann Museum and the Gloucester High School Scholarships Fund.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Museum is closed during the month of February, on Mondays, and on major holidays. Admission is $8.00 adults, $6.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Children under 12 and Museum members are free. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information please call: (978) 283-0455. Additional information can be found online at www.capeannmuseum.org.

Gloucester’s Sea Serpent – comes alive with author Wayne Soini

 

Wayne Soini

 

Wayne Soini a Gloucester native wrote a book about the Gloucester Sea Serpent – Book signing will be held Saturday October 16th 6:00 PM at River’s Edge Fine Gifts Ipswich Ma. 

Also Serving Wine and Cheese 

Yours truly also contributed to the book with current photos of Gloucester and Roseanne Cody provided from her old postcard collection, areas where the Sea Serpent was spotted.

 View Slide_show of people already enjoying the book.

CLICK ON PHOTO TO VIEW SLIDE_SHOW

 NOTE: Gloucester’s Sea Serpent by History Press tells the story of the sea serpent that came into Gloucester Harbor in August, 1817.  Gloucester’s Justice of the Peace Lonson Nash gathered affidavits for a book edited by an ambitious, serious committee composed of Judge John Davis of the Federal District Court in Boston, president of the Linnaean Society of New England, Francis Calley Gray, former diplomat and member of the Massachusetts Bar, and Dr. Jacob Bigelow, M.D., a University of Pennsylvania graduate who taught at the Harvard Medical School.  Their book was universally rejected because they concluded that a mutant, rumplebacked black snake found in September, 1817 in a hay-field off of Loblolly Cove in Gloucester (today: Rockport) was the sea serpent’s baby.