27 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
Galleries are open to the public
Library/Archives is open
|Tuesday - Saturday||10 AM - 5 PM|
|Sunday||1 PM - 4 PM|
The Museum is closed to the public during the month of February.
|Wednesday - Saturday||10 AM - 1 PM|
The Cape Ann Museum tells multiple stories, a relating to this remarkable place. The Museum collects and exhibits the art produced here, interprets the history that shaped it, and narrates the economic and social forces that define it.
Visit the Museum Shop for a fine collection of gifts and books.
Shop Gift certificates and Museum Memberships
make great holiday presents
The Museum is supported primarily by memberships, contributions, admission fees and sales in the Museum Shop.
Our purpose, as defined in our mission statement, is to:
Foster an appreciation of the quality and diversity of life on Cape Ann, past and present; further the knowledge and enjoyment of Cape Ann history and art; collect and preserve significant information and artifacts; and encourage community involvement with its programs and holdings. In all its activities, the Museum emphasizes the highest standards of quality.
The Cape Ann Museum was founded in 1873 as the Cape Ann Scientific and Literary Association. In 2007, the Board voted to adopt the name Cape Ann Museum, with the accompanying tagline, art/history/culture. The new name more accurately describes the focused but expansive nature of the Museum?s mission, collections and activities, and strengthens the Museum?s commitment to the people of Cape Ann and to preserving and presenting the rich traditions of its art, history and culture.
In the early 1920s, the Association acquired its first permanent headquarters, the Captain Elias Davis House (1804) to house its growing collection of Cape Ann-related artifacts. The Davis House remains an integral part of the collection, but the Museum?s footprint has grown. Today, the Museum is a vibrant regional center comprised of a complex of buildings and collections reaching from the First Period of settlement begun in the 1620s through to today. The permanent collection includes nationally significant fine and decorative arts; artifacts from two major industries of the area, fisheries and granite quarrying; two historic houses; and a library and archives.
The Museum is at the heart of a long arts tradition, exhibiting work by Cape Ann artists from all periods, including the present. Through its permanent collections and special exhibitions, the Museum explores the connection between artists and place, examining how Cape Ann affects the artists it attracts and how those influences carry over in a broader sense to the history of art in America.
- The Museum holds the largest and preeminent collection of works - more than 40 paintings and 100 drawings - by the Gloucester born maritime artist Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865). The Museum?s largest gallery is dedicated to his work. The Museum also has important holdings of work by other late 19th and early 20th century painters who visited and worked on Cape Ann: Winslow Homer, Cecilia Beaux, Maurice Prendergast, John Sloan, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley and Milton Avery, among others. Works by Cape Ann sculptors Walker Hancock, Paul Manship, Anna Hyatt Huntington and Katherine Lane Weems are also part of the permanent collection. Perhaps the collection most representative of work created by artists who lived and worked on Cape Ann year-round is that of the Folly Cove Designers. Established in Gloucester in 1938, the Designers were a group who worked together as a guild of textile designer-craftsmen from 1941 until 1969. The Museum houses the largest collection of their work. It includes samples of their printed textiles and paper, items made from their fabrics and examples of the linoleum blocks they carved. An Acorn press used by one of the Designers is also on display.
- The maritime and fishing collections reflect Cape Ann?s preeminence in seafaring pursuits. Two galleries dedicated to the history of maritime trade and the fishing industry feature tools, equipment, models, as well as two small vessels which made solo Atlantic crossings and a full-sized fishing dory. Historic photographs, sculpture and fine art inspired by the industry and those who worked in it are essential to placing the collection in context. Tools, artifacts, historic photographs, and fine art, also tell the tale of Cape Ann?s granite industry, which flourished in the 19th century and ended in the 1930s.
- The two historic homes owned by the Museum, the White-Ellery House (1710) and the Captain Elias Davis House (1804) bridge two distinct periods in Gloucester's history - the time of the Cape's earliest English settlers, who were part of a rural, subsistence economy, and the era of ship?s captains, reflected by the growth of the maritime trades and the development of a merchant class. The White-Ellery House and barn are located at the gateway to the City of Gloucester -what was once the original town green -and is now directly off the Rte. 128 rotary. The Davis House is located on Pleasant Street, nearer to the working harbor, on what was once known as "Captain's Row." The Davis House is an integral part of the Museum's 27 Pleasant Street facility.
- The decorative arts collection helps to round out the picture of community life in earlier days. The collection includes important 18th and 19th century American furniture; objects obtained in trade with the Far East, Europe and Surinam; a rare British Red Coat, Paul Revere silver made for Gloucester?s First Parish Church; and textiles, pewter and glassware from area homes of the past.
The Museum's extensive library and archives is available for use by researchers, students and the general public. More than 2,500 titles are shelved in the library for use on the premises. The major subjects are fisheries, art, history, and genealogy. The books, primary source material and photographs all pertain to Cape Ann.
The Museum has an expanding list of program opportunities open to adults, children and families, and posts a calendar of programs on the Museum?s website.
Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members
Appointment required: No
- 2010 Annual Report
- Summary of the 2010-2016 Strategic Plan
- To Gather Together Exhibition Gallery Guide 2010-2011
- Quarterly Newsletter
- Timeship for Kids
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