Two Exhibitions Showcase Gloucester in the Arts, Past and Present, at the Cape Ann Museum

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Four Winds: The Arts & Letters of Rocky Neck in the 1950's and Gail Albert Halaban: Hopper Redux run June-September 2013.

Albert Alcalay (1917-2008), Night Fleet, 1956. Oil on canvas. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum. Gift of the Family of Albert Alcalay, 2013.

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to announce two major exhibitions beginning in June. Four Winds: The Arts & Letters of Rocky Neck in the 1950s, showcases the art and literary scene on Rocky Neck in Gloucester after World War II, and features work by abstract painter Albert Alcalay (1917-2008) and other modernists, as well as poetry by Charles Olson, Vincent Ferrini and contemporaries. Hopper Redux: Gail Albert Halaban Photographs, a special exhibition of images by New York based photographer Gail Albert Halaban, offers a fresh look at the Gloucester houses made famous in the paintings of Edward Hopper (1882-1967). Four Winds begins on June 15, Hopper Redux on June 29; both exhibitions run until September 29, and include accompanying events.

Edward Hopper experienced a creative breakthrough in Gloucester in the summer of 1923. It resulted in both artistic success and the meeting of his future wife, fellow artist Josephine Nivison. The two summered there during the remainder of the 1920's, when Hopper continued to paint select local houses.

Hopper's time in Gloucester intrigued Halaban, and she credits that intrigue as part of the inspiration for Hopper Redux. "My father grew up around the corner from several Hopper Houses," she said. "My whole childhood, visiting every summer, loving art, I never knew this. I wanted to learn more about Hopper's experience in Gloucester and share what I discovered."

Earlier photographic series by the artist include About Thirty, This Stage of Motherhood and Out My Window, which is the subject of a September 2012 volume from powerHouse Books. Halaban will present a lecture on her work at the Cape Ann Museum on August 15. In addition, the Museum will offer “Hopper House” walking tours throughout the exhibition period.

In Four Winds: The Arts & Letters of Rocky Neck in the 1950s, modernists like Tom O'Hara, Helen Stein, Nell Blaine, Mary Shore and Robert Bradshaw headline a cast of Rocky Neck artists whose legacy is that of exploring fresh subject matter and working in new mediums. The list of featured artists includes sculptors, lithographers, painters, enamelists, photographers, poets and writers - many of whom exhibited their work in the annual Cape Ann Festival of the Arts.

The Doris Hall Gallery and Wonsonhurst Studio Apartments, later known as West Wharf, were popular places for the artists and their families to congregate, and a number within the group participated in demonstrations, lectures and exhibits under the organization of the Cape Ann Society of Modern Artists - a group which first met at the Hawthorne Inn in East Gloucester and later at the Redmen's Hall in Rockport.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum will present a series of related programs. Lecturers include writer and Gloucester native Peter Anastas on Saturday, July 13, as well as Ammiel Alcalay, son of artist Albert, on Saturday, August 24. They will discuss the post-war art scene on Rocky Neck and its place within the broader landscape of the Cape Ann arts community.

In collaboration with the Gloucester Writers Center, the Museum will host Holy Local: Vincent Ferrini's Literary Legacy, a panel of writers, teachers and researchers who will introduce new and ongoing scholarship on Ferrini's literary accomplishments, on June 22 at 1:00 p.m. There will be time for conversation between panelists and audience members. A walking tour of the community's focal points will also be offered in collaboration with The Rocky Neck Art Colony.

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About the Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum embodies and promotes the rich artistic, cultural, political and economic tradition of the region through its mission to collect, care for and share with the public the art, history and culture of Cape Ann. Through its exhibitions and educational programs the Museum weaves together the threads of these multiple narratives: the early history of Cape Ann, the maritime trade, the fisheries, the granite industry, and the nationally significant art from the region’s shared past, present and future. Incorporated in 1873, the Museum today is a vibrant regional center comprised of a complex of buildings, which include galleries, a library/archives, auditorium and education room, two historic houses (1710 and 1804), and two sculpture gardens.

In addition to rotating exhibitions, the Museum features nationally recognized collections. These include the world’s largest collection of paintings and drawings by renowned luminist and native son Fitz Henry Lane, as well as work by other prominent painters and sculptors who lived on, visited or were inspired by Cape Ann. The work of contemporary Cape Ann artists is also collected and exhibited. The Museum’s extensive library and archives support the collection and are available for use to researchers, students and the general public.

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Ariane Doud
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