'In the Round: 20th Century' Cape Ann sculpture exhibition celebrates the sculptors of Cape Ann

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'In the Round: 20th Century' Cape Ann sculpture exhibition celebrates the sculptors of Cape Ann
Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973), Water Hole, Africa, c. 1943. Bronze. Gift of Mrs. William H. Robinson, 1975 [Accession # 2121.4]

(GLOUCESTER, MASS).- Drawing on its own collection and from private collections in the region, the Cape Ann Museum is presenting a special exhibition exploring the work of a selection of sculptors on Cape Ann. In the Round: 20th Century Cape Ann Sculpture opened on April 6 and remains on view through June 23.

Augmented by programming, the exhibit explores several themes including the line of artists who followed in the footsteps of Charles Grafly, the work of sisters Anna Hyatt Huntington and Harriet Hyatt Mayor and other trailblazing women sculptors, and sculpture in the public realm.

“Cape Ann is a special place where sculptors thrive in our community” says Oliver Barker, Director of the Cape Ann Museum. “The Cape Ann Museum is proud to showcase the accomplishments of 20th Century artists and their connections to Cape Ann.”

A student of Thomas Eakins and Thomas Anshutz, Charles Grafly taught sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and beginning in 1917, at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He first came to Cape Ann in 1902 and in 1905 made Folly Cove the site of his permanent summer home and studio. Widely recognized for his teaching skills, Grafly provided instruction to a long list of talented sculptors including Walker Hancock, Katharine Lane Weems, George Demetrios and Paul Manship—all of whom established long-standing and important connections to Cape Ann and went on to be highly regarded teachers and mentors themselves.

Harriet Hyatt Mayor and Anna Hyatt Huntington were pioneering women in the field of sculpture. Both enjoyed early success in their careers, although Harriet’s marriage and children curtailed hers, while Anna went on to gain international renown. Examples of each artist’s work is being featured in In the Round, including a c. 1918 plaster bas relief done by Harriet Hyatt Mayor of her father, Alpheus Hyatt a founder of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and a long-time summer resident of Gloucester’s Annisquam neighborhood. Also in the exhibition are works by Katharine Lane Weems who was mentored by Anna Hyatt Huntington and had a very successful career of her own.

“The Cape Ann Museum’s sculpture collection has only been in existence since the early 1980s when it was started under the watchful eye of renowned sculptor Walker Hancock,” says Martha Oaks, Chief Curator. “Since that time, it has grown into an extraordinary asset, incorporating work by a range of artists working in all mediums. It’s our pleasure to share a part of our collection with the public through this special exhibition and the programming being offered in connection with it.”

Sculpture continues to thrive on Cape Ann and the accomplishments of contemporary artist Morgan Faulds Pike is being showcased in In the Round through her 2001 plaster maquette for the monumental bronze Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Memorial. Cape Ann has a wealth of sculptural works in the public realm and in addition to the Wives Memorial, the plaster model for Pike’s Stage Fort Park plaque, (prominently embedded in a rock in the Park), is on exhibition.

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