E Conchis Omnia ~ Everything from Shells

Paul Frontiero’s post on Saturday, Going Back from Whence We Came, reminded me of the genius of Erasmus Darwin. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) is credited with developing the theory of evolution however, it was his grandfather Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) who first planted the seed of the idea in the Darwin household.

e-darwin-bookplate-with-mottoErasmus Darwin Bookplate

Erasmus changed the motto of the family crest to “e conchis omnia, which translates to “everything from shells,” reflecting his belief that all life descended from one simple form, a concept he put forward in his Zoonomia (1794):

“Would it be too bold to imagine, that in the great length of time, since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind, would it be too bold to imagine, that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities, directed by irritations, sensations, volitions, and associations; and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down those improvements by generation to its posterity, world without end!” 

Unfortunately, Erasmus was immediately vilified by local clergy and Zoonomia was deemed blasphemous to God. In order not to be stripped of his medical license and lose his livelihood, he painted over the motto on the family carriage. Nonetheless he did leave the motto on his bookplate during his lifetime, as did his son, Robert Darwin (1776-1848), the father of Charles Darwin.

When you think about it, the bookplate during that period would have been much like the home page of a website. Information and ideas were primarily gained through books and books were shared by friends and family members. Bookplates were beautifully and thoughtfully designed to reflect the owner’s taste, and often included the family’s crest, coat of arms, ships, landscapes, scientific and musical instruments, trees, flowers, animals, birds, and much, much more. Today, bookplates are highly collectible and some of the most sought after were designed by well-known artists of their day.

rockwellkentBookplate Designed by Rockwell Kent

Quote from Paul’s post: “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.”  –John F. Kennedy


 Bookplate of Oliver Wendell Holmes, with the words underneath the chambered nautilus shell “per ampliora ad altiora,” which translates as “through breadth to depth.”

The Chambered Nautilus

This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main,—
The venturous bark that flings
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
And coral reefs lie bare,
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.

Continue reading Holmes’s poem The Chambered Nautilus here ~

Continue reading “E Conchis Omnia ~ Everything from Shells”

Community Celebration Recognizing Retired Library Director Carol Gray

Community Celebration April 12 Recognizing Retired Library Director Carol Gray

Carol Gray, who recently announced her retirement after 16 years serving the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library as Assistant Director, Acting Director, and Director, will be feted and recognized at a community celebration in her honor on Saturday, April 12 at 3pm at the library.

This event is being sponsored by the Library’s Board of Directors, with assistance from the Friends of the Library. “The public is cordially invited to join us,” said Scott Memhard, President of the Library Board, “to share and express our profound thanks to Carol Gray, for her years of dedicated service and commitment to our Library, and the central role it plays as the cultural and intellectual heart of Gloucester.”

The reception will begin at 3pm on the main floor of the library, 2 Dale Avenue, with a formal presentation recognizing Carol commencing at 4pm.  Refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

For further information, please contact Acting Library Director Freyja Sanger atsanger@sawyerfreelibrary.org / (978) 281-9763 ext.12 or Library Board President Scott Memhard at Scott_m@capepondice.com / 978-879-9394.

Saturday, April 12

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Reminder About Lunch and Learn Tuesday at CATV

Hello Friends of Cape Ann TV,

We invite you to join us for a very special “Lunch and Learn” presentation on Tuesday, March 25th at noon. Our guest speaker will be Kevin Roy of Green Banana SEO.
Kevin brings to the table more than 15 years of Internet development experience. During that period, he developed an online marketing expertise concentrated on analytics and conversion. Kevin’s focus on Search Engine Optimization prompted him to found Green Banana SEO, a company specializing in SEO for local businesses. Since the firm’s founding in 2009, Green Banana has experienced growth of over 400%.
Kevin will be discussing the benefits and challenges of SEO and Pay Per Click. He will cover keywords, creating content, building links, and ways to make sure your business is visible to search engines.

If you have been wondering how to get your business onto page one of search results then you can’t afford to miss this presentation.

Please join us for this informative presentation, pizza, and a Q&A with Kevin.

Feel free to invite friends and colleagues. RSVPs to erich@capeanntv.org.

Erich Archer
Executive Director
Cape Ann TV
Like us on Facebook: Cape Ann TV
Twitter: @CapeAnnTVCATV

LaRosa’s Pizzeria Now Nonni’s By The Sea- First Pics, Menu and Video

In the space formerly occupied by Mooters Liquors and then LaRosa’s Pizzeria- Nonni’s By The Sea

Al Stewart at Shalin Liu on Friday, April 4th

Friday, April 4, 8pm
Shalin Liu Performance Center
Get Ticket Here:  

Al Stewart is best known for his singles “Year of the Cat,” “Nostradamus” and “Time Passages,” Scottish singer-songwriter Al Stewart has enjoyed a remarkably prolific career spanning 50 years. From his orchestral folk debut in 1967, through his popular historical folk rock albums of the 70’s, to his more recent duo outings with guitarist Dave Nachmanoff, Stewart has proved to be an artist of impressive longevity. Having gained a devout cult following with his epic, progressive brand of folk rock, Stewart now tours the world, often with his musical partner Dave Nachmanoff, reinterpreting the songs from his extensive catalog. He has released 22 records and played alongside a long list of musical giants including Alan Parsons, Jimmy Page, Richard Thompson, Rick Wakeman, Tori Amos and former Wings lead-guitarist Laurence Juber.

There are still some seats available but don’t wait to get them , get them now here

Sorellanza – Taking Flight Concerts – April 5 – 13

Our theme is Taking Flight – we’ll be singing about the coming of spring and some flying creatures.  You’ll hear several languages:  Japanese, Swahili, Hebrew, Spanish – and some nonsense language thrown in for good measure!  We’ll have a bit of percussion and flute.  By tradition we’ll have a Beatles song, a madrigal, and a round.  Sorellanza Spring'14 Poster

Gloucester Kitty Adventure- Please Help Find The Owner

Hey Joey,
Here’s a GMG story for you. Last night a certain Kathy Santuccio was picking up a friend at Pond View Village when she noticed a stray cat. On her way to pick up her sister, she parked on the boulevard to call and let her know that she was on her way, when she heard a cat howling-underneath her car.  She called the police; officer George Carr responded with compassion and respect. That’s when I came along. We all looked under the rear of the car, illuminated by Officer Carr’s flashlight. Sure enough, we could see grey and white fur, but no face. The cat’s head was stuck facing front. Soon the area was protected by additional cruisers and Tally’s had arrived. With the help of the tall lanky Tally’s driver, Officer Carr extracted the cat, frightened but unharmed.
Long story short, I am holding the cat, and looking for the owner. See photo. It appears to be a well -cared-for neutered male with a tiny white tip on its tail.
Can you post his picture, so we can get to a happy ending?
Caroline Haines

photo (69)

Temple Ahavat Achim honor Mark and Amy Farber


Sunday March 23rd, “Pharaoh’s Daughter”, the acclaimed World Music ensemble, played at 4 pm at the breathtaking Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport. This benefit concert for Gloucester’s Temple Ahavat Achim honored Mark and Amy Farber. After the performance guest enjoyed a meal catered by  Passports restaurant.  Debbie Coltin and Ruth Budelmann, Co-Chairs Eve and Phil Cutter, Honorary Co-Chairs of last nights event.

Innovation House- Cape Ann MarketWATCH 3/21/14 From Kenny MacCarthy

Hi Joey,

This week, we’re talking about:

Click here for video.


Monday March 24th , 2014 Cape Ann Weather..

Marine Forecast…
Mon NW winds 15 to 20 kt…diminishing to 10 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Seas 2 to 4 ft.
Mon Night NW winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 20 kt… Becoming W 5 to 10 kt after midnight. Seas 2 to 3 ft.

Monday Forecast… Today will see mostly sunny skies with frigid temps for Spring 20’s will do it .. North West winds 10-15mph… Monday night
Very cold lows in the teens with a west wind 10-15mph …clear skies and wind chills in the single digits . Tuesday sun first thing in the morning will fade by late morning early afternoon in response to storm system coming up from the south . Highs in the 30’s with light south winds 5-10mph.. Clouds continue to increase late day with a few flurries possible .
Tuesday night overcast with temps in the 20’s to lower 30’s late night snows possible …North East Winds gusting 25-30mph !
Wednesday is the big storm or big miss? Lots of questions over the weekend as this storm system has potential to be epic and dangerous. Most models ECMWF / GFS / CMC / UKMET / SERFS / RPM all appear now to be further offshore with phasing and track .. How ever the intensity and closeness of the upper levels and 500mb to our coast are cause for alarm.. This storm is forecasted to “BOMB” off our coast by 150-200 miles down to 940’s mb’s .. When storms reach this much intensity they some times wobble west or loop north west . We need to be weary on this exact track as any change in track by 50 miles or so could mean a whole different impact to our area…
As of now I’m seeing a light impact 2-5″ of snow fall I’m predicting for Cape Ann , most for Gloucester / Rockport .. Winds will be NE sustained 25-30mph with gusts to 45 at least …Coastal flooding very minor with splash over on the Wednesday AM high tide …. Let’s thank our lucky stars that this monster is primarily a miss , with worst of storm over CC the Islands and far SE Mass coast …

Of course there’s still 48 hrs for models to change or trend back west once again . As long as this Monster stays out of the 40N 70W Bench Mark then will be speared . Keep this thought however in you’re minds.. Storms this intense can and do have surprises with them and again with 500mb and upper level low close by to our coast I can not rule out a closer track . Marginal for error is 50-100 miles … So any deviation to the left or north west and then we get into the meat of the beast with Hurricane Force Winds and 1-2′ ft of snow along with Major Coastal Flooding…
Thanks for viewing…
Peter Lovasco


Community Stuff 3/24/14


Jude Abbe
Pet Portraits
Oil/Acrylic March 27 & 28
Rockport Art Association

This workshop will focus on getting an impressionistic portrait of your pet. Brushwork will be important in portraying short or long fur (or feathers). Color, values and composition, the basics of any painting, will be stressed. You will be working from your own photo – if possible, a clear photo showing your pet’s personality and coloring.

Christopher Zhang
Portrait Painting (including hands)
April 3-5
Rockport Art Association

This 3-day workshop (9am-4pm) will have an attractive young female model dressed beautifully for a seated or standing pose with studio light. Each day will start with the instructor’s demo in the morning and students will follow up in the afternoon. The instructor will not only show how to focus on the forms of the face and the body with different values and rough brush strokes, but also let the students learn the warm and cool coloring of the skin, the dress and the background. After three days of hard work, you’ll go home with a nice portrait. Open to all levels and all mediums. If you’ve never done portraits or figures before, it may be a little hard to begin with.



Rockport ART will present a solo photography show of works by exhibiting member Barbara Brewer beginning on Sunday, March 30th and continuing through April 10th. 

Brewer is a self-taught photographer who was brought up with the family’s old wooden box Kodak and, to quote the artist . . . “has enjoyed capturing the moment through the camera’s eye ever since”.   Her work often conjures up a nostalgia for the gentler times of the past through poetic moments of light, color, shape and composition.  She enjoys the everyday scenes of nature and the sea, the architecture of old buildings or doors and windows.  To Brewer, the mood and essence of the subject is more important than the detail.  

Brewer has been an exhibiting member of the Association since 1996.  Her work has received numerous prizes in exhibitions throughout the North Shore, including the Gloucester Daily Times Summer Sun Award in 1993 and 1994.

The public is invited to an artist reception on Sunday, March 30th from 2:00-4:00.  Also on view are the Contributing Members Show, works done in the sketch groups and classes held at the Association, and the Winter Group Show of exhibiting members’ work. 

The Association is open Wednesday – Sunday, and always free to the public.  For more information on these shows and upcoming events, please visit www.rockportartassn.org  or call 978-546-6604.