Boston Globe good news – art critic weighs in on Cape Ann Museum walking tours and #GloucesterMA planning

Boston Globe “Walking Through History With Some of History’s Greatest Artists” by Murray Whyte published 2/9/2021

“Gloucester’s rich history feels carved into the very stone that lines its harbors, and the Cape Ann Museum has done well to seize on all of those elements this winter to craft a series of walking tours that fix the town firmly with its cultural heritage.”

Murray Whyte for Boston Globe on Cape Ann Museum winter walking tours, 2/9/2021

“…an around-town stroll to the many houses and scenes painted by Edward Hopper on his five extended painting journeys here. They’re captivating, and in one case, crushing: The spectacular mansard-roofed captain’s house perched high on a Rocky Neck cliff that Hopper painted in 1924 now shares its view of Gloucester Harbor with a sprawling McMansion next door whose aesthetic might best be described as haute Florida strip mall.”

Register for Cape Ann Museum upcoming walks like Feb. 20 (Spiritual history) and Feb. 27 (Edward Hopper) HERE

Happy to see the Cape Ann Museum guided walking tours featured!

Not to worry! The historic house on Clarendon is gorgeous. Edward Hopper customized his take on Gloucester vistas, as did artists before him.

Here is the Gardner Wonson home (built circa 1873) in horse and buggy days, a scene cropped for commercial keepsake photographs published by the Procter Brothers who were flying high in the 1870s [collection New York Public Library].

This home was an architectural attraction Hopper may have seen before he stepped foot off the train for his first visit to Gloucester.

In 1846 entrepreneurial publishing dynamos and developers, brothers Francis with George H. Procter, set up a book and printing shop. By 1850 they moved to Main Street. As the business grew, their news dispatch morphed from “Procter’s Able Sheet” to “Gloucester Advertiser” to “Cape Ann Advertiser”, and then in 1888 to “Gloucester Daily Times”. By 1892 the printing press for the newspaper branch alone could churn out 4000 papers, eight pages long, every hour (see Pringle). Any small business operating for decades and successive generations will suffer its share of adversity. Procter Brothers was leveled not once but twice by fire, and rebuilt. They published or were the go to printers for all manner of media: books, periodicals, photographs, lithographs, even a circulating library from their headquarters in 1874; building back and then some after that 2nd conflagration. The Wonson home was featured in a tourist photograph series, “Cape Ann Scenery”.

Santa visiting Reynard St., MAD MERRY highlights tour, and 35,000+ views to Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map 🚗☕🎄✨⛄ #GloucesterMA!

photo caption: Santa visiting sign at white lights home on Reynard St. Dec 17-23. 5:30-7pm (no pix with Santa)

Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives Map 2020 edition features 250+ decorated residential homes with Christmas light displays in Gloucester. Massachusetts. The map was viewed more than 30,000 times within 7 days of going live this year.

MAP

Gloucester is tough to match for winter lights charm and show stopping homes. From Beach Court to Stage Fort; West Gloucester to East; Magnolia to Annisquam; and Portuguese Hill to Plum Cove- Gloucester is illuminated. Many neighborhoods join in together glittering, and have for years. With each passing new day more join in.

Concentrated streets include:

  • Essex Avenue is beautiful and long– and it’s good driving from both directions. I split it up into Essex Ave stretch between Causeway Restaurant and Richdale and
  • Essex Avenue stretch (between Richdale and Rt.128 and then to Farnham’s)
  • Elizabeth Road neighborhood block
  • Reynard Street neighborhood block and Spruce Street expansive, elaborate displays
  • Hartz street charming sweet little block
  • Finch Lane delightful little block
  • Annisquam for an old timey route, mostly white & gold lights with multi colored trees at turns on the road.

Mad Merry Highlights Tour

as in deck the halls, doors, windows, roofs and yards with boughs of holly-holidays! These 20 or so Gloucester homes are LIT! Bedecked, top twinkling in 2020 (alphabetized by road):

  • 6 Abbott Road
  • Centennial Road – Hope 2x
  • 12 Concord St (next to West Parish-near Essex Ave.)
  • 4 Elizabeth Road (entire block, multiple homes)
  • 326 Essex Ave (all of Essex Ave is great/multiple homes)
  • 2 *Goose Cove Lane (end of block) & Holly Street
  • Grove (and Maplewood)
  • 6 Harbor Road at Bass Ave
  • Hesperus Ave (all trees- next to Hammond Castle)
  • 29 High Popples
  • 9 Lowe Drive
  • 22 Magnolia Ave and 124 Magnolia Ave
  • Luzitania Ave (off Friend St.)
  • 79 *Perkins Street
  • Reynard St. whole block (#22 white lights; #42 blue house)
  • 8 Spruce Road
  • 15R Stanwood Ave
  • 160 Washington Street

*animation Santas

Along with the map, winter lights house photographs were featured by neighborhood on GMG as follows:

This year’s trends include peace signs, illuminated words, melting multis, and a particular blue-green light (outlining windows in photo below).

Clear, mild nights make it easier to park, walk and linger. Snow and rain make for lovely routes, too.

photos below: Lanesville added, and homes missing from prior neighborhood batches

and pretty by day

Also **NEW** for 2020 — Gloucester with Manchester, Essex and Rockport (the Four Communities of Cape Ann) have collaborated to share beautiful Winter Lights on Cape Ann – 150+ businesses and organizations are merry and bright into January

after winter storm- white snow bright homes #GloucesterMA

Thank you to all the road crews and good eggs shoveling public ways!

Digging out photos: A few after the winter storm scenes of downtown Gloucester by 9:30AM 12/18/2020. Any surface brick or stone is slick as can be. Evergreen pine trees & wreaths were randomly frosted like the Kancamagus Highway. Yet snow was already gone from the marsh.

Motif Monday: Steeplechasing #GloucesterMA

When the light falls just so on St. Ann’s steeple and Our Lady of Good Voyage domes– thin glints, shimmering, or all out beacon beaming– I try to pull over.

From St. Ann’s to Our Lady even on a hazy day

Iconic Edward Hopper SOLD for $700,000 at Sotheby’s- Gloucester Factory and House – bird’s eye view of Cripple Cove and Gorton’s smokehouse on E. Main St. (now Capt. Joe & Sons and GMG HQ) from Horchow collection #GloucesterMA

A classic Edward Hopper inspired by Gloucester will be sold at Sotheby’s auction this morning*. Architectural and natural elements in the drawing remain recognizable today. The scene overlooks the same house on East Main, Capt. Joe & Sons, and Cripple Cove (see then/now comparison photos below). The Gorton’s factory building there burned down. Cripple Cove playground is the green on the right of the Hopper image.

The drawing last changed hands in 1989 when the Horchows purchased the drawing from Kennedy Galleries in New York. Will it land in another private collection or an institution?

Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Gloucester Factory and House, 1924, watercolor and pencil on paper, 14″ x 20″, from the Carolyn & Roger Horchow collection (Dallas,TX) They purchased the drawing in 1989 from Kennedy Galleries, NYC.

Lot 8 estimate $800,000-$1,200,00 currently at $600,000 bid before the auction opens

*Update- With just 56 lots to sell and two withdrawn ahead of sale, Lot 8 came up quickly with a few competing bids and a hammer price of $700,000 ($867,000 with fees), below estimate.

Many lots before and after were short of estimate or passed (unsold) including a Winslow Homer watercolor which was “reoffered” by pausing the bidding on the final lot #56 to return to Lot #16 (which sold for 2 million hammer price) before moving back to the final lot, an Edward Willis Refield (which sold for $250,000). That whoopsie “reoffer” is highly unusual**. The auction house scrambled to bring that phone bidder forward before the close of the sale. A second Homer watercolor passed at 850,000.

The Sotheby’s December 11, 2020 auction offered a variety of American art from various collections. The sale results were a mixed bag of purchases, passes, and pulled works. Only one work sold far above estimate, thanks to a bidding war, a western scene by John F. Clymer. Scroll below the Hopper and Gloucester images to see the Homer.

above photo: Catherine Ryan

above: page from Edward Hopper all around Gloucester by Catherine Ryan, 2010

above: Sotheby’s catalogue entry page

In 2017, Christies sold a Rockefeller Hopper painting, Cape Ann Granite, also in December, which I wrote about here: Bring it Home.

**December 11, 2020 Winslow Homer Lot 16 sold at Sotheby’s after passing first in the live sale and then “Reoffered” before the close of sale. For both the first and second offer window, the bid opened at 1.8 million. In the first round the bidding went back and forth, but “passed” at 2.2 million, presumably failing to meet reserve or presale estimate (2.5 – 3.5 million). Before the final lot of the sale, the auctioneer annouced a “re-offer” for Lot 16 after the audio went silent for a brief time. The drawing was sold to a buyer placing a phone bid for 2 million hammer price (2,440,000 after fees), less than the “pass” of the first time through. This move is nearly an aftersale during the sale. Perhaps the first time around the buyer was late to the call or there was confusion determining the “up to” amount, factoring in the fees.

Property from a Prominent Private Collection

Winslow Homer

1836 – 1910

Two Girls on the Beach, Tynemouth

signed Winslow Homer and dated 1881 (lower left)

watercolor and pencil on paper

14 1/8 by 20 inches

Yes, Joan, there is a dinosaur

Understandably there is no Middle Street Walk 2020, so Middle Street looks different this season. There is an endearing Dinosaur visiting. Ho Ho Ho ha ha ha!

Joan of Arc WWI memorial statue by Anna Hyatt Huntington in back

fun fact- building behind dino corner of Middle & Wash. Streets was one place artist Edward Hopper roomed in for Gloucester visits

**The Sun newspaper editorial board response to “Is there a Santa Claus’ query from an 8 year old was published September 21, 1897 on page 6 (Library of Congress). Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Also twinkling nearby (Middle, Pine, School & Proctor, Chestnut)

More lights? Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map- tour from your car or keyboard.

p.s. Perkins St. extravaganza completed

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Map additions- Perkins and Ledgemont

Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map #GloucesterMA 🚗☕🎄✨⛄Update 5 – Magnolia, Centennial, Maplewood, Madison Ave., Wash., and more!

Awesome – Hope & Joy house vibe is visible on descent Centennial Drive to Blvd

This is the sixth and final in a series featuring Christmas lights on 200+ decorated homes throughout neighborhoods in Gloucester Massachusetts for the 2020 season. Festive displays range from draped garland lights & wrapped trees to elaborate tableaus. Gloucester is beautiful! Streets that are covered in this post:

  • Magnolia area of Gloucester including Magnolia Ave., Hesperus Ave., Western Ave., Linden Ave., Lowe Drive
  • downtown Gloucester blocks including: Centennial Drive, Maplewood Ave., Prospect St., Riverside Ave. block, Washington St., Gloucester Avenue, Mystic Avenue, Madison Avenue (w/ Madison Sq. and Ct., and Springfield St.)
  • neighborhood additions: nearby Elizabeth Road; Abbott Road; East Gloucester- Mt. Pleasant area and East Main; and West Gloucester – Essex Ave.

MAGNOLIA AREA

Downtown

CENTENNIAL DRIVE ADDITIONS

Abbott Road | East Gloucester additions

West Gloucester additions

Follow links to see scenes from other Gloucester neighborhoods (or follow through to the end of the post and look for/select page 1,2)

Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives Gloucester Massachusetts map 2020. Photos have been added to the Google maps: tour by car or keyboard!

FAQ – how to print

The map is smart phone ready with house pictures. If you want to print the map see below: (1) navigate to the map page URL and (2) click on the three dots menu bar on the upper right. Pull down and select “print” PDF as of 12/7/2020

Updated

Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map #GloucesterMA 🚗☕🎄✨⛄Update 4 – Annisquam plus en route detours Washington, Cherry, Finch, Reynard, Spruce Streets

Scenes of Annisquam: Annisquam Village Hall; Annisquam Bridge; white lights and wreaths and trees at junctions. Followed with en route detours off Washington Street via Cherry, Spruce, Gee, Finch Lane, Reynard, Holly Street | Goose Cove Lane (near Willow Rest), Dennison

en route

Washington Street plus detours via Cherry, Spruce, Gee, Finch Lane, Reynard, Holly Street | Goose Cove Lane (near Willow Rest), Dennison

animated happy Santa waving from a car– off Holly St.:)

dog in bay

Print out

The map is smart phone ready with house pictures. If you want to print the map see two pictures below: (1) navigate to the map page URL and (2) click on the three dots menu bar on the upper right. Pull down and select “print” PDF as of 12/5/2020

Updated

Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map #GloucesterMA 🚗☕🎄✨⛄Update 3 – East Gloucester

Twinkling lights and candles in East Gloucester including Rocky Pasture Road; Decatur; High Popples; Mt. Pleasant

Holiday lights & cocoa drives Gloucester Mass as of Dec. 3, 2020

Print out

The map is smart phone ready with house pictures. If you want to print the map see two pictures below: (1) navigate to the map page URL and (2) click on the three dots menu bar on the upper right. Pull down and select “print”. PDF as of 12/3/2020 here

Updated

More neighborhood photos

Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map #GloucesterMA 🚗☕🎄✨⛄Update 2 – Portuguese Hill, other stretch Essex Ave

NEW photos in this post include: the second stretch of Essex Avenue from Richdale heading up to Farnham’s; Portuguese Hill neighborhood; don’t miss Happy Santa indigo up on Perkins; Harrison; and sweet charm of Hartz. Check the map for updates. Still to come: East Gloucester, Annnisquam, Lanesville, Magnolia.

annual beauty Concord/Essex Ave

Holiday lights & cocoa drives Gloucester Mass as of Dec. 2, 2020

What a gift our neighbors have shared for the community! There are so many festive houses in Gloucester it’s easy to plan multiple merry excursions.

  • For families and friends, eyespy challenges could switch nightly. Can you find a Santa? A peace sign? Snoopy?
  • How about a Bring the Cuddlies Christmas Light Tour- children can help their toy friends see out the car window. This one may be a given: Happy to share photos of your precious travelers :).
  • Pick a specific route by color lights or house style.
  • Bring art supplies to sketch a view.
  • Older homes make it fun to wonder about what it was like in the past. For families that like Old Timey winter scenes–imagine New England Little Women, Little House on the Prairie, Winslow Homer, and Currier& Ives– pretend the car is a sleigh or horse and buggy. Find some dress up attire that looks vintage (or go all out and find some duds at Bananas). Add a hot water bottle for the feet. A towel or blanket can wrap around like a hand warmer muff. For fans of Louisa May Alcott, point to Braewood* on Essex Avenue (across from Pauline’s gifts) and Rocky Neck, where she stayed on Gloucester holidays. Picture a winter skating rink in front of the UU Church on Middle Street. *For more about the history of Braewood and Alcott in Gloucester, search “Braewood” in this prior post.
  • For the train and dinosaur train enthusiasts, all aboard! The express car might even time with the T or train.
  • Switch off date night driving so the passenger can enjoy a festive eggnog.

These are special outings just outside your door. Don’t miss them!

Illustration for Louisa May Alcott Jack and Jill, 1880 – distant town and harbor suggestion of Gloucester from a property like Braewood at the time

happy Santa indigo

More photos

MORE Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map #GloucesterMA 🚗☕🎄✨⛄Update 1

NEW photos

Essex Avenue stretch between Causeway and Richdale; Western Avenue near Stage Fort Park; Kent Circle and Stage Fort Park. Check back as more neighborhood batches are added.

Holiday lights & cocoa drives Gloucester Mass as of Dec. 1, 2020

 

Tour by car or keyboard! 

First batch posted pictures for 2020 

below the break

Continue reading “MORE Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map #GloucesterMA 🚗☕🎄✨⛄Update 1”

Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map #GloucesterMA #CapeAnn 🚗☕🎄✨⛄

When I was a girl, my family, like many other families, considered every nocturne drive a chance to look for Christmas lights. Of course we carried on this tradition with our own children. The magic of the season is so easy to find in neighborhoods throughout Gloucester and all of Cape Ann. Coasting past classic New England home styles decorated for the holidays– while driving along bends and dips in the roads by charming coves– is sheer visual delight. There is a surprise around every corner.

Plus the season’s early nightfall is most welcome for little ones’ bedtime enchantment. Throw on some comfy holiday attire and toss in a thermos of hot chocolate to make it an extra special treat for the youngest, and the young at heart, and the perfect outing for social distancing in this year of Covid. Repeat visits are encouraged because there’s so much to see and more added every day.

Last year readers asked for a map. Here are some of the homes spreading cheer NOW with their Christmas lights and holiday yard displays, and it’s not yet December 1, 2020! Is your favorite friendly seasonal character out there? Or favorite color lights twinkling bright? I’ll continue to update the map and photographs, including specific requests and location recommendations from GMG readers.

Holiday lights & cocoa drives Gloucester Mass as of November 30, 2020