Tag Archives: Art

Doors open for #BerkshireMuseum case John Adams Courthouse

People are streaming in and filling seats like guests at a wedding– proponents of the sale like Berkshire Museum director Van Shields and Trustees are seated together on the left.

Attorneys greet and shake hands like team captains before a big game.

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Magnolia Pier

One of my most photographed subjects is the magnolia pier. Seeing it in its current state makes me sad but I know the people involved in the reconstruction will get her back to normal as soon as they can. For those that don’t know the Pier was severely damaged during the last few storms with damaging surf dismantling it making it unsafe .

Berkshire Museum court case today – order for oral arguments as follows

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (8)_105946 (1)

Courtroom 2 at John Adams Courthouse is quiet now but come noon today the Berkshire Museum deaccession  art case will have it’s next day in court, this time the highest in the Commonwealth.

Attorneys for Parties (The Trustees Berkshire Museum and Massachusetts AGO) vs. Amici (Patti and Hatt groups) will present as follows:

Amici will go first  Tom Patti and Hatt groups, then AGO, and Trustees last. Justice Lowy can decide to allow the patries’ petition, deny it, or reserve and report which means bringing the case back to the full court.

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Summer Dreaming

Waking up early this morning to go catch sunrise I heard the wind and decided to not go shoot,, yes I’m a fair weather photographer, well only when it’s March and the temperatures in the teens with wind chill.. I hope you enjoy this sunset shot from Colby Farm taken last September

Beacon Sunset

Driving around the back shore in Gloucester there are so many incredible views of our gorgeous town, this scene is no different. As I approached the Beacon Marine the light was changing fast I knew there wasn’t much time so I quickly pulled over and grabbed gear and set up through the railings just in time,

Cape Ann Museum Kids Calligraphy with Albina Papows!

CAM Kids Calligraphy.jpg

Learn calligraphy basics in a morning class with specialist Albina Papows. Inspired by the special exhibition Unfolding Histories: Cape Ann before 1900. Write your name, use calligraphy tools and leave with a sampler to take home. This family workshop is recommended for children 7 and up with an adult. Registration required. To register, please contact Education Coordinator Kirsten Vega at kirstenvega@capeannmuseum.org or (978) 283-0455 x16.

Read more at : http://www.capeannmuseum.org/events/cam-kids-second-saturday04-14-18/


free Teacher workshop at Cape Ann Museum with support from Essex Heritage | “Unfolding Histories” exhibition opens March 31!

Exciting news from Cape Ann Museum:

March 2018

Teachers throughout Essex County are invited to Cape Ann Museum to study Unfolding Histories: Cape Ann Before 1900, the first major exhibition to bring together historical and archival material from nine Cape Ann institutions focused on life during Cape Ann’s early years, including stories which illuminate the Native American and European contact period, the Revolutionary War, and 19th century history and culture.

Teachers who attend the April 7th Teacher Workshop will discover strategies to increase student literacy with primary source documents using an inquiry-based learning model to tie larger themes to our local area. Designed for K–12 teachers currently working in public & private schools throughout Essex County, this free workshop is a way to earn 10 PDPs for attending the session and creating an activity plan, with additional opportunities to earn more. Space is limited to twenty teachers; registration required. For more information please contact Essex Heritage Education Director Beth Beringer at bethb@essexheritage.org or (978) 740-0444.

The Unfolding Histories exhibit will be on view March 31, 2018- September 9, 2018. Massachusetts Teacher Association members are admitted free!


Breaking News: This isn’t just another lost cause- Justice Lowy has scheduled a Hearing for Berkshire Museum litigation

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan_105912

Huge step and opportunity. Justice Lowy has scheduled a hearing on Tuesday March 20 for counsel and parties! High noon. This is not to the full court; first stop is before the Single Justice. Justice Lowy has allowed 10 minutes each for oral argument.

Catch up on the case Read more

What will Justice Lowy decide and the room where it happens | Last stop for Berkshire Museum docket SJ-2018-065 at John Adams Courthouse #BostonMA Supreme Court

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (9)

Front entrance John Adams Courthouse, Boston, MA. The Berkshire Museum case is under review by Supreme Court Justice Lowy

How did the Berkshire Museum brouhaha wind up in the highest court under SJO (Single Justice) review by Justice David A Lowy?

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, deemed it necessary to alter an original historic building and sell off its priceless core art collection in order to build a dream and survive. This controvertial move garnered attention and divided opinion.  The Trustees of the Museum explained that they hired a consultancy firm which confirmed this new direction (“New Vision”), via extensive public outreach* no less, so what gives? (*22 focus groups involving over 200 people is hardly extensive.) Opponents cried, “Foul!”, and pointed out questionable and perhaps shady fodder, i.e. would museum members and the Berkshire community have voted YES had they been told that the best works from the permanent collection must be sold off to make it happen? Also, the art was consigned to Sotheby’s June 13, 2017, but the Trustees altered the museum’s Charter after the consignment date and only then informed the “public”.  Timing is everything. There was even an infamous email with a ‘loose lips sink ships’ subject line.  We know these details because of dogged reporting by the The Berkshire Eagle, notably Larry Parnass, and a wide network. The story is urgent and compelling, the art world equivalent of a Spotlight-All the President’s Men-Pentagon Papers type investigation.

The first auctions were slated for November 2017. Shuffleton’s Barbershop by Norman Rockwell was to have been the Berkshire Museum star lot. Its presale estimate alone was 20 to 30 million. By the Fall of 2017, the museum was hit with multiple lawsuits, sued by the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Norman Rockwell descendants, and various plaintiffs. Eventually, all were folded into #TeamAGO vs. the Berkshire Museum. On November 8th, the Lower Court ruled in favor of the Museum, clearing the legal right of way to auction. The Attorney General Office appealed to the State’s supreme judicial court to block the sale for more time to evaluate and investigate the case. Attorneys for the Museum fought that request vigorously, but were denied. On November 10, 2017, the AGO procured an injunction from Judge Trainor of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, scuttling any scheduled auction prior to December 11, 2017. Allowances for extensions to build the case were granted. On February 5th, the AGO switched teams and filed jointly with its former adversary, the Berkshire Museum, petitioning the court to apply cy pres and maintaining its opinion that indeed all the art is restricted:

“As detailed elsewhere (e.g., in its filings in the litigation referenced above) the AGO believes that all of the works of art deaccessioned and proposed for sale are subject to one or more restrictions that limit the Museum’s ability to proceed with its planned sale and use of proceeds to fund an endowment, pay for operating expenses and fund renovations. The Museum continues to believe no restrictions (beyond the Museum’s charitable purposes) apply.”

This alliance left many scratching their heads  and interested parties formerly #TeamAGO adrift. Although the Rockwell plaintiffs backed off and dropped their case, law firms Sullivan & Worcester and  Foley Hoag with Barker, Epstein & Loscocco solicited amicus status on behalf of their clients.

Sullivan & Worcester Berkshire Museum

Sullivan & Worcester blog post about their position

Immediately, the AGO and the Berkshire Museum filed opposition papers. They weren’t persuasive. The Justice granted the participation of the law firms which means that the SJ-2018-065 docket was vastly enlarged and enlightened on February 27, 2018, and I had to see. And share. (Although everything I was looking for and questioned was not there.) The attorneys disagree with the AGO and Berkshire Museum proposal, and request oral argument. The AGO and Museum responses were filed after I visited. Justice David A Lowy will make that decision. He can act on filed papers related to Docket SJ-2018-065, order a hearing, or pass the case back to the full court. What will he do? I’m crossing fingers that arguments will be heard, and with the full court (which meets the first week each month and is open to the public), especially after I considered the material in person.  The Berkshire Museum could inspire a Frank Capra-esque courtroom movie treatment one day.

In the meantime, the art remains in Sotheby’s possession and the auction house stands down as the case is sorted. The docket includes Sotheby’s contract.

For armchair lawyers and detail detectives: I offer a blizzard of documents, on the eve of the next Nor’Easter blizzard and hope I’ve peaked your interest. (Leaving my analysis aside for now.)  Scroll past this post’s “read more” indicator to see interior architectural photos I took of the stunning John Adams Courthouse, and to read some of the complete and unfiltered new filings and documents related to the Berkshire Museum case, specifically-

  • AMICI CURIAE Sullivan & Worcester LLP law firm on behalf of ‘Berkshire Museum Member Plaintiffs’: James Hatt,  Kristin Hatt,  and Elizabeth Weinberg, filed Feb 26 2018, case SJ-2018-065 (52 pages)
  • AMICUS CURIAE Foley Hoag and Barker, Epstein & Loscocco – attorney Michael B Keating of Foley Hoag with attorney Daniel Epstein of Barker, Epstein & Loscocco on behalf of clients: Tom Patti, who completed two commissioned installations for the Berkshire Museum entrance and reception areas–spaces that will be gutted if the historic building is disfigured for the New Vision; Marilyn Holtz Patti – resides and works in Berkshire County as does Tom Patti; Jean Rosseau and Jonas Dovydenas- residents of Stockbridge and Lenox; James Lamme, resident of Egremont; and Donald MacGillis, resident of Pittsfield, MA. (21 pages)
  • Sotheby’s Contract with the Berkshire Museum (9 pages)
  • Affidavit from Dan Monroe, Director of the Peabody Essex Museum opposed the Berkshire Museum sale (4 pages)
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) provided major facility funding since 2000. Some related construction was completed by a board member and warrants scrutiny
  • links to prior GMG Berkshire Museum posts

Interior views John Adams Courthouse 

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (2)

The John Adams Courthouse Great Hall is stunning. On the right side in this photos is a Daniel Chester French gilded sculpture of Rufus Choate


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Don’t miss Alice Gardner solo show at Matz Gallery!

What a beautiful show and radiant bellwether of spring.

Alice Gardner March 2018 exhibition at Sawyer Free Library







Calm Before the Storm

This image was taken last Thursday before the storm came through, Long Beach did not look the same for the next few days.

Also a big thank you to Joey for making me part of the team. Hoping to share a lot more of my images with you all thank you for the support

Last Light Annisquam

4 minute exposure just after the sun had disappeared love capturing the lingering light this way as it gives the clouds the streak affect.

I also want to thank Joey for giving me this opportunity as the featured artist for the month of February. And also to all of you for the lovely comments and likes.

Tomorrow March 1st through the month i will have 6 pieces at the gallery area at Addison Gilbert Hospital here in Gloucester

And will also have 7 pieces hanging in Gallery above the Schooners Market in Essex through the month of March,,

Thank you everyone,

To view more of my work, see my gallery on the Cape Ann Giclée website

Vesper Stamper reading and book signing Thursday March 1

What the night

David West shares news of an amazing and multi talented author/illustrator coming to Gordon this week for a public reading and book signing

Vesper Stamper – http://www.vesperillustration.com/


Vesper Stamper What the Night Sings

Repairs Gone Wrong – botched cleaning on City Hall Honor Roll plaques require corrective restoration

And the qualified help that’s needed is underway!

What do you do when your home repair goes very wrong? Upon evaluation, sometimes you just have to hire a new contractor to remedy mistakes. In the fall of 2014 memorial honor roll plaques in City Hall received some cleaning. The monuments were due some attention. Over time the names were no longer legible and the surfaces were grimy defeating their noble purpose. Gloucester’s outstanding City Archives and the Cape Ann Office of Veterans Services were and are able to help with research for those who can’t come in person or see them clearly.

photo caption: BEFORE photograph of one of four WW1 honor rolls in the rotunda City Hall, ca.2014

©C Ryan bronze plaque city hall 2


The 2014 project was not handled by the city nor administered through its committee for the arts, of which I am a member. Funds were raised privately to work on the plaques. Though well intentioned, those restoration efforts were botched (and costly at the time, so I’m told.)  The names were made more visible, but the plaques were damaged and results are scratched, streaked and blotchy.

photo after poor bronze plaque cleaning splotchy © C Ryan 20170719

A small annual budget (FY2018 $4000) that’s set aside for care of City arts and culture and monuments as part of its mission must now be redirected to fix the fix. Yes, “Sometimes you have to hire a new contractor to remedy mistakes,”  frustrating, but necessary. Perhaps the 2014 group will reimburse this cost.

Throughout 2018, you may see specialists from Skylight Studios repairing plaques within City Hall through the Committee for the Arts on behalf of the City. (Gloucester residents may recall that Skylight Studios was hired by the Commonwealth to restore the bronze doors of the Abram Piat Andrew Bridge; the doors were temporarily displayed at Cape Ann Museum before being reinstalled.)

The detailed work on the City Hall plaques will be completed in brief, focused intervals. One plaque in the rotunda will be restored last, because it’s a great opportunity to show before and after examples of contemporary restoration projects- the good, the bad and the quality. As the plaques are repaired, the detail of the raised carving and borders and most importantly the names of so many veterans will become easier and easier to read and remember.

Gloucester Ma Veterans Honor Rolls and Monuments

*author note- this post is listing interior Honor Rolls within City Hall; it’s not a complete list for all tributes in Gloucester 

Spanish American War- “Men of Gloucester who served in the War with Spain volunteers all 1898-1902. Gloucester ‘s men, serving on land and sea won for their city  the honor of giving to her country the largest per capita of men in this war. Erected by the City of Gloucester 1930.

Honor Roll War with Spain City Hall cleaning needs to be redone  ©c ryan 20180221_095556.jpg

2014 wonky cleaning needs repair (Honor Roll to be repaired sometime 2018)

World War I Honor Rolls (rotunda and upstairs)
World Ward II Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office)
Korean Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office)
Vietnam Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office; Brian Hamilton 1980 painting of fisherman)

just outside Kyrouz Auditorium, FIRST FLOOR, CITY HALL
“Civil War (1861 1865)This tablet records the service of Company G 8th Regiment MVM in the Civil War; and War with Spain (1898 1899) occupation of Cuba; and World War 1917 1919″ Corrective repairs are underway on this trio Honor Roll. Waxy build up added in 2014 is being removed all over, and names in a small lower right corner have been attended.


The multi story memorial to Gloucester fishermen lost at sea was a major public art project led, designed and hand painted by Norma Cuneo, with Irma Wheeler and Ellen Ferrin in 1978, a beautiful shrine lighted by day by two tall windows. Mark Newton, then city clerk-historian, and Jerry Cook were lead researchers; the team eventually compiled a card index that could be accessed by the public along with checking this massive lost at sea mural. Research incorporated historic materials like The Fishermen’s Memorial and Record Book, by George H. Procter, published by Procter Bros. in 1873, printed matter, family archives, and newspapers. Volunteers and historians amend the sources and statistics over time. The sense of the power of a name and life is inspiring. The response and need to a tangible, accessible record was tremendous. Their work was the basis for the cenotaph installed in 2000 by the Fisherman at the Wheel memorial on Stacy Boulevard, a sacred place and pilgrimage site accessible day and night.


detail City hall interior Gloucester MA with detail of Gloucester IMG_20180222_125029.jpg

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