During the weekend of September 26-28, the City of Gloucester will celebrate the life and work of Sculptor Walker Hancock. The celebration, sponsored by the Gloucester Committee for the Arts, will feature events in several venues, including The Cape Ann Museum, The Cape Ann Community Cinema, and Gloucester City Hall. Other partners include Essex National Heritage Area and Cape Ann TV.
“It’s a three part celebration,” said Judith Hoglander, Event Chair. “We want to showcase not only Hancock’s great talent as sculptor and his contribution to great art as we know it today as a Monuments Man, but to show his private side as well.”
The Cape Ann Museum showcases Hancock’s art with an exhibit titled A Chosen Place-Walker Hancock and His Friends. This exhibit features works by Hancock and by other nationally known artists who lived and worked on Cape Ann during the period from the 1940s until the 1980s. One of the better-known artists in this group is Hancock’s friend, and colleague, sculptor Paul Manship. Manship is best known for his towering golden Prometheus in New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Manship called Hancock, “The last American Master Craftsman in Sculpture. [He is] equally at home in every branch of the art from medals to monuments.”
On Friday evening (9/26) the Cape Ann Museum will host a Conversation With Deanie Hancock French, Walker Hancock’s daughter, and Jonathan Fairbanks, Director of the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton. This event is free to Cape Ann Museum members with a $10 charge for non-members.
On Saturday (9/27) from 10:30 AM until 2:30 PM, the Cape Ann Museum will conduct private tours of the Hancock exhibit. Space on the tour is limited to 25 persons and is on a first-come first-served basis.
On Saturday afternoon (9/27) at 2:30 PM, the Cape Ann Community Cinema, in downtown Gloucester, will show the film Monuments Men with George Clooney, Matt Damon and John Goodman. Hancock was one of the first to be called to join the now famous Monuments Men. As one of the Monuments Men, Hancock was a key player in the rescue of works of art and priceless relics (including the coffin of Frederick the Great), from the mines at Bernterode in Southern Germany. The mines were packed with an enormous cache of dynamite. The Monuments Men arrived just in time to stop their destruction by order of the Nazis. This event and others during the weekend are part of the Essex National Heritage Area’s Trails and Sails weekend and are free to the public.
On Saturday evening (9/27) at Gloucester City Hall at 7PM there will be a special event featuring –ROBERT EDSEL– the author of the book Monuments Men- on which the film was based – will talk about the book and the great importance of the work these men and women did to preserve many of the priceless art treasures we have today. Mr. Edsel is founder of the Monuments Men Foundation, created to “raise public awareness of the importance of protecting and safeguarding civilization’s most important artistic and cultural treasures from armed conflict.” A “Meet and Greet” and book signing by Mr. Edsel will follow the talk. This event is free to the public with donations accepted to defray costs.
On Sunday (9/28) at 1PM, the Cape Ann Community Cinema will have another showing of Monuments Men.
On Sunday (9/28) at 3PM in Gloucester City Hall there will be a panel discussion featuring friends and neighbors of Hancock’s in Lanesville, The panel will be moderated by local artist and former Cable TV host, Sinikka Nogelo. Panelists will share memories of Hancock as friend and neighbor. Among the panelists will be Hancock’s daughter, Deanie Hancock French and Gloria Parsons, Hancock’s long time cook. The audience will also be invited to contribute their memories. © Matthew Green photo
Segments of the weekend’s events will be filmed in order to preserve memories of Hancock’s life and work for the future.
Sponsored by: the Gloucester Committee for the Arts, its Partners and Friends