Tag Archives: LAUNCH PARTY


Join us as we celebrate the re-launch of the Museum’s Flagship, the Lewis H. Story!  Music, food, libations and family activities in the Shipyard, it will be a great way to kick off the summer season. Saturday, June 4th, at 4pm at the Essex Shipbulding Museum.

Photo: Wooden Boat Magazine

HISTORY OF THE LEWIS H. STORY from the Essex Shipbuilding Museum website

In 1998, the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum commissioned Essex builder Harold Burnham to construct a Chebacco to serve as the museum’s flagship. She measures 30 feet on deck and her hull, deck arrangement and rig are typical of post-Revolutionary War inshore fishermen.

The STORY is named in honor of Essex shipwright, carver, designer, modeler, researcher and the town’s foremost maritime historian, Lewis H. Story, 1873-1948.  All contemporary studies of Essex history and the design of the American fishing schooner are based on his life-long study and scholarship.


Image of Revolutionary War DogbodyDuring the American Revolution, the British nearly destroyed the New England fishing fleet. Since capital was lacking to build replacement schooners, a low-cost, quickly built vessel was needed. A little two-masted boat, then popular for the inshore fishery, seemed to fit the bill. Because it was developed in Essex which was then a parish of Ipswich called “Chebacco”, the vessel was known as a “Chebacco Boat” if pink sterned (pointed) and “Chebacco Dogbody” if square sterned (the origin of the term “Dogbody” is not known).

Chebacco Boats were built by the hundreds not only in Essex, but in other coastal towns as well. Typically, they measured between 22 and 30 tons and averaged from 24 to 48 feet in length, had two masts and no bowsprit. They were usually a flush-deck vessel with several cockpits, or “standing rooms” in which the fishermen stood to fish. A middle hatch gave access to the fish hold.

Local Essex tradition has it that the first Chebacco Boat was built in the attic of a house. This is likely more legend than fact. However, Chebaccos were almost always built near the dwelling of the builder and sometimes no more than a few yards from the front door. When finished, the boats were loaded onto pairs of wooden wheels and hauled to the launch-site by teams of oxen. Boat hauling went out of favor about the year 1835. Thereafter, all Essex vessels were built on the river’s edge.

There are Chebacco boats building for the Bay Fishery not only at every landing place, but in the yards of farmers some distance from the shore“.

1817, The Reverend William Bentley, of Salem



On July 7, from 6-9 pm, Art New England invites you to discover the serene beauty of Cape Ann at a launch party for its July/August issue, featuring Art New England‘s second annual Focus On: Cape Ann, at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

According to Art New England publisher Tim Montgomery, “New England is home to uncountable enclaves of art and innovation. From the smallest of places, like Putney, VT to the most storied, like Provincetown, MA, our region is as artistically fertile as any in the world. And, Cape Ann is one of the most important of those places. Art New England has committed to shining a light on these pockets of creative energy and we are particularly pleased to showcase Cape Ann, a region that has long attracted artists looking for solitude and inspiration.”

While its breathtaking beaches and quaint villages make Cape Ann a wonderful vacation spot, the area is also a bastion of artistic integrity. Cape Ann has been quietly hosting and producing remarkable artists since the 18th century, and museums and galleries in Gloucester, Rocky Neck, and Rockport, many of which are featured in the July/August issue of Art New England, are home to expansive collections of art and artifacts that celebrate Cape Ann’s cultural and nautical history. Cape Ann’s misty harbors and artistic wealth make the region an unusual and invaluable arts destination.

Gloucester artist Jon Sarkin will be on hand to celebrate the launch of Art New England‘s July/August issue, which features Sarkin’s i am what i am on the cover. Sarkin’s bold multimedia work has captivated the art world, but it is the fascinating story behind the art that has gained the attention of art experts and novices alike. In 1988, Sarkin, a husband and father who worked as a chiropractor, underwent deep brain surgery and experienced a subsequent stroke. While this experience represented the end of Sarkin’s former life, he recovered from the stroke with a newly-awakened insatiable desire to create art.

Sarkin’s story and art have been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, ABC Primetime, This American Life, GQ, ArtNews, and Vanity Fair. Sarkin is also the subject of Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Ellis Nutt’s recent biography Shadows Bright as Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man’s Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph. Sarkin will be signing copies of Shadows Bright as Glass, which Kirkus calls “a mind-bending and inspiring book.”

In addition to Sarkin, guests will also have the opportunity to mingle with some of Cape Ann’s artists and gallery owners featured in Art New England‘s July/August issue. Please join us for hors d’oeuvres and wine as we celebrate Cape Ann, one of New England’s most treasured artistic hubs.

About The Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in downtown Gloucester, Massachusetts, America’s oldest fishing port. Cape Ann – which lies just north of Boston and includes the city of Gloucester and towns of Rockport, Manchester and Essex – has been a leading center for artists since the 18th century, a maritime powerhouse and the source of granite for many major building projects up and down the East Coast.  The Cape Ann Museum has a number of collections relating to this rich cultural heritage, including an extensive selection of maritime paintings and landscapes by American artists such as Fitz Henry Lane, Milton Avery and John Sloan.

About Art New England

Art New England magazine was started in 1979 by area artists on a mission to foster a lively and critical discussion of the regional art scene. It has since evolved into the premier contemporary art publication in New England. Recently acquired by New Venture Media Group, publishers of the Boston edition of Playbill, as well as Panorama, The Official Guide to Boston, Art New England has renewed its thirty-year-old commitment to objective, sophisticated and enthusiastic coverage of New England art and artists.