The rugged and beautiful region of Cape Ann has attracted great artists for more than a century and a half. Gloucester was called the art capital of the United States in 1925, and although that heyday has passed, something about this island has continued to captivate generation after generation of painters, writers, musicians, sculptors, artisans, playwrights, and dancers. It may be the birds in the marsh or the distant rote in the granite teeth. It may be the people who welcome the eccentric and find strangers worth talking to. Or it may be an effect of the calm and furious sea. We don’t know, but vital art springs repeatedly from this rocky coast.
Today, as in the past, a large community of artists thrives here, sustained and guided by a keen sense of place, by connections to each other, and by the long tradition of artistic excellence within the vibrant matrix of Cape Ann’s interwoven communities.
“art capital”: New York Times, 6 September 1925
“distant rote [surf] in the granite teeth”: T. S. Eliot, The Dry Salvages in Four Quartets
photos of Brace’s Rock, Gloucester © 2009 Matthew Swift