The Cape Ann Museum presents an exhibition of sculptures and photographs on the Great Swamp

Drawing inspiration from the vast Great Marsh, Essex sculptor Brad Story and Ipswich photographer Dorothy Kerper Monnelly will feature work in a special exhibition at the Janet & William Ellery James Center in Cape Ann Museum Green from June 18 to July 30. Each artist was inspired by the natural beauty of the surroundings on the North Shore and in particular the Great Marsh which stretches from Cape Ann to the New Hampshire border.

“Each artist’s sculptures and photographs are particularly striking as they reflect the true beauty of our local landscape,” said Cape Ann Museum director Oliver Barker. “As we celebrate the opening of our new CAM Green campus, they are well suited as featured artists in this setting, blending historic buildings, contemporary art and bucolic pastures. Both elevate the region’s natural beauty to art.

Barker said this is the first of three exhibits and related programming that will safely engage the community during the lingering pandemic and utilize CAM Green’s open space. From June 18, the campus will be open Thursday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Free entry.

Black and White by Brad Story

Brad Story is originally from Essex and lives and works on the edge of the Grand Marais. After graduating from college in 1969, he returned home to work with his father, Dana Story, in the family shipyard. The Stories have been building boats in Essex since the 1660s. After 27 years working in the shipyard, Story turned to designing and building three-dimensional works of art that combine his fascination with airplanes, birds and boat building. Using nature as a starting point and materials like wood and fiberglass, he creates sculptures that capture the imagination and lift the spirits. As one reviewer observed, his works “evoke scenes from the Daedalus feather-and-wax myth to Leonardo’s designs for an ornithopter, to the one-man gliders built by Otto Lilienthal in the 1890s.”

Dorothy Kerper Monnelly has been photographing in black and white for decades. Both fascinated and inspired by the 20,000 acre Grand Marais, it was the subject of her 2006 book, Between Road and Sea: The Grand Maraiswhich was republished in 2020. Over the course of her career, Monnelly’s photographs have been celebrated by conservation groups, and her large-scale gelatin silver prints are in the collections of several museums, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC

In mid-September, the museum will host another Great Marsh-related exhibit on the Pleasant Street campus. Two marsh paintings by Martin Johnson Heade (1819 – 1904) will be juxtaposed with works by photographer Martha Hale Harvey (1863 – 1949), whose glass plate negatives belong to the museum.

the Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, Brad Story and the Grand Marais the exhibition will include two virtual conferences. In response to the continued limitations of large indoor gatherings, the museum continues to offer online gallery talks with the CAM Virtual Lecture Series. These regular online events – lectures, talks, presentations, gallery tours, artist talks, etc. – offer visitors near and far the opportunity to engage deeply with the museum’s vast collection from the safety of their own homes. In-person tickets are free for CAM members or $10 for the general public. The conferences will be broadcast live for free on Facebook and Vimeo.

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Tracey L. Sweeney