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“Worth a visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Cape Ann Museum

Cape Ann Museum
Ranked #6 of 53 things to do in Gloucester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Cape Ann Museum tells multiple stories, all relating to a single remarkable place. From its earliest days as a fishing and shipping port to its mid-19th century role in the granite industry, to its singular charms of light and sea that have attracted countless artists from the 19th century to the present, Cape Ann boasts a rich and varied culture of nationally significant historical, industrial, and artistic achievement. The Museum's fine art collection includes the largest grouping of works by native son and renowned marine artist, Fitz Henry Lane, as well as work by other prominent painters and sculptors who lived on, visited or were inspired by Cape Ann. The work of contemporary Cape Ann artists is also collected and exhibited. The permanent collection includes fine and decorative arts, and artifacts from the major industries of the area - the fisheries and granite quarrying. Founded in 1873 as the Cape Ann Scientific and Literary Association, today the Museum is a vibrant cultural center that includes galleries, an auditorium, library/archives, a children's activity center, two sculpture gardens and two historic homes. In addition to its permanent collections, the Museum offers a rotating schedule of special exhibitions throughout the year as well as related programs and events. Visit us today to discover the treasures of Cape Ann.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2011

A fun local museum. Definitely worth a visit if your staying in the area. It has a ton of history on the local area.

Thank goblob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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135 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
352 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“A gem of a museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2011

What a find this place is. Everywhere you turn there is some wonderful work of art. The price of admission is a bargain. You will enjoy the exhibits on the history of the Gloucester area. They have the only extant British redcoat in the US. Great place to spend a few hours.

Visited October 2011
Thank DuffyNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Shore, MA
Level Contributor
169 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“A perfect introduction to Cape Ann”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2010

I recently visited the Cape Ann Museum for the first time--somehow I had missed this fine museum in my own "backyard." An enthusiastic volunteer led us on a tour that stretched well beyond its scheduled one-hour. The tour provided a great introduction to the Museum and to a number of facets of life on Cape Ann. The guide spent considerable time in the Fitz Henry Lane Gallery; the Museum houses the largest collection of the work of this 19th century Gloucester artist and also exhibits some of his correspondence. An exhibit about the granite quarrying industry was fascinating and added to my appreciation of the many sculptures throughout the Museum. A number of decorative arts pieces are also displayed including some lovely furniture, Paul Revere silver, and beautiful, printed textiles by the Folly Cove Designers (the founder of the Designers was Virginia Lee Burton, the author and illustrator of "Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel" and other children's books).

The Cape Ann Museum is readily accessed by car and public parking is nearby (bring quarters). It is also an easy half-mile walk from the Gloucester commuter rail station, which I think makes it a great destination for a day trip from Boston or Salem. The Museum will provide a great introduction for visitors spending some time on Cape Ann. Or, combined with a short walk to the waterfront and lunch, a visit could easily occupy most of a day. Beware though that the walk back to the train station is uphill so it may be a good idea to plan for a taxi or the CATA bus at the end of the day. If interested in the Museum tour, check ahead as they are not offered daily.

Don't overlook this treasure of Cape Ann!

1 Thank Route128North
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ottawa, canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A beautiful surprising museum that gives a quick picture of Cape Ann's art, history and culture”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2009

The museum is a gem for Gloucester and for Cape Ann. The works of permanent collection artists give a wonderful sense of the rich history, art and culture of Cape Ann, and the special collections give life to the history of the China trade and fisheries based out of the Cape. This summer's featured exhibition of works by the late national portraitist and prolific American impressionist Charles Hopkinson is a brilliant selection of oils, watercolors, and family portraits done around his nearby Cape Ann home over the first half of the last century.
Easy to park nearby and a short walk from Main St. the Museum is not to be missed during a visit to Gloucester.

1 Thank riprap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Delightful find!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2008

We stumbled upon this museum when viewing senior citizens' art (it was quite cool) in a shop window downtown. The museum was closed that day, so we made an extra trip back into Gloucester the next day for a visit, mainly to view art.

The woman at the front desk was welcoming and enthusiastic. The admission is affordable; I think it was $8 per person. The building itself is beautiful with natural light, especially floor 3.

We were fortunate to see the special exhibit, "Greenheads" by Sam Holdsworth. This alone is worth the price of admission. There are two Milton Avery pieces, he is a major player.

Lastly, the Fitz Henry Lane Gallery is excellent and it, too, is worth the price of admission. What a master of sky, water, and sunlight. His subjects are seascapes, harbor scenes, ships and vessels, and a few local, rural scenes. It is deeply fulfilling to view his paintings then to experience the real thing in person,or vice versa of course.

Thank MidwestPhotog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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