Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunset on Lanes Cove

The sunsets are now racing south along the horizon and soon they will set behind the hill (toward the left), where they will remain for several months.

Essex County Chronicles: Tiny Cape Ann village became a big draw for artists

The Salem News

Essex County Chronicles
Jim McAllister

September 21, 2009 12:03 am

In the basement of the Cape Ann Historical Museum in downtown Gloucester is a room dedicated to the works of the many sculptors, painters and textile artists who practiced their craft, summers or year-round, in that far-flung corner of the city known as Folly Cove.

Folly Cove is actually part of Lanesville, which was originally settled in the early 1700s by John Lane and which for many years was a predominately Finnish community. The Folly Cove name is attributed to a master mariner named Gallop who somehow managed to crash his vessel on the rocky cove in 1635. For many years after the incident, the neighborhood was called Gallop's Folly, but, mercifully for the reputation of Capt. Gallop, the name somewhere along the way was changed to its present version.

Because of its isolated location near the tip of the peninsula bounded on one end by Rockport and the other by Annisquam, its breathtaking view of Ipswich Bay, regular trolley service, and later — when the Cape Ann granite industry fell apart — the availability of affordable property, Folly Cove became a popular destination for artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many built or bought second homes in the area and returned year after year.

Some of these artists came from Boston, including Ellen Day Hale and her sister-in-law, Lillian Prescott Hale; while others, like Gabrielle de Veux Clements and Charles Grafly, hailed from Philadelphia. New York's contributions included the painter-muralist Leon Kroll, who spent nearly 60 summers on Cape Ann, and Paul Manship.

Kroll bought a home in the Folly Cove neighborhood during World War II, and during his time on Cape Ann produced many stunning views of local quarries, farms and beaches, often enhanced by the figures for which he was so well-known.

The already famous sculptor Manship also purchased 14 acres of land in Lanesville in 1943. He moved to the site, an abandoned quarry, a house and a barn, the latter to serve as his studio. But Manship, who is best known for his massive statue of Prometheus in New York City's Rockefeller Center and his lively monumental work at the Bronx Zoo, used the studio infrequently because asthma limited the amount of time he could spend on Cape Ann.

Manship's son, John, and his sculptor wife, Margaret (Cassidy), took over the property after Paul's death. Both were to have magnificent careers in their own right — John primarily as a painter and Margaret as a sculptress. Robert Frost sat for both and Margaret produced bronze busts of two popes, John Paul II and Pius XII, and American presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

One of Paul Manship's teachers, Charles Grafly, who headed the sculpture department at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, had been the first of many sculptors who summered or lived in the Lanesville area. After his tragic death — the result of being run over by a car — Grafly's position at the academy was taken by an up-and-coming sculptor named Walker Hancock. The St. Louis native would follow his mentor's lead in choosing a summer sanctuary.

Hancock acquired an abandoned quarry in Lanesville and married a member of one the area's preeminent Finnish families. During his long and impressive career, Hancock's output included the Pennsylvania Railroad War Memorial in Philadelphia, the Soldiers' Memorial in St. Louis, and busts of Russell Crouse and family friend George Bush.

Another sculptor who chose to settle in Folly Cove was a Greek immigrant and great teacher of drawing and sculpture named George Demetrios. His wife, Virginia, became famous for the children's books, including "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel," which she wrote under the name Virginia Lee Burton. She also started the group known as the Folly Cove Designers who became known across the country for their artistically designed fabrics. Samples of those fabrics are on display in the Cape Ann Museum.

The art critic and biographer James Mellow also owned a summer home for many years in Folly Cove just north of Folly Point. A Gloucester native who relocated to Clinton, Conn., Mellow penned biographies of Nathaniel Hawthorne, which won for him the National Book Award, Gertrude Stein and her circle, Ernest Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds, Scott and Zelda. Much of his writing was done in a small studio overlooking Ipswich Bay.


Jim McAllister of Salem writes a weekly column on the region's history. Contact him at

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Artists of Lanesville - PAUL MANSHIP

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

Paul Manship, internationally known sculptor, and his wife, Isabel, made many friends when they came to Lanesville in the 1940s to live in their summer home overlooking Butman’s Pit. The sculptor died in 1966 at the age of eighty after a life filled with art, begun when a student at the American Academy in Rome at the age of twenty-three.

It is said that Mr. Manship was an artist who kept alive the traditions of the great works of Greece and Renaissance Italy whether he was modeling the young Abraham Lincoln for Fort Wayne, Indiana, a Greek goddess or the Little Country Mouse.

Probably the best known work of Mr. Manship’s is “Prometheus Bringing Fire from Heaven” finished in 1934, located in the sunken plaza, Rockefeller Center, New York City. Below the flying figure is a circle bearing in low relief the signs of the Zodiac. His most famous animal groups complete with six-foot high bronze bears, ten gilded bronze-birds, a deer, a lion, a baboon and a leopard with silver spots, are worked into a double-arched forty-two foot gate called the Paul J. Rainey Memorial Gateway in the Zoological Park in New York, also finished in 1934.

Mr. Manship’s sure, strong technique is demonstrated in his animal figures. He made them seem friendly-not in an overwhelming manner, but just enough to allow young and old a little smile of pleasure on seeing them. Many of his animal figures can be seen in Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina.

The sculptor was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on Christmas Eve, 1885. By the time he was fifteen, he was making masks of his family and was ready to study design. A few months at the Art Students League followed, and then he became an assistant to the sculptor, Solon Borglum. In 1906 Mr. Manship studied for a while under Charles Grafly at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, but at that time, he had no interest in portrait sculpture, so he sailed to Spain. While in Europe he became an assistant to Isadore Konti for two years and there he learned much about the technique of modeling.

Paul Manship was married to Isabel McIlwaine in Grace Church, New York, January 1, 1913. Two years later he had his first traveling exhibit, a collection of thirty-eight works, mostly bronze statuettes. His first daughter, Pauline Frances, was born in 1913. When the baby was three weeks old, he modeled his little daughter, a work which was acclaimed at once for its sensitivity and delicacy of design. In 1914 he was awarded the George Widener Memorial Gold Medal for his statue “Duck Girl.”

Although Mr. Manship created many statues of Greek gods and goddesses, he was never restricted to mythological subjects. At one period, the years before 1920, he was influenced by the East. The “Dancer and Gazelles” is one of his exacting bronzes, the “Woodrow Wilson Celestial Sphere” in the Gardens of the Palace of the United Nations at Geneva is another. Imagine the challenge of accurately fixing stars and positioning sixty-six constellations, and yet achieving that clean, uncluttered look for which Mr. Manship was famous. Friends coming to visit usually found him out on the terrace in the early dark, his arm around one of his three daughters, pointing to one constellation or another in that particular segment of sky while the other children eagerly joined in.

It was about 1944 when the Manships’ daughter, Pauline, married a Lanesville young man, Ilmari Natti, and went to live in a quarryman’s house near Moving Rock. The sculptor knew Cape Ann had a large number of artists, both permanent and summer residents, so he bought land off Leverett Street including two quarries, moved a house over from Pigeon Cove to the rim of Butman’s Pit and redesigned it to include a large picture window. Outside he planned a green lawn, but it was a real challenge since the entire area was covered with sharp granite chips left by paving cutters long ago. Villagers, at first skeptical, then admiring, saw him set up a grape arbor supported by massive lengths of a derrick boom and mast found in the quarry. Then he leveled off and paved an area for a terrace and found polished granite for a table and benches. Later, he grew wild blueberry bushes as a low hedge handy to the kitchen door.

Mr. Manship hunted for a large barn, for it was wartime and lumber was not available. Lorenzo Berry’s ox barn at Bay View proved to be just the thing. It was brought down in sections and rebuilt close to the house. Facing the old quarry road and warmth of the sun, the renovated barn became the sculptor’s summer studio and exhibition building, at times holding 200 models and studies representing most of his work to that date. His small “den” was an old grain room just inside the door where he could disappear to work. Hung as a curtain were lengths of fishing line with lead sinkers to hold them vertically against weathered boards. Outside he coaxed his first espaliered fruit tree to grow. He was as proud of this as he was of his latest work or his grandchildren. Later, he designed a pergola overlooking Canney’s Pit.

During one of the first Cape Ann Festivals of the Arts, the Manships opened their home and studio for a Finnish-type coffee party to which hundreds came. People admired the bronze and plaster models, especially on the upper terrace where the sculptor had placed his large sundial called “Time and the Fates.” This was surrounded by his four “Moods of Time” which he did for the World’s Fair of 1939 in New York. The highlight that day was a scene from the play “Life with Father” with the two playwrights, Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay attending with their wives.

Mr. Manship gained still more prominence with his work for the World War I1 Memorial at Anzio, Italy, entitled the “Portal of Freedom,” “Memory,” 1952; “Immortality,” 1952; “Comrades in Arms,” 1953 and the “Altar Triptych,” 1955. He also sculpted small items such as ashtrays with signs of the Zodiac, medals for special friends and for his family, a sculpture for Steuben crystal and even a Four Freedoms Postage Stamp for the United States Government.

As other people collect photographs of their children growing up, Paul Manship had his own “album” of studies of his son, his three daughters and his wife in terra cotta and marble. When he retired, he continued to work in his den or in his New York studio, continuing his album with his first grandchild, Anne Murtha.

In 1961 Mr. Manship was awarded the “Oscar” of the art world, the international prize of San Luca in a program at the Borghese Palace in Florence, Italy. At that time the sculptor said, “If I have absorbed something of the light and spirit of Florence it has been a gain that has lasted me all through my life’s work."

Mr. Manship’s final work, one he never saw set in place, was the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on a small island in the Potomac below the Georgetown Bridge. People walk across a narrow causeway to visit the area.

In 1966 the great sculptor died at age eighty of a heart attack while in his New York apartment. Shortly after, his son John found in the pocket of his father’s dressing gown a scrap of paper on which was written, “The primary impulse in the Arts is to give permanence to the fleeting moment, to bid it stay, because we cannot bear to lose it.”

Bluefishers happy despite weather, low catch figures

Gloucester Daily Times

Ebb & Flow
Peter K. Prybot

September 11, 2009 10:08 pm

"There weren't a lot of fish caught, and the weather drove a lot of people away."

So explained Don Peavey, one of the annual Lane's Cove Bluefish Tournament's officials and founders.

But despite those negatives, participants did leave last weekend's 21st annual tournament happy, especially for winning a prize or just getting their feet back on solid ground, and everyone was grateful for this tournament and to the people —-Don and Brandon Peavey, David, Jen and Christy Grace, Kendra Hardy, Brian Cusick, Russell Haselgard and Joe Parady — who made it happen.

By the 9 a.m. tournament registration cut-off at Lane's Cove, 438 people signed on, paid their $10 entry fee and received their raffle ticket, down from 585 last year and 2007's record 597. Scott Amero was the first contestant in line, while James Bennett was the last.

A naughty east wind up to 25 miles per hour woke up early that clear, cool Sunday before Labor Day, and already riled three-to-five-foot white-capped waves by daybreak. These simple harmonic motions continued racing towards and self-destructing at the shore most of the morning, still leaving behind a sloppy ocean surface by afternoon. The bluefish hunt took place all around Cape Ann, including within Gloucester Harbor, to as far south as Boston Harbor.

Around 2:30, a fleet of tournament boats, including Capt. Mark Byard's 56-foot gillnetter S.S. Melon III and Capt. Ryan Drohan's 38-foot lobster boat Katlyn D, docked at the Cove's float and continued their on-board barbecues on an even keel. Fish talk flowed from the site as well as from the crowd on the east wharf.

"We had 15 people aboard, including 7 girls (young ladies). We caught just one fish. It was pretty rough out there. We were in the tournament for fun," said Drohan, of Rockport.

Mark Luzzio, one of 12 guests aboard the S.S. Melon III, gave his account for the day:

"We did a little trolling," he said. "We got one hit and lost him. We had some seasick people aboard."

Capt. Dean Horn of the vessel Split the Difference and his crew of Chris Smith, Bob Orlando, vessel owner, Guy Cloutman, Brian Watson and Paul Boudreau "... went all the way to Salem Sound."

"You had to; the fish were pretty scarce everywhere," said Horn. "We got two here."

Fishermen ever so slowly began bringing their largest fish to the well-run weigh-out station, complete with a digital scale, from 2:30 p.m. onward to see if they had a winner.

"Bring them up, bring them up," Cusick regularly broadcast to a growing, well-behaved crowd.

"Two years back, Grace and his Beacon Roofing Supply Company in Peabody donated the digital scale," Peavey explained.

"We're down to five minutes on the tournament," Peavey soon announced. By then most of the approximately 60 fish weighed fell within the 8 to 11-pound range.

"This is the smallest amount of fish I've ever seen weighed," remarked David Grace.

One of the bluefish, transported in a cooler, was still flapping during its weigh-in. Soon, deemed not a prize winner, the fish's owner then no longer wanted it, tournament officials returned it to the Cove, and the fish swam away. Other bluefish drop-offs were picked up by different people for food.

Peavey promptly terminated the tournament at 4 p.m.

Brothers Chris and Zach Jewell snagged the 11.8-pound $1,350 first prize fish trolling a lure aboard Chris' 34-foot lobster boat McKenzie Rose.

"We got him around 8 a.m. right off the bell buoy (at the mouth of the Annisquam River). We got three fish with three losses," said Zach.

"I got him in Boston Harbor around 10:30 a.m. just using some herring (as hook bait and chum)," said Mike Gingras. He's talking about his 11.5-pound second prize, fish worth $700. Gingras fished off his boat, Naughty Boy. Although Gingras resides in Nashua, N.H., "I still come up for the tournament," he said.

Brian Cusick has officiated and also participated in all 21 tournaments "... and haven't won a damn thing," he said.

That changed this year. Cusick and his crew aboard the Ellie Mae — Don and Brandon Peavey, Butch Oliver of Mesa, Ariz., and Carl Brown from Danvers — snagged the $500 third-prize bluefish also near the red bell buoy at the mouth of the Annisquam River.

"It was just before lunch. We'll split it (the prize money) five ways," said Cusick.

Their fish weighed 11.26 pounds, and Cusick and crew had several close elimination calls right up to 4 p.m.

Raffle prizes were also awarded. Capt. B.G. Brown and Andrew Moulton each pocketed $50, while Ken Marshall and George Ketchopulos did the same with the $100 prizes. Daryl Seppala won a deep-sea fishing trip for two. Furthermore, Sean Cranston's, Tony Crystal's and Scott Russell's winning raffle ticket numbers got them each a rod and reel.

A most generous and kind-hearted Cranston, owner of Cranston Electric Co., donated his over $100 rod and reel to Sky Foote. The young girl was sitting on Peavey's truck from which he stood and called out names and handed out prizes.

Cranston "... did that all on his own," said Jen Grace, who, along with the rest of the crowd, was clearly touched by his kind move.

Gloucester Harbor Yankee Fleet donated the fishing trip. The Fishermen's Outfitter, Winchester Fishing Company and Three Lanterns Ship Supply kicked in the rods and reels. The tournament also donated a rod and reel.

The tournament officials ended the event by hurling hats into the crowd and by a final announcement from Peavey.

"That's another year, folks. I hope everyone had fun."

Gloucester lobsterman Peter K. Prybot writes weekly about the fishing industry and related issues for the Times.

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc. directory