Friday, March 11, 2016

Artists of Lanesville - GABRIELLE deVEAUX CLEMENTS

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.

One of the first artists to appreciate strong contrasts and angles of light in a Cape Ann granite quarry was Gabrielle deVeaux Clement, born in Philadelphia in 1858 and died in 1949. She had met Ellen Day Hale when both were studying under Bouguereau in Paris in 1882. Miss Clements favored etching as her medium.

In Harper’s Weekly, March 1885, to illustrate an article Miss Hale wrote, the Folly Cove etcher has two scenes: “On the Way to the Quarries,” showing a heavy wagon being drawn up by oxen from a distant wharf. The illustration most familiar is “The Derrick,” also an etching, presented full page. It was sketched at Flat Ledge quarry, Pigeon Cove, while quarrymen loaded a huge granite block on a garymander wagon. Oxen stood ready to tug it off to the dock at a flick of the driver’s whip.

In 1895 Miss Clements won a prize in Philadelphia for her painting of a granite quarry. She had stayed at the fashionable Fairview Inn in East Gloucester during the summers of 1881, 1883 and up until 1892, skipping a season or two when she traveled with Miss Hale.

During the 1924 annual exhibit of the Gloucester Society of Artists, Miss Clements presented: “The Herring Fleet,” “Home from the Banks,” “The Return,” and “Square Rigged,” all etchings and all probably done while at the Fairview, so close to the harbor.


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