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From Fitz Henry Lane to the Future: a Brief History of the Fine Arts in Gloucester – James A. Craig

May 23, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Gloucester 400+ Lecture Series at Hammond Castle Museum

From Fitz Henry Lane to the Future: a Brief History of the Fine Arts in Gloucester – James A. Craig


Back when he was serving as the Associate Curator for the Permanent Collection at the Cape Ann Historical Association (today’s Cape Ann Museum) award-winning curator and author James A. Craig’s brother-in-law paid him a visit and toured the museum. And after viewing rooms replete with works by such giants of the American art scene as Gilbert Stuart, Winslow Homer, and our very own Fitz Henry Lane, he asked Jim a simple question: Why Gloucester?

That deceptively modest query left Jim gobsmacked.  For as any resident of Gloucester knows, the fine arts abound here.  They have become part of the proverbial DBNA of our community, and can be found everywhere from our august museums and galleries down to the very sub shops and pizza parlors we eat in. The fine arts are so ubiquitous here that we take them for granted, never the once wondering why and how this one town became so synonymous with them.

When did the fine arts first arrive in Gloucester?  Why have they remained for so many centuries here? And how far into the future can we hope for them to remain with us? Join us as Jim Craig unravels these mysteries with his talk From Fitz Henry Lane to the Future: a Brief History of the Fine Arts in Gloucester.  But be warned: Sacred cows will be tipped! Revelations will abound! And after two decades of research, pondering, and head scratching the answer to that maddening question, “Why Gloucester?” will finally be revealed!

About The Presenter:
An author specializing in American marine art whose work has been featured in the pages of The New York Times and on WGBH, James A. Craig by his own admission “fell” into the world of fine art some twenty years ago. Craig was first employed at the House of the Seven Gables Museum in nearby Salem, MA, where he served as a curatorial assistant and museum educator.  He went on to serve as Associate Curator for Permanent Collections at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he published an award winning biography on the great American marine painter Fitz Henry Lane. Before assuming his current duties at Hammond Castle Museum, his most recent posting was as the Executive Director of the Rockport Art Association & Museum.
Besides Fitz H. Lane: An Artist’s Voyage through Nineteenth-Century America (The History Press, 2006) he has published 100 Essex Road: an American Treasure about the George Cabot Lee estate in Newton, Massachusetts, 2008, Frank Vining Smith: Maritime Painting in the 20th Century (Hard Press Editions, 2010), and American Eagle: The Bold Art and Brash Life of John Haley Bellamy, as well as numerous essays and articles on American fine art.
When not performing his duties as Special Events Manager here at Hammond Castle Museum, he can be found along the granite shores of Gloucester, where he resides with his family and that irascible scoundrel, George the Turtle. Or he can be found on the web, at www.jamesacraig.com


Join us for a new lecture series celebrating Gloucester’s rich culture and history.

Weekly on Tuesdays

May 9 through June 13th

6:00pm to 7:00pm.

Doors open at 5:40pm

Each 45 minute presentation will include a Q&A session with light refreshments available for purchase.


Full list of lectures in the series:

  • May 9: Indians Who Live Among Us – Presented by Maryellen Lepionka
  • May 16: Unboxing Dogtown – Presented by Les Bartlett
  • May 23From Fitz Henry Lane to the Future: a Brief History of the Fine Arts on Cape Ann – Presented by James A. Craig
  • May 30: Main Street & Downtown – presented by Beth Welin
  • June 6: From Beauport to Fenway Court: Five Houses at the Twilight of Gloucester’s ‘Gold Coast’ Era – Presented by Caleb McMurphy
  • June 13: The Folly Cove Designers and the Compelling Language of Pattern

Tickets are $10 per lecture or $50 if you purchase all six lectures in advance.  All Hammond Castle Museum Members  enjoy complimentary admission. 

Reserve Your Tickets for One Or All the Programs.


May 23, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Hammond Castle Museum
(978) 283-2080
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Hammond Castle Museum
80 Hesperus Ave
Gloucester, MA 01930 United States
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(978) 283-2080
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