Gallery Talk at Cape Ann Museum

Gallery Talk at Cape Ann Museum
View from the Terrace: The Paintings of Charles Hopkinson

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present a gallery talk with Tom Halsted, grandson of Charles Hopkinson, on Saturday, June 27 at 10:30 a.m. This program is free with Museum admission. Space is limited and reservations are required. Please call 978-283-0455, x11 to reserve a space.

Tom Halsted, Charles Hopkinson’s eldest grandson, is a writer who moved to Gloucester after a career in national security policy in Washington. Hopkinson taught him at an early age to share his love of the romance of the ships and the sea and to look at the world with an artist’s appreciation of its beauty.

Best known as the ‘dean’ of American portrait painters, Charles S. Hopkinson (1869-1962) had a long and productive career that over the course of 60 years took him into the homes of some of this country’s most esteemed educators, politicians and businessmen. Through it all Hopkinson never lost touch with the place he lived so much of his life, a place that friend and fellow artist John Singer Sargent once called ‘paradise’ ‘ Sharksmouth, the Hopkinson family’s summer estate overlooking the ocean in Manchester.

Hopkinson produced over 450 formal commissioned portraits during his career. His reputation as a portraitist was secured at the conclusion of the First World War when he was among eight artists selected to execute formal portraits of members of the Versailles Peace Conference. Thereafter, portrait commissions from prominent citizens came quickly and steadily.

In addition to formal portraits, Hopkinson also painted self-portraits, richly-hued portraits of family and friends, and innumerable watercolors, a medium he worked in throughout his career. Often referred to as ‘modern’ by critics of the time, Hopkinson’s watercolors are characterized by bright palettes and decorative compositions. Many of his watercolors were inspired by the view from the terrace at Sharksmouth. It was in these particular works that the artist sought to capture what is often impossible to catch, the dazzle of light on ocean waters or on newly fallen snow, the effects of ocean-driven winds on the coastal landscape, light as reflected in the ocean’s surge as it pulls back over rocks.

View from the Terrace runs through October 11, 2009. A full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition with essays by Charles Shurcliff, painter and grandson of Charles Hopkinson; Charles Movalli, painter and teacher; and Martha Oaks, Curator, Cape Ann Museum.

The Museum will offer two other gallery talks in conjunction with the exhibition on Saturdays, August 8 and September 12 at 10:30 a.m. A lecture entitled Charles Hopkinson: His Life and His Art by Martha Oaks, Curator, Cape Ann Museum will be held on Thursday, July 9 at 7:00 p.m. Programs are included with Museum admission and reservations are required. Please call 978-283-0455, x11 to reserve a space.

Docent-led tours will also be offered throughout the exhibition period. For a schedule of tours or for further information please visit or call 978-283-0455, x16.

Funding for these programs was made possible through a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Museum is closed during the month of February, on Mondays, and on major holidays. Admission is $8.00 adults, $6.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Children under 12 and Museum members are free. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information please call: (978) 283-0455. Additional information can be found online at