At the Manship Artist Residency

All About Quarries, Ponds, and Rocks!

By: - Nov 22, 2022

At the Manship Artist Residency ~~  All About Quarries, Ponds, and Rocks!

The Paul and Isabel Manship house and grounds are a treasure trove.
Every item has a history, every piece of furniture was used
By the family with four children, friends and guests.

We are guests now, and we are in awe and learning more about
The original family and their major artist friends
Who summered here or settled here as well.

We are fortunate to spend a few short weeks at the residency,
Still early on during our stay, while exploring
The property, Lanesville, Annisquam, Gloucester, and greater Cape Ann.
We will cross the bridge to Cape Ann, an island, on occasion.

Of course, I went out immediately and photographed nature
And with nature-built places around the Manship property.
Granite played and plays still a large role in everything outdoors.

The former quarries, two pits, now sizeable and beautiful ponds or lakes or
Swimming holes as the community called them. Kids from the neighborhood
Received permission to swim after they had asked Margaret Manship for
Some work then spent their earnings on candy.

Quarry pits are also dangerous. Only last year, one boy drowned in another one
On Cape Ann. What a terrible tragedy!

My photographer’s eye did not capture anything new, perhaps only
A somewhat new or different perspective - my own - of all there is to see.
Nature here is quiet! Extremely quiet, near the quarries, on a windless day!

This house and place invites to leave a mark and leave with new work.
Charles is doing research for his and his sister’s new venture, a book
Pip and Me Growing up in Annisquam, (C. Giuliano and M. L. Giuliano)
With sections of the artists who worked and created then on Cape Ann.

I am writing about my contributions to the work, art, projects, and
Education at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT,
From the 1970s to perhaps 2005 with years of interruption.

Returning to the outdoors, there are two small wooden studios,
One still in the finishing stage. They remind me of the singer’s sheds at
Tanglewood, practice sheds that are built near Ozawa Hall.
Here, they are small artist studios.

I photographed outdoor places that are fabricated of granite stones:
Big, round tables; two elongated benches and a long table forming a unit;
A small stage, a former active fountain surrounded by a ring of stone with seats.

Rough boulders, quarry remnants, dot the landscape.
Then there are a couple of areas, where we walk on granite stones
Which are Surrounded by heavy, old moss and fir needles.
They have been in the ground for millennia and longer.

The quarry workers were young or not so young, yet strong Finns
First arriving in the 1870s. What hard labor!
There were more than 20 active quarries, beginning around 1800, its peak
By 1910; concrete and steel closed  the quarries.

The rough boulders were then finished by them or other quarry-men
From Sweden, Scotland and Ireland - stone cutters and artisans.
Contractors and middle-men built a world-wide market for granite.

Bare trees offer valuable and sculptural photo images as does the top
Of a newly built gazebo, which Sarah Tuvim, Charles’ niece, worked on.
The original gazebo was surrounded by espaliered trees,
Their branches were flattened to the structure.

Taking a stroll around the neighborhood, I found granite rock walls everywhere,
Whereas less valuable rock walls delineate properties in the Berkshires,
Where we  live. Those rocks were cleared from the fields by farmers and
Farm hands, also with hard labor!

Many other applications of granite can be found all around Cape Ann, nationally,
As well as globally for houses, barns, public buildings, monuments, sculptures,
Churches and other religious houses - even street paving.

Granite boulders dot the landscape and properties all over the Cape. Beaches and
Coves were created with granite. The power of the Atlantic Ocean penetrating
The coast line.

This is Cape Ann or Cape Granite, perhaps another fitting name.

There will be more to report on Berkshire Fine Arts from the Manship Residency.