Going Back in History at the Atwood HouseAdd to My Luxx Living
The Atwood House is an original 1752 Gambrel-roofed treasure in Chatham owned and operated by the Chatham Historical Society. Except for the addition of electricity, it is virtually unchanged, with furnishings detailing 18th and subsequent 19th century life on the Cape.
This year, the Atwood House is featuring three exhibits: Images of Monomoy, Embroidery and Chart Making.
Monomoy – Constructing Betsy Wilderness
The display features historic and contemporary photographs of Monomoy from the society’s archives and by John King and Shareen Davis.
This is an excerpt from the society’s description of the exhibit:
Monomoy occupies the identity and mythology of Chatham. Its place in Chatham has evolved over time and we are tracing this evolution in photography. From the time that cameras become prevalent to the present day, Monomoy wilderness has been constantly changing.
Over the years Monomoy has become an inspiration to artists who wish to capture its beauty and we will showcase some of that with this exhibition.
Before its status as protected wilderness Monomoy was a site of commercial fishing and sport hunting and fishing. It was the site of a fishing village and has been home to a lighthouse that served as a navigational marker to sailors.
During WWII from 1940-1944, Monomoy was used as a gunnery range. Photos from the Museum’s archives show a record of the island’s transformation, its appearance and how it has been used over the years. Contemporary photographers have been inspired by the wilderness and beauty of Monomoy, its current inhabitants, and the landscapes, flora and fauna of Monomoy.
Shareen Davis is a 13th generation Cape Codder is a freelance commercial photographer and artist. John King has ties to the Cape for many generations himself. He has served on the Atwood House Museum board of trustees.
This is described by the society as the first comprehensive survey of the works of contemporary Chatham artist Ann Grey, most of whose work remains in her private collection.
“If you think you know what needlepoint is, this exhibit will change that expectation,” according to the society.
This is an excerpt from the society:
Ann Grey cares deeply about the history and craft of the medium that she works within. Her study of the history of needlepoint informs her work, while she personalizes her pieces and makes them very contemporary. The exhibit will include several of her early samplers, examples of her adaptation of medieval manuscript illustrations, works inspirited by the natural environment and recent explorations that test the limits of embroidery.
In addition to the visually stunning finished works the exhibit will offer revealing insights into Ann’s creative process by showing works in progress along with examples of drawings and the artist’s handmade “notebooks” in which she records experiments that find their way into her work.
The exhibit will also feature works that look into detail about goldwork, needleweaving, and stumpwork, three historic embroidery techniques that Ann has worked to understand and incorporate into her compositions
“The coastline of Cape Cod is continuously changing. This was true in the 1800’s to the present day. Due to this constant change of the shorelines there was a never ending need for records of the current shore to help sailors on their way,” the society notes.
This exhibit features items from Atwood House Museum archives and Eldridge charts and books, as well as two early Eldridge charts lent by Maps of Antiquity of Chatham this exhibit shows that the work both George and George W. did in their day is still important and necessary today.
The Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, with its distinctive bright yellow cover, is still published every year, now authored by Robert E. White, Jr, the great great grandson of the original chart maker.
George Eldridge (1821-1900) and his son George W. Eldridge (1845-1914), both born in Chatham, established an enterprise of chart creation and publication (including related pilot books and tide and current tables) which was deemed to be one of the two most exceptional among the private American publishers. The Eldridges were the longest lasting and most innovative of the chart makers.
Visiting the Atwood House
Through August 30: Tuesday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM, & Saturday, 1 PM to 4 PM
September 2 to October 11: Tuesday through Saturday 1 PM to 4 PM
The Archives are open by appointment all year.
Office hours, all year: Monday – Friday, 9 am to 1 pm
(508) 945-2493 Fax (508) 945-1205
Members of Chatham Historical Society: Free
All Adults: $ 6
Students (ages 7-18): $ 3
Children (ages 6 and under): Free
Valid Resort Passes: Free
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