Cape Ann Museum hosts virtual lecture series on how John Singleton Copley painted women

Monthly lecture series allows attendees to celebrate cultural history of Cape Ann

Friday, March 19 at 4:00 p.m.


Erica Hirshler (left) and Jane Kamensky (right)

GLOUCESTER, MASS. (March 2021) – To honor and celebrate Women’s History Month, the Cape Ann Museum welcomes historian Jane Kamensky from Harvard University and curator Erica Hirshler from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston on Friday, March 19 at 4 p.m., to discuss how—and why—the instrumental American portrait artist John Singleton Copley painted women.

Jane Kamensky, Trumbull Professor of American History at Harvard University, and Erica Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, Art of the Americas, at the Museum of Fine Arts, will discuss a series of paintings that Copley made of women—young and old–in Boston and in London in the mid to late 18th century.

“We are excited for the opportunity to host a conversation about the ways in which women have historically been portrayed in the fine arts,” said Museum Director Oliver Barker. “The lecture is being offered in conjunction with a special installation at the Museum titled Our Souls Are by Nature Equal to Yours: The Legacy of Judith Sargent Murray, which features a famous portrait of Judith Sargent Murray by John Singleton Copley. Murray was an early advocate for women’s rights and an important figure in the history of women in Colonial America. We are grateful to have the portrait on loan from the Terra Foundation for American Art.”

WHEN and WHERE: Friday, March 19, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. EST. Register online at or call 978-283-0455 x10 or email to Free for CAM members; $10 for non-members. 

Next scheduled lecture in the series will be on Wednesday, March 31 at 5:30 pm: Proving Her Metal: The Life and Sculpture of Katharine Lane Weems with Rebecca Reynolds, Manship Artists Executive Director, Jonathan Fairbanks, Katharine Lane Weems Curator Emeritus, MFA Boston, and Robert Shure, sculptor and proprietor of Skylight Studios.

The Cape Ann Museum, founded in 1875, exists to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of the area and to keep it relevant to today’s audiences. Spanning 44,000 square feet, the Museum is one of the major cultural institutions on Boston’s North Shore welcoming more than 25,000 local, national and international visitors each year to its exhibitions and programs. In addition to fine art, the Museum’s collections include decorative art, textiles, artifacts from the maritime and granite industries, three historic homes, a Library & Archives and a sculpture park in the heart of downtown Gloucester. In Summer 2021, the Museum will officially open the 12,000 square foot Janet & William Ellery James Center at the Cape Ann Museum Green. The campus also includes three historic buildings – the White Ellery House (1710), an adjacent Barn (c. 1740), and the recently acquired Babson-Alling House (c.1740), all located on the site at the intersection of Washington and Poplar Streets in Gloucester.   

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, operating hours have been reduced to better protect the safety and well-being of visitors, staff and volunteers. The Museum is currently open Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Timed tickets are required for all visitors at this time and can be reserved online at Admission is $12.00 adults, $10.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Youth (under 18) and Museum members are free. Cape Ann residents can visit for free on the second Saturday of each month. For more information please call (978)283-0455 x110 or visit  

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MEDIA CONTACTS:          Ashley Elias
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                                                (213) 400-3402

Meredith Anderson
(978) 283-0455 x115