The Museum will be closed for renovations

January 24th - February 6th.


The White-Ellery House—Past and Present

The White-Ellery House (1710) has been owned by the Museum since 1947 and is one of just a handful of early eighteenth century structures in the region exhibiting much of its original interior detailing. Prior to the American Revolution, the neighborhood surrounding the House was called the Town Green, and served as the center of the community. Today, the White-Ellery House plays a vibrant role as one of three historic structures located at the Cape Ann Museum Green.

While the White-Ellery House serves primarily as a study property, for over a decade the House has also served as a unique venue for art installations and related programming, which are held at the site during the summer months. These dialogues between past and present have provided audiences with opportunities to engage with the House in a variety of ways, and have ensured that it remains a vital and relevant part of the Museum's collection in the 21st century.

Images courtesy of Harbor Voices Public Art.

Most recently, the house and barn served as the backdrop for In Gratitude, an installation created by artist Stephanie Terelak Benenson of Harbor Voices and LuminArtz, which conveyed a message of hope and gratitude to those working to keep our community safe and cared for during the COVID-19 crisis.

→ Find out more about the Museum's historic properties here.



White-Ellery House installations by Leslie Lyman & Karen Battles | Gabrielle Barzaghi | Tim Ferguson Sauder & Rob Alexander | Cameron Ahearn, Kerry Sullivan & Jamie Hosker | Sarah Slifer Swift | Bobbi Gibb 
White-Ellery House installations by Leslie Lyman & Karen Battles | Gabrielle Barzaghi | Tim Ferguson Sauder & Rob Alexander | Cameron Ahearn, Kerry Sullivan & Jamie Hosker | Sarah Slifer Swift | Bobbi Gibb (click to enlarge).


Insights On Site

Since 2010, the House has served as the backdrop for a series of one-day contemporary art installations. Support for these exhibitions has been provided by the Umberto Romano and Clorinda Romano Foundation, which celebrates Umberto Romano’s (1906–1982) legacy on Cape Ann through arts education and appreciation and by fostering the work of emerging and/or working artists.

Past Installations


Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord — Reading the Past: A Calligraphic Installation
Using excerpts from the 1848 journal of a 13-year-old Gloucester girl, Gaylord’s installation brought the rhythms of everyday life alive ...

Cameron Ahearn, Kerry Sullivan and Jamie Hosker — Surf’s Up!
This installation gave visitors a rare chance to see a collection of surfboards ranging from the mid 20th century through the present day ...

Sarah Slifer Swift — Sphere
In this durational performance, Swift and company explored women’s social and political power through the lens of the historic White-Ellery House ...


Tim Ferguson Sauder & Rob Alexander—CURRENT
A collaboratively created installation that used sculpture to explore issues related to Cape Ann’s fishing industry ...

Christy Park—Ploughshares: Lines from Isaiah
Created from old tools and implements combined with mixed media from a series about war and inspired by lines from the Book of Isaiah ...

Kathleen Williams—In the Heart of Place: Image and Expression
Combining photography with the written word, Williams invites visitors to consider their sense of place, as well as their emotional connections to it ...

Bobbi Gibb—26.2 Expressions
A selection of paintings, sculpture, murals and mixed media works by Gibb, the first woman to run and complete the Boston Marathon in 1966 ...

Leslie Lyman and Karen Battles—Here, Long Ago
A collaborative mixed media installation intended to spark visitors’ imaginations about the stories held within objects and dwellings ...


Sarah Wonson – Life Observed
In this installation the artist's interests in making art converge with her reverence for Colonial-period architecture ...

Gabrielle Barzaghi – The Picasso Women Visit the White-Ellery House
Large-scale portraits based on the work of Picasso ...

Robert Lerch – Peggy’s House
A collection of photos, primarily interiors, shot by Robert Lerch in one particular house in Annisquam ...


Robert Trumbour – Now.Then.Again

July White and Kyle Nilan – Bringing the Outside In

George Wingate and Gordon Williams – About Time


Chris Nulty – Holy City of Gloucester

Sinikka Nogelo – Tin, Relics and Remakes

Mary Rhinelander – Collection/Reflection


Ana Alakija – Interconnections (Brazil/Africa, Portugal/New England)

Shep Abbott – It’s All About Dogtown!

Elizabeth Alexander – Still Life: a Fabricator's Banquet

Ila Prouty – Dream Repeater

Jenna Powell – Lost & Found

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