Gloucester Celebrates Walker Hancock – Its Very Own Monuments Man

Long before George Clooney’s action film, “Monuments Men,” Gloucester was home to its own Monuments Man, sculptor Walker Hancock. Gloucester will celebrate the acclaimed artist during the Essex County Heritage Commission’s Trails and Sails Weekend September 26-28. The festivities will highlight Hancock’s artistic contributions to the community as well as an in-depth look at his life in Gloucester.

Hancock kept a studio in Gloucester from 1930 until his death in 1998. He was one of the first to join the now famous group of civilian art experts enlisted into the military during World War II to rescue priceless works of art stolen by the Nazis.


Photo by Charles A. Lowe (1977)

The weekend celebration, which is sponsored by the Gloucester Committee for the Arts, kicks off on Friday, September 26 with a special Cape Ann Museum Exhibit: A Chosen Place: Walker Hancock and His Friends. At 7:00pm the Museum will host a conversation with Hancock’s daughter, Deanie Hancock French, and Jonathan Fairbanks, director of Brockton’s Fuller Craft Museum.

On Saturday, the Cape Ann Cinema in Downtown Gloucester will show the film “Monuments Men” at 2:30 p.m. while the Cape Ann Museum will conduct private tours of its exhibit showcasing Hancock’s life and work from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. During the evening, Robert Edsel, who penned the book “Monuments Men,” will give a talk at Gloucester City Hall to discuss the preservation of irreplaceable works of art during war times. A meet and greet and book signing by Mr. Edsel will follow the talk. The event begins at 7 p.m.


(Photo via

The Cape Ann Cinema will show “Monuments Men” again at 1 p.m. on Sunday followed by a 3 p.m. panel discussion at Gloucester City Hall presented by Hancock’s Lanesville friends and neighbors. Local artist and former Cable TV host, Sinikka Nogelo, and will moderate the panel, which includes Hancock’s daughter and his longtime cook, Gloria Parsons. The group will share memories of Hancock’s friendship and paint a fuller picture of Walker’s life, not only as a vital figure in art history, but as a friend and lauded member of the Gloucester community.

For more on the weekend’s festivities click here:

Admission to the Cape Ann Museum is $10 (free to members). All other Walker Hancock events are FREE and open to the public.


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