During the making the Providence Portrait Project, my friend Nonie Brady suggested that the people of Gloucester’s waterfront also needed to be photographed.
Her idea immediately struck a nerve: During my youth, I spent a season as 1st mate and ‘puller’ on a commercial tuna fishing boat in the Pacific; after every trip, we sold our catch to the old Bumble Bee cannery in Astoria, Oregon. This formative experience gave me a special appreciation for the men and women who earn their livings from the sea, so the idea of photographing the people of Gloucester’s fabled waterfront resonated with me completely.
With sponsorship from the Northeast Seafood Coalition, my friend Brian Tetrault and I moved my photography studio into a borrowed space in a fish processing building on Gloucester’s Fish Pier. We made 71 portraits of 150+ members of Gloucester’s fishing fleet and shore side businesses that support the fleet.
The Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester mounted an exhibition of these portraits that was on display from October 2014 through May 2015. The exhibit was one of the first after a complete renovation of the museum and was extremely well received. If you are in Gloucester or anywhere near the north shore of Boston, the new Cape Ann Museum is a must-see! It is a beautiful place with a great collection, and is a source of pride for the people of Boston’s north shore.
The Cape Ann Museum co-sponsored this project and these portraits are now part of their permanent collection.