Cahoon Museum Moves Temporarily To Mashpee Commons

GENE M. MARCHAND/ENTERPRISE - Cahoon Museum of American Art.JOANNE BRIANA GARTNER/ENTERPRISE - The Cahoon Museum of American Art temporary location in the Mashpee Commons.

While their historic 1770s building is undergoing restoration work, the Cahoon Museum of American Art is temporarily calling Mashpee Commons home.

In addition to the rotating exhibitions being held at the temporary location, which is on North Street between Coldwater Creek and the Village Trading Company, the museum has moved pieces from its permanent collection into the space along with a smaller version of its museum store and a lecture/workshop area. The museum’s hours will be the same as at its permanent location: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM; and Sunday, 1 to 4 PM.

The museum’s move took place in February and the museum reopened in its Mashpee Commons location on March 11. The first exhibition to open in the temporary location is “The Frost Moon: Works by Wampanoag Artists.” It is a benefit exhibition for the Wampanoag Tribe and features contemporary and traditional art by some of today’s leading

Wampanoag artists working in illustration and painting, jewelry design, beadwork, stone sculpture, and fiber arts. Artists in the exhibition include Marlene Lopez, Deborah Spears Moorehead, Elizabeth James-Perry, Jonathan Perry, Janette Vanderhoop, Darell Wixon, and Carol Wynne. The show is on view now through April 27.


Restorations at the museum’s historic building, a Georgian Colonial built in 1775 that served as a tavern and stagecoach stop in the mid-1800s in addition to being the home and art studio of Ralph and Martha Cahoon in the mid-1900s, include a combination of restoration, renovation and conservation work on the building’s windows, chimneys, roof, siding and trim. The building foundation will also undergo some repairs, and the lawn and landscaping of the building will be reconfigured to preserve the integrity of the repairs.

In the museum’s quarterly newsletter, Spyglass, Richard Waterhouse states that the move to Mashpee Commons not only represents an opportunity for the museum to stay open during renovations but also an opportunity for the museum’s presence to be appreciated by a whole new audience. “We’re excited to reach a brand-new audience including visitors who’ve never been to the Cahoon or who might not even know about the museum,” Mr. Waterhouse said. “We’re making a real push for new members,” he said.

Ideally the renovations to the building will be finished by late summer, Mr. Waterhouse said, but that’s dependent on what the contractors discover when they start renovating. “We are prepared to stay through September,” Mr. Waterhouse said.

Following the completion of the renovation and restoration work, an addition to the museum is planned that will double the space and include an elevator, a new lobby and gift shop, classroom and lecture space, a new gallery, and a new art storage area.

A capital campaign is underway by the museum to fund the cost of the restoration work and a fundraiser to support the general operating costs of the museum is happening on Sunday, when a winetasting will be held at Wimpy’s Seafood Cafe on Main Street in Osterville from 5:30 to 7 PM. The cost is $28 per person. The evening will not only include wine but also a raffle for original watercolor paintings by Cape artists Anne Doyle and Karen Pinard, as well as pottery by Kevin Nolan and a basket of wines donated by the Cape Cod Package Store. For museum supporters who also purchase dinner after the winetasting, Wimpy’s will donate 20 percent of the food purchase to the museum.

Tickets for the winetasting are limited and can be purchased by calling 508-428-7581.

While the museum is in its temporary location, annual events such as Cahoon in Bloom and the Great Brush Off will still take place. Cahoon in Bloom is planned for May 15 through 18 in conjunction with a retrospective exhibit of Cotuit artist Richard Sparre’s work. The Great Brush Off will take place on July 12.

During the time the museum occupies its temporary location in Mashpee there will be no charge for admission. Donations will be accepted, however, and all donations will go toward funding the restoration project.


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