As the great-granddaughter, granddaughter and daughter of fishermen, Gloucester’s Nina Testaverde Goodick always shared her family’s profound pride in its fishing vessels over the generations.

“These fishing vessels were at the very core of our family. They provided for us — the Linda B., Peter & Linda, Sea Fox, Nina T. and The Midnight Sun to name a few. In our homes, you could always find a painting of these vessels, hanging in a place of honor,” said Goodick.

In that spirit of pride and in anticipation of the city’s 400th anniversary, the Cape Ann Museum is seeking community participation for a future special exhibition about family fishing vessels. The museum invites members of the community who have paintings, photographs, models, or archival materials related to family-owned fishing boats to share them with the museum. The submission deadline is Saturday, Jan. 22.

For more details and to receive a link to the submission form, send an email to library@capeannmuseum.org; or call 978-283-0455 ext. 119.

These family-owned boats remain at the heart of the local commercial fishing industry. They encompass both large and small vessels, eastern rig and western rig, steel-hulled and wooden-hulled, among other types. These vessels often are named for family members, and represent opportunity and independence.

“Throughout history, the people of Cape Ann, both indigenous and immigrant, have been linked to the sea and to fishing. The industry has provided jobs and economic opportunity for waves of immigrants who came to this country. It has given rise to inventions and innovations associated with the harvesting, processing, and distribution of fish. and it has profoundly influenced the collective identity of the region,” the museum said in calling for materials. “From art and literature, to music, architecture, religious and secular traditions, the fishing industry has had an enduring effect on the character of Cape Ann and its people.”

Oliver Barker, director of Cape Ann Museum, noted that Michael DeKoster, executive director of Maritime Gloucester, expressed interest in the project, which will allow for growth in the scope of the exhibition, and an opportunity to combine the expertise of both institutions.

The thought behind this upcoming exhibition was to provide an opportunity for the Cape Ann community to share its maritime heritage.

“It occurred to me that there are probably a lot of other fishing families with paintings of their own boats, who felt that same pride, and wouldn’t it be great if we could get this fleet together again, on the walls of the Cape Ann Museum,” said Goodick.

“We could remember them collectively and be grateful for these vessels which took care of our families in the past and the many that still are fishing today.”

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-675-2706, or at gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com.

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