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Cultural Facilities Fund Supports Repairs at Gloucester’s Sargent House Museum

April 24, 2014


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
Greg Liakos, Mass. Cultural Council, 617-858-2720
Barbara Silberman, Sargent House, 978-281-5801

Sargent House Museum, GloucesterMassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have provided a $20,875 Cultural Facilities Fund grant to the Sargent Murray Gilman Hough House Association Inc., which operates the Sargent House Museum in Gloucester. The Museum is using grant funds to repair the building's structure, including replacing beams; repointing and repairing foundation and chimney masonry; replacing a structural pier; and rebuilding basement windows.

“The Sargent House showcases the Revolutionary War history of Gloucester and the values of the new republic.” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We are pleased to provide this grant to help to preserve Cape Ann's rich cultural history.”

Sargent House Museum, GloucesterThe Sargent House Museum, at 49 Middle Street in Gloucester, was built in 1782 for Judith Sargent Stevens Murray (1751-1820), a philosopher, writer, and early advocate of women’s equality. For more than 100 years, the Sargent House was home to sea merchants, patriots, and community leaders. Today, the Museum tells the story of Judith Sargent Murray, and her husbands, sea Captain John Stevens and the Rev. John Murray, founder of Universalism in America. Museum visitors can view a collection of original works by the great portrait painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), Judith’s great-great nephew. The Museum collections include Robert Sheraton furniture, a small but exquisite number of decorative arts and paintings, and major pieces of other American furniture from centers like Boston, Salem, and New Orleans.

“We are thrilled that MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded this substantial grant that will ensure the long-term preservation of this iconic Gloucester building that continues to provide meaning to local residents today,” said Daniel Sargent Weir, President of the Sargent Murray Gilman Hough House Association.

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council administer the Cultural Facilities Fund, an initiative of the Commonwealth to increase public and private investment in cultural facilities throughout the state. Created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2006, the Fund offers capital, feasibility, technical assistance, and systems replacement grants for eligible nonprofits engaged in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. The Fund has awarded more than $55 million in grants to cultural organizations across Massachusetts. For more information, visit the MassDevelopment and Massachusetts Cultural Council websites.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2013, MassDevelopment financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 7,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 800 residential units.