Historical lecture to complement November exhibit

Oct 18, 2021

MARION — To complement the beginning of its WWI exhibit featuring the illustrations of Charles Dana Gibson, the Sippican Historical Society will host a lecture by local collector Benjamin Dunham on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. 

Dunham’s lecture will focus on J. Alphege Brewer, who made his fame in the 1910s producing large, color etchings of European cathedrals and other historical buildings damaged or threatened during WWI. In both the United States and Great Britain, these etchings and reproductions were hung on parlor walls in solidarity with the Allied cause and as a remembrance of the cultural losses inflicted by the war.

A selection of Brewer’s original WWI etchings will be on display at the Marion Music Hall from noon to 5 p.m. on Nov. 11 and in the half hour before the lecture. 

This event complements the exhibit beginning Nov. 4 at the Sippican Historical Society of the WWI illustrations of Charles Dana Gibson. In the years surrounding the turn of the 20th century, Gibson (creator of the "Gibson Girl") summered in Marion along with his journalist friend Richard Harding Davis and other renowned artists. During WWI, Gibson led the Division of Pictorial Publicity for the Committee on Public Information, an independent government agency created by President Wilson. In 1914, Davis wrote reports of the German invasion of Belgium and the threat to some of the same buildings pictured in Brewer's etchings. The exhibit at the Historical Society will run through January 15.

Copies of Dunham’s newly published book, “Etched in Memory: The Elevated Art of J. Alphege Brewer” are currently available for purchase at the Sippican Historical Society Shop. Following the lecture on Nov. 11, Dunham will sign purchased copies of the book, which is based on the material at his website, www.JAlphegeBrewer.info.

Masks will be required for attendance, and chairs will be spaced to comply with health and safety recommendations.