Captains’ Row Watercolors On Exhibit At Cultural Center

By: William F. Galvin

Topics: Arts , Historic preservation

Watercolor of a home on the Captains' Row in West Harwich painted by Ralph Muldrow.

HARWICH — There is a new watercolor exhibit at the cultural center focusing on a dozen of the historic structures along Captains’ Row in West Harwich.

There has been a major effort by residents of the West Harwich area to protect the historic character of the neighborhood, which was established by sea captains, ship builders and merchants. This summer the Harwich Historical Society has a Captains’ Row exhibit at the Brooks Academy Museum focusing on many of these homes, the architecture and the story that is told through the history of the village.

Town officials are discussing taking steps to preserve the area through a district of critical planning concern designation by the Cape Cod Commission (see story elsewhere in this edition).

The exhibit at the cultural center provides a visual perspective to the story. As part of the initiative to preserve the historic homes, residents of the area formed a Captains’ Row group and retained Professor Ralph Muldrow to assist with the effort.

Muldrow is the Simons Chair Professor of Architecture and Preservation at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. He worked as an architect in New Jersey, designing new and old libraries in New York City, but he soon found himself creating set design rendering for artists like the Beastie Boys, Debbie Gibson and LL Cool J. He currently teaches preservation and architecture courses within the graduate program in historic preservation and is a co-founded and administer of programs at the College of Charleston and Clemson University.

He recently completed 10 watercolors in Charleston meant to evoke a West African motif which were tied to the opening of George Gershwins’ opera “Porgy and Bess.” The watercolors were intended to draw attention to 10 buildings there with strong ties to African American history in the city.

Muldrow has been working with the Captains’ Row group which commissioned him to do 12 watercolors of specific historic homes along Captains’ Row. The watercolors were assembled and mounted for the exhibition at the cultural center library, which is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays throughout August.

The Captains’ Row group is planning a special evening to thank the people who have been involved in the project and those who have also participated in its GoFundMe effort, Sally Urbano said. Various town officials, the select board and members of the chamber of commerce will be invited along with some members of the community at large.

Selectmen on Monday night approved a one-day alcohol license for the serving of beer and wine at the Aug. 27 event at the cultural center library.