The Cahoon Museum of American
4676 Falmouth Road
The Cahoon Museum of American Art resides in a beautifully restored 1775 Georgian Colonial that was once an overnight stop on the stagecoach line between Hyannis and Sandwich. Wide floorboards, stenciled walls and floors, fireplaces and antique furnishings give the cheerful galleries a homey intimacy.
The heart of the collection is the fanciful primitive paintings of the late Ralph and Martha Cahoon, local legends who had their home, studio and gallery in the old house for 37 years. Using a palette of jewel-like colors, Ralph Cahoon created a world populated by innocently flirtatious mermaids and admiring sailors. Their exploits often unfold in old-fashioned seaside settings adorned with lighthouses, clipper ships and hot-air balloons. Martha Cahoon used softer colors to paint scenes celebrating her love of fantasy, children, animals, the changing seasons and the country way of life.
The Cahoon Museum also features a choice collection of 19th- and early 20th-century American marine paintings, landscapes, still lifes and portraits by such esteemed artists as Ralph Blakelock, William Bradford, James Buttersworth, John J. Enneking, Alvan Fisher, Levi Wells Prentice and William Matthew Prior.
Frequently changing exhibitions highlight some aspect of the permanent collection and reflect the philosophy-inspired by the Cahoons-that art can be a lot of fun.