The Innocents at Home: Harry Martin and John Latouch

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May 31 @ 10:00 am - Jun 6 @ 5:00 pm

80 Hesperus Ave
Gloucester, MA


May 31 @ 10:00 am
Jun 6 @ 5:00 pm
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Hammond Castle
80 Hesperus Ave
Gloucester, MA 01930 United States
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Harry Joseph Martin Jr. (b.1927 – d.1984) may not have been the most famous of the many gay men who came to Hammond Castle Museum during John Hays Hammond Jr.’s lifetime, but he was certainly one of the most significant. Described as “a poet, artist, raconteur, and teacher”, Martin first visited the Museum in 1950 as the young lover of Hammond’s friend, the magnetic Broadway librettist John Latouche, and the couple stayed for a summer in Gloucester, first as guests of the Hammonds and later in a cottage near Wingaersheek beach.

In 1958, Martin, then driving a cab and living in an illegal ‘cold water flat’ that served as his studio in New York City’s Upper East Side while recovering from the shock of Latouche’s untimely death two years previously, was invited by Hammond to move into the museum as a caretaker and companion. Through the young artist’s circle of Bohemian New York friends, Hammond Castle Museum became a meeting place for an exciting group of Queer young poets, artists, and even occultists throughout the early 1960s. Among these visitors were the seminal American artist Ellsworth Kelly and the travel writer Patrick Balfour, Lord Kinross, who covered the final months of Latouche’s life in his 1959 book The Innocents at Home, which was dedicated to and illustrated by Martin.

This mini-exhibit focuses on the life and relationships of Harry Martin, as well as Martin and Hammond’s relationship during the final years of the inventor’s life, and utilizes archival materials including oral histories with Martin recorded at the Museum in the 1970s and a never before publicly displayed Ellsworth Kelly sketch from the Museum’s guest book. For the first time, Museum visitors will get to hear for themselves firsthand accounts of John Hays Hammond Jr. and his remarkable collection, in the words of one of the people that called the Museum home and knew its founder most intimately.