1896 - 1974
George Demetrios was one of Cape Ann's most well known sculptors, a skilled draftsman and a born teacher. During his sixty year artistic career, Demetrios had a profound influence on an entire generation of artists who studied under him here on Cape Ann and in his Boston studio.
Demetrios was born in Pyrgoi, Macedonia, Greece, and came to this country at the age of 15. Two years later he entered the Boston Museum School following which he spent four years studying in Philadelphia under sculptor Charles Grafly (1862–1929). A scholarship awarded through the Pennsylvania Academy allowed Demetrios to complete his studies in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and at the Sorbonne. By 1927, he had begun his own teaching career, opening The George Demetrios School of Drawing and Sculpture in Boston.
In 1931, George Demetrios and Virginia Lee Burton were married; a year later the couple moved to the Folly Cove neighborhood of Gloucester. The couple quickly became immersed in the community, George conducting classes in life drawing and sculpture, while Jinnee focused on raising their family and on her successful career as an author and illustrator of children's books and as the guiding light of the Folly Cove Designers.
The strong influences of Folly Cove are reflected again and again in the sculptural work of George Demetrios. This is particularly true in his series of portrait busts done between the 1930s and the mid-1950s, several of which are on display here. As fellow sculptor Walker Hancock once noted, "the range of these portraits is immense. The ruggedness of a quarry worker and the tenderness of a young child are rendered with equal perceptiveness."