Category Archives: Uncategorized

Colonial Chocolate Night is Feb. 13

Layout 1Colonial Chocolate Night, will be held on AHA, Thursday, February 13 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The event features authentic colonial chocolate beverage recipes, products and free samplings. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

The program is sponsored by American Heritage Chocolate® – part of the historic division of Mars, Incorporated – which manufactures chocolate products using authentic colonial recipes made only from ingredients available during the 18th century, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, chili pepper, orange and vanilla. Products will be available for sale.

Chocolate became a highly regarded addition to ship’s fare on whaling and merchant vessels according to “Chocolate: History Culture and Heritage,” a definitive 1000-page reference on chocolate’s development as a global trade. The book is available for sale.

Moby-Dick Marathon celebrates education, Jan. 3-5

Herman Melville struggles with the opening line of Moby-Dick, as imagined by artist, Dave Blanchette

Herman Melville struggles with the opening line of Moby-Dick, as imagined by artist, Dave Blanchette

The 18th annual Moby-Dick Marathon January 3-5 celebrates education during a weekend of activities surrounding the non-stop reading of Herman Melville’s literary masterpiece at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Pia Durkin, Superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools will lead the marathon on Saturday at noon. “We are pleased to welcome Superintendent Durkin as she reads from America’s most famous novel, written by one of its greatest authors. The museum stresses the importance of writing in our high school apprentice program; it is a life skill which is critical for success in every field of endeavor,” said James Russell, museum President and CEO.

Sponsored in part by Rockland Trust and Empire Loan Charitable Foundation, admission is free to marathon programs. Freewill donations supporting museum programs are gratefully accepted. Continue reading

The New Bedford Whaling Museum at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair

The annual fall gathering for booklovers, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, will return to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s beautiful Back Bay, November 15-17, 2013. The offerings are wide and diverse from over 120 dealers from the United States, England, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, and The Netherlands who will exhibit and sell rare, collectible and antiquarian books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, modern first editions, photographs, and fine and decorative prints.

This year, the Museum will be contributing to the Fair in more ways than one. Stuart Frank, Senior Curator Emeritus, will be delivering a talk titled “Intro to Scrimshaw & Collecting Scrimshaw Books” on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 2:00pm. Additionally, the Museum has been invited to set up a booth as part of the Fair’s Cultural Row Exhibit. As part of Cultural Row, the Museum will be selling several of its publications, including Ingenious Contrivances and Arctic Regions.

OPENING HOURS, TICKET PRICES & CONTACT INFORMATION
Friday, November 15 5:00-9:00pm Tickets: $15.00 – Opening Night
(tickets valid throughout the weekend)
Saturday, November 16 12:00-7:00pm Tickets: $8.00
Sunday, November 17 12:00-5:00pm Tickets: $8.00; free with a valid student I.D.

Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston Street
Boston, MA
http://www.mccahome.com

18th Moby-Dick Marathon

Attention all potential readers! The day to call or email to let us know that you would like to read on either Saturday, January 4 or Sunday, January 5 is coming up. As Monday, November 11 becomes Tuesday, November 12, just after midnight, you may call (508) 717-6851 or email mdmarathon@whalingmuseum.org and submit your name. Let us know your preferred reading time, a backup reading time, and perhaps your affiliation. Otherwise, we’ll list you as ‘Melville Aficionado’. If you call, please be sure to spell out your name for us. We will be able to start responding in mid-December to let you know your reading time. Those of you who have been put on the waiting list in the past year or two will get preference.

Event info will follow in subsequent posts. You can also go to the http://www.whalingmuseum.org/programs page on our website.

Enjoy the weekend.

The Haunted Whale Ship, Oct. 26

David Brownell and Lucy Bly appear as Capt. Ahab and Hetty Green at "The Haunted Whale Ship," Saturday, Oct. 26.

David Brownell and Lucy Bly appear as Capt. Ahab and Hetty Green at “The Haunted Whale Ship,” Saturday, Oct. 26.

Set sail on The Haunted Whale Ship, the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s family-friendly Halloween event, geared for children 12 and under and their parents on Saturday, October 26, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. See the century-old museum in a new (dim) light and meet ghosts from New Bedford’s seafaring past. The not-too scary fun includes a costume contest, haunted scavenger hunt, arts & crafts activities, spooky stories & tours, refreshments, and more.

In partnership with members of the New Bedford Preservation Society, a few notable spirits of Old Dartmouth and New Bedford will roam museum galleries and greet visitors with tales of long-ago. Reenactors will also include museum docents, staff and high school apprentices with special apparitions of Hetty Green – “The Witch of Wall Street” – played by Lucy Bly, and of Deborah Doubleday – innkeeper during the 1778 burning of Bedford Village – played Judy Roderiques. David Brownell rises as Captain Ahab.

Tickets are required in advance: $3 for children 12 and under; $5 for all others. Call (508) 997-0046, ext. 100 or email: frontdesk@whalingmuseum.org. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Whaling History Symposium, Oct. 19-20

"Bark Stafford, Outward Bound" painted by Clifford W. Ashley in 1926 recalls the heyday of the New Bedford Port District, the focus of the 37th Whaling History Symposium, October 19-20 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. (New Bedford Whaling Museum collection)

“Bark Stafford, Outward Bound” painted by Clifford W. Ashley in 1926 recalls the heyday of the New Bedford Port District, the focus of the 37th Whaling History Symposium, October 19-20 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. (New Bedford Whaling Museum collection)

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is pleased to announce the program for its 37th Whaling History Symposium, to be held at the Museum on Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20, 2013.

This year’s theme is the interdependence and integration of various communities and commercial interests in the New Bedford Port District and their relation to the whaling industry that was the main economic focus of the region. Michael P. Dyer, Senior Maritime Historian, will open the session with an overview history of the District and its “Outports,” the galaxy of seacoast towns lying between Cape Cod and Rhode Island that shared with New Bedford and Fairhaven the risks and prosperity of the whaling industry, and suffered together in its decline. Next up, Erik A.R. Ronnberg, Jr., one of America’s most celebrated ship modelers and a former curator at the Whaling Museum, will present “Whaleship Models: Research and Reconstruction,” describing the unique features of whaleship models and the challenges of building them, and will provide a systematic examination of their value as historical documents, sublime aesthetic byproducts of local seafaring, and relics that pay homage to a unique maritime heritage. Mr. Ronnberg will be followed by Judith N. Lund, also a former curator of the Museum, to introduce the current exhibition “The Art of the Ship Model,” which she co-curated with J. Michael Wall.

Following a break for lunch, New Bedford historian and publicist Arthur P. Motta will speak about “Lighthouses of New Bedford” and their integration into the fabric of The Life and Times of the Whaling Capital, one of the nation’s greatest seaports. Arthur has long been involved in the preservation of New Bedford’s three extant lighthouses. This will be expanded upon by Dr. Stuart M. Frank, Senior Curator Emeritus, with “Beacons and Blubber: The Amos Baker Family and four generations of whaling, lighthouses, journals, watercolors, scrimshaw, and artifact collecting,” a pictorial extravaganza that delves deep into museum collections to explore the unusual history of this exemplary family of lighthouse keepers and whaling captains.  Capping the all-day plenary sessions will be Dr. Alfred H. Saulniers, economist and noted local historian, addressing “Franco Americans in the New Bedford Whale Fishery, 1790-1910,” a little-known but crucial component community of participants in the city’s great Age of Sail.  To close out the day, Dr. Frank will introduce another current exhibition, “Harbor Views,” which focuses on visions of the estuary, waterfronts, and waterborne traffic by some of the most proficient and expressive local artists, from William Bradford and Albert Van Beest to L.D. Eldred and Clifford Ashley.

 Scheduled for Sunday at 10:30 a.m. is an optional field excursion: a harbor tour and special close-up narrated cruise around the port’s three historic lighthouses. Tour seating is limited.

 The Whaling History Symposium, first established in 1975, brings scholars, collectors, armchair historians, and interested nautical enthusiasts to New Bedford from all over the country and abroad, to share interests in maritime history, nautical lore, and the many intriguing facets of whaling heritage worldwide. This year’s Symposium focuses on the home port, whose name was “known in every seaport on the globe.”

 Registration: $50 for members and $65 for non-members (includes lunch and admission to all museum galleries) by October 17. Optional Lighthouse Harbor Tour, $25 additional. To register, call the Admissions Desk: (508) 997-0046, ext. 100 or email: frontdesk@whalingmuseum.org

 The Whaling History Symposium is sponsored in part by the Samuel D. Rusitzky Fund.

SCHEDULE

 All Saturday Symposium events, including registration, plenary sessions, coffee break, and lunch, take place in the Jacobs Family Gallery and Cook Memorial Theater. The Sunday component is a boat trip on the Acushnet River, reserved in advance. Museum galleries are open daily to all registrants. A Symposium discount room rate is available at the New Bedford Fairfield Inn and Suites.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19

 

9:00 a.m. – Registration & coffee

 10:00 a.m. – Welcome & Opening Remarks

 10:15 a.m. – “The entire business of the place is the whale fishery”: Specialization and Management in the New Bedford Port District, 1789-1884. – presented by Michael P. Dyer, Senior Maritime Historian, New Bedford Whaling Museum.

 11:15 a.m. – “Whaleship Models: Research and Reconstruction” – presented by Erik A. R. Ronnberg, Jr., ship model artist and historian; former Associate Curator of Maritime History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

 12:15 p.m. – Introducing “The Art of the Ship Model” Exhibition – presented by Judith Navas Lund, Curator Emerita, New Bedford Whaling Museum.

 12:30 a.m. – Luncheon, Jacobs Family Gallery.

 2:00 p.m. – Lighthouses of New Bedford. – presented by Arthur P. Motta, Director, Marketing & Communications, New Bedford Whaling Museum.

 3:00 p.m. – “Beacons and Blubber: The Baker Family and four generations of whaling, light­houses, journals, watercolors, scrimshaw, and artifact collecting, 1825-1940” –  presented by Stuart M. Frank, Ph.D., Senior Curator Emeritus, New Bedford Whaling Museum.

 4:00 p.m – “Franco Americans in the New Bedford Whale Fishery, 1790-1910” – presented by Alfred H. Saulniers, Ph.D., Economist and Historian, New Bedford.

5:00 p.m. – Introducing the “Harbor Views” Exhibition. – presented by Stuart M. Frank.

 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20

Optional Field Trip – narrated by Arthur P. Motta: a tour of New Bedford harbor (weather/seas permitting), with a sail past Palmer Island Light (1849), Butler Flats Light Station (1898), and Clark’s Point Light (1869). Morning departure at 10:30 a.m. aboard the harbor tour boat, Acushnet, from Fisherman’s Wharf, returning in time for lunch on your own on shore. Seating is limited.

Iceland Whaling Company Using Whale Oil for Fuel

Illustration of fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), by Uko Gorter.

Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus). Illustration by Uko Gorter.

This morning we posted a Guardian (UK) story on our Facebook page about Iceland’s lone whaling company combining oil extracted from endangered fin whales with marine oil to power their fleet. Another publication, Wildlife Extra News has picked up on this story as well.

Hvalur is the only whaling company in Iceland. Their CEO, Kristjan Loftsson, is a veteran of the whaling industry, having started as an observer on his father’s whale ships in 1956. In a June 2010 story, published by Google News and AFP (and posted on our Bulletin Board that month), he made his attitude towards whales quite clear while in attendance at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Morocco. “Whales are just another fish for me, an abundant marine resource, nothing else…If they are so intelligent why don’t they stay outside of Iceland’s territorial waters?”

Iceland has increased their quota this year for fin whales, the second largest species of whale and historically the most hunted of the great whales. In compiling the data from the IWC database, and recent reports by researcher Yulia Ivashchenko of corrected Soviet whaling harvest totals, I estimate that approximately 900,000 fin whales were killed globally via factory whaling methods between 1900-2000.  Unlike Japan, which does its harvesting under the heading of Scientific Whaling, Iceland makes no such claims. Their hunt is strictly commercial, with their sales going mainly to Japan and to tourists who visit Iceland. Iceland and Norway both hunt commercially in defiance of the voluntary moratorium agreed to by IWC members in 1983 and enacted in full in 1986.

Mr. Loftsson’s claim that this new fuel mix should be considered a green biofuel is ludicrous. Utilizing an endangered species to cut down on use of fossil fuels to then hunt more of that same species serves no benefit to the marine environment.  Chris Butler-Stroud, the Executive Director of Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), summarized the duplicitous nature of this strategy, “This is a completely absurd, perverse and unethical move by an industry that is already steeped in the blood of whales, and which is now prepared to use the remains of dead whales to keep its own vessels afloat.”

Maya textiles exhibit and local weaving demo, March 2

Maya_WeaverWeaving Stories, Weaving Lives: Maya Textiles from Guatemala and New Bedford will be on exhibit from February 18 through April 7 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in partnership with the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University.

Maya weaving tells stories. It is rooted in tradition, and alive today. The exhibit features historic garments from Guatemala, and garments being made today in New Bedford by Maya weavers using their traditional back-strap loom. Join in this celebration of a new chapter in New Bedford’s long tradition of textile manufacturing. Now through April admission to the Whaling Museum is free to those who live in New Bedford, made possible by a grant from BayCoast Bank.

On Saturday March 2nd at 2:00 p.m. see local Maya weavers use the back-strap loom to create beautiful textiles of personal expression. During school vacation week (February 19-22), bring your family to enjoy Maya textile related crafts and other activities offered at no cost from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Tweet the exhibit at #weavinglives.

Maya textiles from the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology (Brown University) and the weaving collective Oxib’B’atz (New Bedford) celebrate the artistry of Maya weaving, a storytelling practice rooted in tradition that remains an essential form of expression to this day. Anthropologist Margot Blum Schevill recently donated her extensive textile collection, gathered during the 1970s, to the Haffenreffer Museum. Locally, Oxib’B’atz continues weaving using the traditional back-strap loom.

Co-curated by Anna Ghublikian and María D. Quintero, the exhibit looks at historic and contemporary garments, which reflect a new understanding about the role of textile manufacturing in the history of New Bedford and those who have made it their home.

Exhibición de textiles maya presenta una tradicion artistica con una demostración del tejido el 2 de marzo

Tejiendo historias, Tejiendo Vidas: Textiles Maya de Guatemala y New Bedford estará expuesto de 18 de febrero hasta el 7 de abril en el New Bedford Whaling Museum en asociación con el Museo Haffenreffer de Antropología en Brown University.

El tejido Maya comparte historias. Está arraigado en tradición, y continua vivo hoy. Vea vestuarios históricos de Guatemala, y textiles hechos hoy en New Bedford por tejedores Maya que mantienen sus prácticas culturales. Venga a celebrar este nuevo capítulo en la tradición larga de la fabricación de textil en New Bedford. Desde hoy hasta el fin de Abril el New Bedford Whaling Museum es gratis para los que viven en New Bedford, hecho posible por un subsidio de BayCoast Bank.

El sábado 2 de marzo a las 2:00 de la tarde vengan a ver tejedores locales maya tejer en la foma tradicional para crear hermosos textiles de expresión personal. Durante la semana de vacaiones escolares (Febrero19-22), traiga a su familia para disfrutar de actividades relacionados a los tejidos maya de las 10:00 de la mañana a 12:00 de la tarde in costo alguno.

Los tejidos maya del Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology (Brown University) y tejidos del collectivo Oxib’B’atz (New Bedford) celebrarán la creatividad artistica del tejido maya, una práctica narrativa arraigada en tradición que persiste como una forma esencial de expresión hasta este día. Recientemente, antropóloga Margot Blum Schevill donó los tejidos que colecto extensivamante desde los 1970s a el Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. Localmente, Oxib’B’atz continua la práctica cultural del tejido maya,

Ésta exhibición, desarrollada por Anna Ghublikian y María D. Quintero, presenta vestuarios históricos y contemporáneos para reflejar una nueva comprensión de la fabricación de textil en la historia de New Bedford y la gente que lo habita.

Mundialmente, el New Bedford Whaling Museum es el mayor de los museos completamente dedicados a la historia global de ballenas, la pesca de ballenas y la historia cultural de la región. Como la piedra angular del New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, el Museo se encuentra en 18 Johnny Cake Hill en el corazón del centro histórico de la ciudad. Para un calendario completo de acontecimientos, visite el sito de web del museo: http://www.whalingmuseum.org.

El New Bedford Whaling Museum estará abierto de martes a sábados de 9am a 4pm y los domingos de 11am a 4pm.

Ambassador of Portugal visits Feb. 16

DabneyCoverFace2The Ambassador of Portugal, Nuno Brito, is scheduled to speak at a presentation celebrating the American publication of a major anthology on the diplomatic history between Portugal and the United States, on Saturday, February 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater, New Bedford Whaling Museum. The public is invited to attend.

Titled, The Dabneys: A Bostonian Family in the Azores 1806-1871, the anthology deals with the historic American Consulate of the Dabney family at Horta, Faial – Açores. For most of the 19th century, the family made the island of Faial their home. Merchants with elite social connections, three generations of Dabneys were United States Consuls. Their impact on the growth of trade and their humanitarian activities earned them admiration throughout Portugal and America.

Ambassador Brito will be joined by local elected officials and community leaders at the event, which is sponsored by the New Bedford Whaling Museum and UMASS Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture.

Originally compiled by Roxana Lewis Dabney (1827-1913) from decades of letters and journals and privately printed for the family in 1899 as The Dabney Annals, the new 250-page American edition is illustrated with dozens of photographs from the era.

The February 16 program will include historian Maria Filomena Mónica, editor of the unabridged Portuguese edition of The Dabney Annals, which was published in 2009; she is also editor of the American edition, with annotation and selections by Paulo Silveira e Sousa.

“For the American reader, this book sheds new light on a re­markable but little known chapter in the history of United States foreign relations,” said James Russell, museum president and CEO.

A partnership of the Luso-American Development Foundation and the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the book is available for purchase following the program or online at: www.whalingmuseumstore.org.

Right Whales Arrive Very Early

The sighting of a North Atlantic right whale (NARW) in Cape Cod Bay, off the coast of Plymouth, MA is not unusual, except when the sighting happens between November and February.  But, when the whale is a female that hadn’t been seen for nearly three years, and she is accompanied by a calf, then the sighting is cause for celebration. This whale, nicknamed Wart, had been severely entangled in netting for two (probably excruciating) years before the third disentanglement attempt by the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies finally set her free in May of 2010. She hadn’t been seen since.

So, it was a very nice surprise when the adult was identified from North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog as ‘Wart’. This calf is her seventh, and her first since 2005. Typically, NARW females have a calving interval of 3-5 years.  This eight year stretch between calves may say a great deal about the physical stress that entanglement puts on the body of a right whale, especially a female. There’s a brief story and photo on CBS Local Boston.

The only known calving grown for the NARW is off the coast of southern Georgia and northern Florida. So far in this calving season, including Wart and her calf, there have been 14 mother-calf pairs spotted.

For photographs of both mom and calf, you can visit the Face-ing Extinction: The North Atlantic Right Whale page on Facebook.   These photos were taken by staff of Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).  We encourage you to ‘Like’ the page. One of the goals for this page when it was set up by WDC, NBWM and Audubon Society of RI was to have as many people Like the page as there are NARWs. Presently the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog, which is maintained by the New England Aquarium, lists 509 living whales. Now that we’ve reached that goal, it’s time to double it.