Scrimshaw Weekend features opening scrimshaw exhibit, May 11-13

Scrimshaw experts, collectors and fans from around the world will gather for the 23rd Annual Scrimshaw Weekend at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, May 11-13, which features three days of activities including the opening of a new permanent exhibit on Sunday, May 13 at 2:00 p.m. of the world’s largest scrimshaw collection, titled “Scrimshaw: Shipboard Art of the Whalers.”

Scrimshaw removed from storage prior to placement in new Scrimshaw Gallery

The weekend kicks off on Friday, May 11, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the third annual Nautical Antiques Show featuring for sale high quality marine antiques including scrimshaw, nautical instruments and tools, whaling logbooks, ship models, photos, paintings, prints, New Bedford memorabilia, and more in the Jacobs Family Gallery. Entry fee to the Nautical Antiques Show only is $5, or free with museum admission or membership.

On Friday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., a cocktail reception in the Dutch Gallery will include a VIP preview of the new scrimshaw exhibit.

On Saturday, May 12, registration begins at 9:00 a.m. with plenary sessions starting at 10:00 a.m., to include, “William Sizer, Scrimshaw Artist: A Comprehensive Review” with John Miklos (Chicago); “The Latest Scrimshavological Forensic Analysis of the Anonymous and Mysterious Mantelpiece Maker,” with Donald C. Boger, M.D. (Los Angeles); “Remarks on Scrimshaw,” with Captain Thomas Conley (Chicago); buffet luncheon in the Jacobs Family Gallery.

Saturday afternoon sessions include “Scrimshaw: The Artist’s Eye,” with Ryan Cooper, scrimshaw artist (Cape Cod); “Market Report” with Andrew Jacobson (Ipswich, Mass.); “The California Penal Code and the California Crackdown,” with James Vaccarino, J.D., Scrimshaw Forensics® team; a panel discussion on the California Crackdown, with  Hon. Paul E. Vardeman, J.D. (Kansas City), Ken Brown (San Francisco), Rod Cardoza (San Diego), Chuck DeLuca (York, Maine and San Rafael, Calif.), Andrew Jacobson, and Stuart M. Frank, Ph.D. (moderator).

At 5:30 p.m., a cash bar will be followed by a banquet dinner at 7:00 p.m. in the Jacobs Family Gallery. The evening’s keynote, titled “Matchmaking” will be presented by Jack H.T. Chang, M.D. (Denver) at 8:00 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater.

On Sunday, May 13 at 10:30 a.m.: A Salute to Don Ridley: “Scrimshaw Fakes, Dangerous and Not So Dangerous,” with Stuart M. Frank in the Cook Memorial Theater; 11:15 a.m., VIP tour and discussion of “Seven Continents, Seven Seas,” with Stuart Frank, Wattles Family Gallery; lunch is on your own.

On Sunday at 2:00 p.m., a new exhibit, “Scrimshaw: Shipboard Art of the Whalers” opens to the public. The largest permanent exhibit of its kind, it coincides with the launch of a major new book on scrimshaw, titled “Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved: Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum.” by Stuart M. Frank. Published by David R. Godine, Boston, this definitive 400-page reference to the world’s largest scrimshaw collection includes more than 700 photographs by Richard Donnelly. Dr. Frank will be available to sign copies of the book. Light refreshments will be served.

Registration fee for Scrimshaw Weekend includes admission to the museum, all open galleries, nautical antiques show, all plenary sessions, Scrimshaw VIP Preview, exhibit opening, book launch, all scheduled meals, and refreshments: $370 (museum members $330). Tickets to Saturday’s banquet only: $75 each.

Admission to the Sunday opening of the scrimshaw exhibit and book launch only: regular admission rates apply. In honor of Mother’s Day, mothers are admitted free when accompanied by at least one member of her family.

For more information or to register, please contact visitor services at (508) 997-0046, ext. 100 or email: For the full schedule of events and program updates, please visit the museum website,

Special hotel room rates are available for Scrimshaw Weekend attendees. Call for details: Fairfield Inn and Suites New Bedford (Tel. 774.634.2000), and Hampton Inn New Bedford/Fairhaven (Tel. 508.990.8500).

The New Bedford Whaling Museum gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Northeast Auctions, LLC of Portsmouth, NH, and the Maine Antique Digest.


One response to “Scrimshaw Weekend features opening scrimshaw exhibit, May 11-13

  1. Douglass Moody

    I would love to be with you this year, boys.

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