Tag Archives: Partnerships

Scrimshaw Weekend expands with nautical antiques auction, May 13-15

This English watercolor of the ship Iona in its original frame is one of many consigned and donated nautical antiques in the Scrimshaw Weekend's Benefit Auction on May 14 at 8pm, proceeds to benefit the New Bedford Whaling Museum. None of the items are from the Museum's collections. (Photo by Richard Donnelly)

Scrimshaw experts, collectors and fans from around the world have another reason to look forward to the 22nd Annual Scrimshaw Weekend at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, May 13-15. It features three days of new presentations and activities, including a first-ever public auction of consigned nautical antiques on Saturday, May 14 at 8:00 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater.

The world’s only forum dedicated to the indigenous shipboard art of whalemen, Scrimshaw Weekend attracts enthusiasts from four continents to share the enjoyment of collecting and researching this remarkable artwork at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of scrimshaw.

The weekend kicks off at noon on Friday, May 13 with a Marine Antiques Show and Swap Meet, expanded by popular demand. On Friday evening, the keynote address titled “‘Built’ Scrimshaw: Types, Tools, and Construction Methods” is presented by James Vaccarino, J.D., and Sanford Moss, Ph.D. at 8:00 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater. A full day of special programs devoted to scrimshaw on Saturday will wrap up with a cocktail reception at 5:00 p.m. and gala banquet at 6:00 p.m. The banquet will be followed by a public auction of consigned and donated nautical antiques at 8:00 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater, with proceeds to benefit the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Special exhibitions and an optional fieldtrip on Sunday are also planned.

Marine Antiques Show and Swap Meet

On Friday, May 13, from noon to 5:00 p.m., the second annual Marine Antiques and Swap Meet will feature 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 for the Antiques Show and Swap Meet only is $5, or free with museum admission or membership.

Scrimshaw Plenary Sessions

On Saturday, May 14, plenary sessions from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. will include, “Care and Feeding: Taking Care of Your Scrimshaw – Expanded,” with Conservator and Curatorial Intern, D. Jordan Berson, M.A., M.L.S.; Scrimshaw Preservation and Conservation Q&A Session; “Pictorial Sources of Scrimshaw in Institutional and Private Collections” with Jack H. T. Chang, M.D.; “Pictorial Sources of Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum,” with Stuart Frank, Ph.D., Senior Curator, NBWM; “Scrimshaw in the McDowell Collection”; “Pirates and Female Pirates on Scrimshaw,” and more.

Sessions will also include a Scrimshaw Market Report and Q&A with marine antiques dealer, Andrew Jacobson; an update on “A Comprehensive Catalogue of Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum,” with James Russell, Museum president; Richard Donnelly, book photographer, and Sara Eisenman, designer; Nautical Antiques Auction overview with Richard Donnelly, and a Collectors’ Show-and-Tell.

Public Auction of Consigned Nautical Antiques

On Saturday, May 14 at 8:00 p.m., guest auctioneer Ron Bourgeault of Northeast Auctions, LLC, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, will preside over the public auction of a wide array of consigned nautical antiques including scrimshaw and whale craft, marine paintings, engravings and lithographs, log books, charts, antique photos, nautical instruments and more in the Cook Memorial Theater. A featured expert on the popular PBS series, Antiques Roadshow, Ron’s career in the antiques business spans four decades. He established Northeast Auctions in 1987, now ranked among the largest auction houses in the United States.

The public auction will consist of consignment and donated items only, with proceeds to benefit the New Bedford Whaling Museum. No items are from the Museum’s collections.

Approximately 150 lots will include many fine examples of scrimshaw, including whales’ teeth, whale bone busks engraved with various subjects, whale bone fids, a whale ivory pie crimper, fine inlaid sewing box from the Nye family, five canes including lady’s leg and fist examples, cribbage board, carved whale’s tooth amulet, lady’s leg pipe tamper, hand & cuff bodkin, whale bone clothes pin, large whale bone carved spoon and more. Auction listings and photos are online at www.auctionzip.com.

Preview of auction items in the Resource Center begins Friday, May 13 from noon to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturday, May 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend the preview and auction at no charge. Left bids will be accepted. No phone or online bidding. Payment: cash, check and major credit cards accepted. There is a 15% buyer’s premium and Massachusetts sales tax is applicable to buyers without a valid resale certificate.

The fee for Scrimshaw Weekend, including admission to the Museum, all open galleries, Scrimshaw & Marine Antiques Show, scheduled meals, all plenary sessions and refreshments: $335 (Museum members $295) before May 1. After May 1 the fee is $370 (Museum members $330). Tickets to Saturday’s banquet only: $75 each.

On Sunday, May 15, an optional all-day fieldtrip will head to Nantucket Island and its Whaling Museum for a “behind the scenes” tour of its outstanding scrimshaw collection, including the museum’s off-campus storage facility. A special visit to an extraordinary private whaling collection will include a reception hosted by the owners. The bus will leave at 7:30 a.m. from the New Bedford Whaling Museum, returning by 8:00 p.m. The price is $235 and includes luncheon at the famed Jared Coffin House, all motor coach and ferry transportation.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Northeast Auctions, LLC of Portsmouth, NH, and the Maine Antique Digest, who have helped make Scrimshaw Weekend possible year after year.

To register, contact: Visitor Services, (508) 997-0046, ext. 100, or frontdesk@whalingmuseum.org

Whaling Museum named one of Massachusetts’ Great Places

In March, many members & friends nominated the Whaling Museum for inclusion on the Official List of 1,000 Great Places in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Their advocacy paid off. Today, the Governor’s Commission to Designate 1,000 Great Places of Massachusetts released its list, and the Whaling Museum is included! The Commission received some 12,000 nominations. Great Places will be used to promote tourism and cultural development by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism and other state and locate agencies. Thanks to all who voted!

Press Release

Gearing up for the Moby-Dick Marathon

American Icons: Moby Dick, Studio 360 (Listen in here)

Posted by Elizabeth Schultz,
In 2003, WNYU Radio’s Studio 360 decided to launch a series on American Icons which continues to this day, with Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick chosen to be the first American Icon in the series. Not the Empire State Building, not the Golden Gate Bridge, not “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but Moby-Dick!

I was delighted by this news and was delighted to be invited by Studio 360’s executive producer, Julie Burstein to be invited to help their staff think about the diverse perspectives which might be used in a radio-presentation of Moby-Dick. Called to New York for a brain-storming session, I joined the staff in a day of brainstorming to discuss the novel’s characters and themes as well as the art, music, and cartoons inspired by the novel.

It was evident that the staff was concerned to create a program which would reflect a range of responses and to generate the excitement which readers of the novel experienced. They wanted to know why science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, artist Frank Stella, playwright Tony Kushner, or an academic like myself would be moved by Moby-Dick. They considered the contrasting sounds of Lori Anderson’s Moby-Dick music and a two-minute summary of the novel in the voice of teenage surfer alongside Melville’s wondrous words in the novel. In April, 2005, the Peabody board, gave Studio 360 its award for “illuminating and revitalizing a masterpiece,” further testifying, “This is great radio.” As Studio 360 continues in 2009 to run its program on Moby-Dick, I receive enthusiastic emails from all over the country, feeling, in Melville’s words, that “the mingled, mingling threads of life” continue to connect Moby-Dick readers everywhere.

Elizabeth Schultz’s grandfather was the youngest ship captain on the Great Lakes during his day. She herself grew up sailing Michigan’s inland waters and has subsequently spent summers sailing among many of the world’s archipelagos. Above all, however, she has sailed with Herman Melville in search of Moby Dick.  She wrote “Unpainted to the Last”: Moby-Dick and Twentieth-Century American Art, co-edited a collection of essays on Melville and women, and published essays on Melville and Moby-Dick in relation to illustration, popular fiction, popular culture, race, gender, and the environment. Retired from the English Department at the University of Kansas, she was a founding member of the Melville Society Cultural Project at the New Bedford Whaling Museum and involved in diverse cultural and education programs during her six years of service.

Join us  for the 14th annual Moby Dick Marathon Noon, Saturday, January 9, 201o .

The non-stop reading of the Melville Classic.

“When Whales Made Kings” from Boston.com

newbedford__1246027626_8408 June 28, 2009, Boston.com and the Boston Globe, by Christopher Klein

NEW BEDFORD – Two days after the dawn of the new year in 1841, the whaler Acushnet tiptoed into frigid New Bedford Harbor, the first small steps on a lengthy voyage to the hunting grounds of the South Pacific. As the crew hoisted the newly christened vessel’s sails into the chill winter wind, they probably dreamed not only of warmer climes, but also of the great wealth that surrounded them in New Bedford, the whaling capital of the world. The city was among the richest in America, a commercial behemoth as massive as the leviathans its mariners harvested from the sea.

Among the names inscribed on the Acushnet’s crew list was that of a 21-year-old young man thirsty for adventure: Herman Melville. His voyage on the Acushnet served as inspiration for “Moby-Dick,’’ and the epic novel not only tells the salty tale of the elusive white whale, but also chronicles the prosperity of New Bedford at a time when whale oil and spermaceti candles powered the world.

“The town itself is perhaps the dearest place to live in, in all New England,’’ Melville wrote in “Moby-Dick.’’ “Nowhere in all America will you find more patrician-like houses; parks and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford.’’ While not on par with the lavish palaces built by today’s Russian oil barons and Middle Eastern sheiks, New Bed ford’s Yankee whalers constructed stately homes with their wealth and the Greek Revival mansion built by William Rotch Jr. was probably among those Melville recalled in that passage.

Rotch’s 28-room manse, now the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum, is the best-preserved example of New Bedford’s “brave houses and flowery gardens’’ that Melville described in “Moby-Dick.’’ The house, built in 1834 and part of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, is named for the three families who lived under its roof over a span of 150 years.

Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum, 396 County St., New Bedford, 508-997-1401