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Category Archives: Exhibitions

John Barry Book Award for American Maritime Literature

Presented to Professor Robert P. Watson, PhD
for The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn:
An Untold Story of the American Revolution

Fraunces Tavern, 54 Pearl Street, New York, NY
6pm on Wednesday, 6 June 2018


The 2018 Commodore John Barry Book Award for American Maritime Literature will be presented to Professor Robert P. Watson, PhD, for his book The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: an Untold Story of the American Revolution at Fraunces Tavern on the evening of Wednesday, 6 June, after a 6pm reception in the Flag Gallery.  For additional information and reservations, please contact Jessica Hitchen at the New York Council, Navy League of the United States at (212) 825-7333 or via email at


The most horrific struggle of the American Revolution/War for Independence occurred just 100 yards off New York, where more men died aboard a rotting English prison ship than were lost in the entirety of the war.  Moored in Wallabout Bay, off Brooklyn, until the end of the war, the derelict ship, the HMS Jersey, was a living hell for thousands of Americans, either captured by the British, or accused of disloyalty.  Crammed below decks — a shocking one thousand at a time — without light or fresh air, the prisoners were scarcely fed food and water.  Disease ran rampant and human waste fouled the air as prisoners suffered mightily at the hands of brutal British and Hessian guards.  Throughout the colonies (later States), the mere mention of the ship sparked fear and loathing of British troops.  It also sparked a backlash of outrage as newspapers everywhere described the horrors of the ghostly ship.  This shocking event, much like the better-known Boston Massacre before it, ended up rallying support for Independence, and for the war.  Revealing for the first time hundreds of accounts culled from old newspapers, diaries, and military reports, award-winning historian Robert P. Watson follows the lives and ordeals of the few survivors to tell the astonishing story of the cursed ship that killed thousands of Americans, and yet helped to secure victory in the fight for Independence.  This is a story that must be told.

About the Award:

The inspiration for the Commodore John Barry Book Award for American Maritime Literature is the life and service of Commodore John Barry (1745- 1803) a Continental Navy hero of the American War for Independence, later chosen by President George Washington to build and lead the new United States Navy, successor to the Continental Navy.  Pursuant to a Joint Resolution of Congress, on 22 December 2005, John Barry was formally recognized, in the Public Law of the United States, as the first flag officer of the United States Navy, and similarly in a memorial at the US Naval Academy, 10 May 2014.   Previous recipients of the Commodore John Barry Book Award for American Maritime Literature include James D. Hornfischer for his The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944 – 1945; Tim McGrath for his Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America’s Revolution at Sea; and Craig L. Simonds for his NEPTUNE: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings.

Fraunces Tavern is the historic location for the Awards ceremony.  It is here that General George Washington celebrated the evacuation of the last British forces from New York on the last day of the American War for Independence on 25 November 1783, and later resigned his commission, bade farewell to his officers, and returned to his home in Virginia.


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TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE®: Boston, 17–22 June 2017

Tall Ships America is collaborating with Sail Training International for a transatlantic Tall Ships Regatta* marking the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. The Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta will bring ships from European host ports to Boston on 17–22 June and then on to various ports in Canada and the Gulf of St. Lawrence before arriving in Quebec City in July. From Quebec City ,the ships will return to Europe in September 2017.

Tall Ships America is planning port events along the Atlantic Coast culminating in the Sail Boston® 2017event as part of their TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Atlantic Coast 2017 series. Check this webpage for the latest information on participating US ports it develops.

About Tall Ships America
Founded in 1973, Tall Ships America is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching youth education through character building and leadership programs aboard tall ships. It is the hub for tall ship activity, expertise, and information in North America, and is commended by the United States Congress as the Sail Training Organization representing the United States in the international forum.  Tall Ships America supports the people, ships and programs of sail training and tall ships through grants, scholarships, conferences, education, publications, regulatory and licensing information, public events and advocacy. The mission of Tall Ships America is to encourage character building through sail training, promote sail training to the North American public, and support education under sail.

For more information visit the Tall Ships America website.


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South Street Seaport Museum Announces New Exhibition

In celebration of the unparalleled restoration currently underway on its flagship, Wavertree, South Street Seaport Museum has announced its first post-Hurricane Sandy exhibition, Street of Ships: The Port and Its People. TSSSM_Collections_1991.078.0044he exhibition will debut on 17 March 2016, and will be open Wednesday–Sunday 11am–5pm in the museum’s main lobby at 12 Fulton Street.

Street of Ships: The Port and Its People showcases works of art and artifacts from the museum’s permanent collections related to the 19th-century history of the Port of New York, examining the decisive role played by the “Street of Ships” in securing New York’s place as America’s largest city and its rise to become the world’s busiest port by the start of the 20th century. The exhibition examines the life and current restoration of the museum’s 1885 full-rigged sailing cargo ship, Wavertree, an archetype of the impressive sailing ships that once called at South Street,  laying the groundwork for Wavertree’s return in July 2016 after the completion of a 15-month, $13 million city-funded restoration, the largest of its type in more than a generation. SSSM_Archives_Wavertree_History_Dismasted

Captain Jonathan Boulware, Executive Director of the Museum, exuded enthusiasm for the exhibition and for the return of Wavertree. “In the three years since Hurricane Sandy, much has been done to move this important New York institution forward. But nowhere is that work more evident than in the $13 million restoration of our flagship Wavertree. It’s a project unlike any undertaken in a generation. When she returns this summer, Wavertree will truly be a ship worthy of New York. This exhibition draws from the history of the Seaport, the birth of New York, and the people who have made both the district and the museum thrive. We’re absolutely thrilled to finally be bringing artifacts from the collection forward to the public for the first time since Sandy.”

In the early 19th Century, New York was just one among many cities competing for American commerce and trade, but by 1860 the Seaport at South Street was a center of world trade, linking New York to Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean, South America, and beyond. SSSM_Archives_ClipperCardManhattan’s population exploded from a mere 60,000 to nearly 1 million. South Street became known as the “Street of Ships,” its waterfront lined with sailing ships laden with goods from all over the world, creating a forest of masts from the Battery to the Brooklyn Bridge. The sheer volume of these vessels conducting world trade in New York directly fueled the economic and cultural development of the city. Bursting with the energy of global commerce, entrepreneurs at the Seaport developed better ways to trade.
Several 19th Century individuals and companies working at the Seaport exemplify the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that New York continues to be known for today.

Wavertree, built in Southampton, England, circled the globe four times in her career carrying a wide variety of cargoes. She called on New York in 1895, as one of hundreds like her berthed in the city. In 1910, after thirty-five years of sailing, she was caught in a Cape Horn gale that tore down her masts and ended her career as a cargo vessel. She was salvaged and used as a storage barge in South America before being acquired by South Street Seaport Museum in 1968. The story of her journey from Argentina to New York is told in Peter and Norma Stanford’s A Dream of Tall Ships: How New Yorkers came together to save the city’s sailing-ship waterfront

This exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Theodore W. Scull and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs with additional support provided by Susan Kayser & Duane Morris LLP in memory of Salvatore Polisi
Admission is free for SSSM Members. Tickets are $12 for adults; $8 for seniors (65+), Merchant Mariners, Active Duty Military, and students (valid ID); $6 for kids (ages 6-17) and free for children ages 5 and under.
The exhibition is on view through 2016.

Photos courtesy South Street Seaport Museum.

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Free Weekday Admission to Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in February

CBMM_FreeinFebruaryThanks to generous sponsor support, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will be offering free admission Monday through Friday during the month of February. Free admission covers access to the entire museum, including the working boatyard and 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse, as well as numerous permanent and changing exhibitions along CBMM’s waterfront campus in historic St. Michaels, MD.

The Free in February program includes President’s Day, and is made possible through the generous sponsor support of the Talbot Bank and Awful Arthur’s of St. Michaels, MD. Guests will also receive a voucher for a 15% discount off of a meal at Awful Arthur’s on the day of the museum visit.

CBMM_FreeinFebruary_Boatshop“Winter offers a great time to explore our 12 exhibition buildings and beautiful campus, especially while enjoying the town’s great restaurants, shops, hotels and inns,” said CBMM’s President Kristen Greenaway. “We have a great number of inside exhibitions for all ages to enjoy, the waterfowl are abundant along a quieter harbor and the Miles River, and you can see great things happening in our boatyard as education programs and the restoration of our historic fleet of Chesapeake vessels ramp up in the colder months.”

CBMM_FreeinFebruary_BroadReachGuests can also take in the exhibition  A Broad Reach: 50 Years of Collecting, which features 50 significant objects that have been accessioned into the museum’s collection over the past 50 years, presented on both floors of the Steamboat Building. The exhibition will be closing to the public in 2016.

Admission will be free weekdays in February for all museum guests. General admission is otherwise good for two consecutive days and is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students with ID, $6 for children 6-17, and free for museum members and children five and under. The museum is open 10 AM to 4 PM seven days a week, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.



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20th Annual Moby-Dick Marathon

The New Bedford Whaling Museum will mark its 20th marathon reading of Moby-Dick the weekend of 7–10 January. The reading will begin at noon on Saturday, 9 January and include more than 150 participants reading short passages from the novel; it will last 25 hours. Tie-in events include the opening of the exhibit Oásis by Nuno Sá, Portugal’s most awarded wildlife photographer, the dedication of the museum’s Herman Melville Room, a Moby-Dick-inspired dinner (a ticketed event), and a lecture. The exhibition Mapping Ahab’s “Storied Waves”: Whaling and the Geography of Moby-Dick will make its debut as well.

image: New Bedford Whaling Museum

image: New Bedford Whaling Museum

Prior to the reading, the museum will test the Moby-Dick trivia mastery of Melville Society Cultural Project members with Stump the Scholars. Once the reading marathon begins, readings held around the museum will be interspersed with performances and music; and select passages will be read in languages other than English. The museum will also host an abridged reading for children, as well as an abridged one conducted in Portuguese.

For more information, visit the event website.



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Cartography Conference at the New Bedford Whaling Museum


Keeping Our Bearings: Maps, Navigation, Shipwrecks and the Unknown
13–14 November at the
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Optional additional related programming offered on 15 November

The first cartography conference held at the New Bedford Whaling Museum examines our connection to man’s relationship to the sea over time, from medieval conceptions of the oceans as dark and monstrous places to 21st century high-tech modern underwater mapping used to search for shipwrecked whaleships in the Arctic. Learn how a great clock changed the world, and how Marshall Islanders used stick charts that rely on swells and currents to find their way. How and why mankind learned to find solutions to navigate the oceans across different cultures and over time informs our understanding of the cultural, spiritual, physical, and intellectual challenges of marine navigation. Join the New Bedford Whaling Museum for a series of fascinating talks by experts in cartography, navigation, and exploration to better understand the oceans around us and how we continue to strive to find our bearings. Download the cartography conference flyer here.


Members $65 / Non-members $75
Students with ID $25

Friday evening only lecture: Members $20 / Non-members $25

Optional: Introduction to Astrolabes
$10 Members/$15 Non-members
Optional: Tour of Mystic Seaport Exhibition
$20 Members/$25 Non-members

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Texas Seaport Museum Exhibit to Celebrate Sea Shanties

A New Exhibit at the Texas Seaport Museum:
Keeping Rhythm on the Sea—A History of Sea Shanties

shanty-750x400Galveston Historical Foundation’s Texas Seaport Museum will highlight sea shanties—songs that helped sailors keep rhythm together and work as one—at a new exhibit, Keeping Rhythm on the Sea – A History of Sea Shanties. The exhibit will debut onboard the 1877 barque Elissa on Friday, 13 November, during a special Galveston Historical Foundation member’s preview. The exhibit will be open to the general public beginning Saturday, 14 November, at the Texas Seaport Museum,  located at Pier 22 and Harborside in Galveston, Texas.

This new exhibit, donated to Texas Seaport Museum by Texas A&M Galveston Maritime Studies program, highlights the historical and contemporary life of the sea shanty and the men who sang them. Video and audio clips of shanties being sung aboard Elissa add to the experience of being on board while under sail.

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Noble Maritime Collection Introduces a New Exhibit

Noble lighthouseThe Noble Maritime Collection will open its new exhibit, Robbins Reef Lighthouse: A Home in the Harbor, on 25 September at 6 PM. The exhibit, which will be on view through 2017, is a tribute to the lighthouse, including its history, its restoration, and representations by various artists, including Kathy Fieramosca, Denise Mumm, Robert Padovano, Pamela Talese, Len Tantillo, Dan Thompson, Sarah Yuster, William Behnken, Elle Finn, and  John Stobart.

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Mystic’s 36th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition and Sale

Jim Griffiths, “Dangerous Waters”, Gouache 12 ½ x 19 (Rieta Park/Mystic Seaport)

Jim Griffiths, “Dangerous Waters”, Gouache 12 ½ x 19 (Rieta Park/Mystic Seaport)

The 36th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition and Sale opens Sunday, 27 September, at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport. Award-winning artists from eight countries will be displaying pieces of the highest quality works of contemporary marine art. Paintings on display will include coastal scenes and marine wildlife as well as historic vessels, racing yachts, and working boats.

Participating artists include Laura Cooper, Richard Loud, Jeff Weaver, Don Demers, Russ Kramer, John Tayson, Patrick O’Brien, William Duffy, Elizabeth Mumford, Robert Lagasse, and Leif Nilsson. The exhibition will honor participating artists with five awards of excellence and nine named awards—including the Rudolph J. Schaefer Maritime Heritage Award, which recognizes the work that best documents America’s maritime heritage for future generations.

The exhibition and sale will run through 31 December; the works  can also be viewed on Mystic’s website.

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Mystic Seaport Maritime Gallery Annual Exhibition and Sale

The Plein Air Painters of the Maritime Gallery
Exhibition and Sale
Through September 20 at Mystic Seaport Museum

Thirty artists gathered for five days in July on the grounds of historic Mystic Seaport and the nearby coastal marshes, beaches and towns. Following the tradition of the en plein air painters of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the artists could be found at their French easels creating the 114 paintings now on display. Featured artists this year include David Bareford, David Montiero, Neal Hughes, and Bill Hanson.

The exhibition and sale is open to the public at the Mystic Seaport Maritime Gallery and will continue through September 20. The online exhibition can be viewed on Mystic’s website.

David Lussier, “Seaport Morning”, OIL, 11 x 14

David Lussier, “Seaport Morning”, OIL, 11 x 14

“This annual exhibition and sale, now in its 19th year, showcases paintings by many of the top maritime artists working today and illustrates why Mystic Seaport is so beloved by artists as a place of inspiration,” said Monique Foster, Director of the Maritime Gallery. “These paintings are remarkably affordable considering the quality of the work and the renown these artists have among collectors of maritime art.”

The Gallery is open daily from 10 am. to 5 pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 860 572-5388 or visit the Gallery’s website.

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