FULL STEAM AHEAD
SPRING | SUMMER 2017
EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION AT ITS BEST!
OVER 60 YEARS of
SUMMER CAMPS At Mystic Seaport WHY LANDLOCK YOUR CHILDREN this summer when a whole new world awaits on the
water? From day camps to overnight camps and sailing programs aboard historic vessels like the Joseph Conrad and Brilliant, Mystic Seaport offers all sorts of unforgettable ways for children of all ages to earn their sea legs. Learn more at www.mysticseaport.org/summercamps
IN THIS ISSUE TM
Mystic Seaport magazine is a publication of Mystic SeaporT
President STEPHEN C. WHITE
executive vice presidents SUSAN FUNK MARCY WITHINGTON
ART GALLERY: ROWING EXHIBITION & SALE.................... 10-11
Senior VICE PRESIDENT for Curatorial Affairs Nicholas Bell
RESTORING MAYFLOWER II........ 12-13
Senior VICE PRESIDENT FOR ADVANCEMENT Elisabeth Saxe
SABINO RETURNS TO THE RIVER........................................ 14
Editor Göran R BUCKHORN email@example.com
PRODUCTION Susan HEATH Design karen Ward, THE DAY PRINTING COMPANY
Quentin Snediker John Urban
MYSTIC SEAPORT SAILING CENTER........................ 18-19 ON BOOKS................................... 20-21
FROM THE COLLECTIONS................ 22
PHOTOGRAPHY Elissa Bass
Mystic Seaport Photography Archives
Göran R Buckhorn Dan McFadden
NEW EXHIBITION: ART OF NIKKI McCLURE.................. 16 NEW EXHIBITION: ON LAND AND ON SEA.................... 17
contributors Elissa Bass
Q&A WITH DANA HEWSON.............. 15
EVENTS AT MYSTIC SEAPORT.......... 23
SPRING / SUMMER
ON THE COVER: AFTER 32 MONTHS OF RESTORATION WORK,
THE MUSEUM’S STEAMBOAT
SABINO RESUMES HER POPULAR RIDES ON THE MYSTIC RIVER THIS SUMMER.
PHOTOGRAPHY: ANDY PRICE/MYSTIC SEAPORT D2013.06.0514
CONTACT US VISITOR INFORMATION: 860.572.5315 • 888.973.2767 ADMINISTRATION: 860.572.0711 ADVANCEMENT: 860.572.5365 MEMBERSHIP: 860.572.5339 PROGRAM RESERVATION: 860.572.5322 MUSEUM STORE: 860.572.5385 MARITIME GALLERY: 860.572.5388 VOLUNTEER SERVICES: 860.572.5378 Please go to the Museum’s website for information on the Spring and Summer schedules ADDRESS: 75 GREENMANVILLE AVE. P.O. BOX 6000 MYSTIC, CT 06355-0990 WWW.MYSTICSEAPORT.ORG
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S E A S C A P E S Only at Mystic Seaport
useums are vibrant communities that celebrate cultural heritage in their own genre, highlighting both their collections and the talents of their staff. Nowhere is that more apparent than at Mystic Seaport, where the great diversity of our collections and the broad scope of our staff’s expertise combine to provide visitors and researchers access to experiences and knowledge that are hard to find in one place; thus our refrain, “only at Mystic Seaport.” With the quieter months of the year behind us, and with the stage set for an exciting summer, I can’t help but reflect on what we have in store for members and visitors. For starters, you can witness our Preservation Shipyard, busy completing the final stages of the Sabino restoration: installing the new boiler, returning the upper deck, stack, and pilot house for operation again by mid-summer. Nearby, you can see Plimoth Plantation’s Mayflower II and the restoration, which will continue for the next several years, providing a unique look FOR THOSE OF YOU at a vessel that, like the Charles W. Morgan, will once again WHO VISIT REGULARLY, return to sea post-restoration…“only at Mystic Seaport.” After seeing the restoration work you can speak with inYOU’LL SEE THAT terpreters on the Morgan and hear first-hand stories about what it is like to sail a whaleship, the last of her kind. From AFTER YEARS OF tacking to docking, our staff were there to gather that knowlSPECIAL PROJECTS, edge to share with you. The same is true for the riggers that THE MUSEUM IS you might encounter working on the Morgan or the L. A. Dunton or perhaps in the Rope Walk as they prepare the WHOLE AGAIN WITH Mayflower II’s rigging…“only at Mystic Seaport.” EVERYTHING IN ITS Or perhaps you’ll hear maritime history through the stories PLACE AND READY TO and tales in sea music, performed live each day or at the world-renowned Sea Music Festival in June. For more than BE SEEN. 30 years, performers and chantey singers from around the world have visited the Museum to share their own traditions with the common backdrop of the sea…“only at Mystic Seaport.” In the galleries in the McGraw Quad, we share new exhibitions for the summer, featuring SeaChange in the Collins Gallery; from our Rosenfeld Collection “On Land and On Sea: A Century of Women in the Rosenfeld Collection” in the R. J. Schaefer Building; and “Life in Balance: The Art of Nikki McClure” in the C. D. Mallory Building—McClure’s masterful papercut creations inspire the latent artist in us all… again “only at Mystic Seaport.” And when the day winds down, the Noyes Boat House awaits your visit where you can take the family out for a well-earned sail or row on the historic Mystic River where your imagination can take you back to the age of shipyards, clipper ships, and East Coast fisheries. Or why not take a 25-minute waterfront cruise on one of the Museum’s launches …“only at Mystic Seaport.” For those of you who visit regularly, you’ll see that after years of special projects, the Museum is whole again, with everything in its place and ready to be seen. The Thompson Exhibition Building is complete, Sabino steaming mid-summer, and every exhibition open for your enjoyment. There is no better time than now to get that “Only at Mystic Seaport” experience! Welcome. STEPHEN C. WHITE, President
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MYSTIC SEAPORT MEMBERSHIP
a Lifelong Voyage THERE’S NO BETTER PLACE TO BRING FAMILY AND FRIENDS
MYSTIC SEAPORT® Members enjoy unlimited, year-round access, discounts on admission tickets, and discounts on tickets to programs, such as Arts on the Quad, the Museum’s summer performance series. Hosting weekend guests throughout the summer months? Make your Membership a PLUS and bring a guest for free at every visit. To purchase or upgrade your Membership, call 860.572.5339, or visit us online at www.mysticseaport.org/join
SPRING /TMSUMMER 2016
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A D VA N C E M E N T N E W S
2017 AMERICA AND THE SEA AWARD – DAVID ROCKEFELLER, JR., AND SFS
NEW BENCHES FOR SABINO
he steamboat Sabino, one of the Museum’s four National Historic Landmark vessels, holds a special place in the hearts of many visitors and members of Mystic Seaport. Following a multi-year restoration in the Museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, Sabino will return to service this summer, having undergone structural work to her hull and keel and overall work to her topsides. As the restoration project proceeded, the Shipyard team also identified the need to replace Sabino’s boiler, which supplies steam to the vessel’s 2-cylinder engine. To address this cost, a fundraising campaign, led by Chris Freeman, director of Development, was undertaken; a key component of the campaign being naming opportunities for each Sabino deck bench. We are pleased to report that when Sabino resumes her cruises, she will be sporting new benches, hand-built by Museum shipwright Trevor Allen from beautiful American ash, which was donated by Jimmy and Gretchen Johnson. Each Sabino bench is named for Museum supporters who stepped forward to provide funding needed to fabricate the Sabino’s new boiler. Heartfelt thanks—and a celebratory blast from Sabino’s whistle—goes to the shipwrights, staff, volunteers, and supporters whose commitment to this wonderful vessel will allow future Museum-goers the experience of seeing the Museum and the Mystic River from the deck of this lovely historic steamboat.
ystic Seaport announces with great pleasure this year’s recipients of the America and the Sea Award: notable sailor, philanthropist, and environmentalist David Rockefeller, Jr., and the organization he founded, Sailors for the Sea (SfS). The 2017 America and the Sea Award will be presented at a gala evening October 11 in New York City. Through conferring the award, the Museum is recognizing Rockefeller’s love of sailing and commitment to the health of our oceans and celebrating the founding of SfS in 2004 as a “pragmatic voice for action that addresses current environmental challenges including plastic pollution, ocean acidification, climate change, and toxic chemicals that threaten marine life, our health—and the health of our children for generations to come.” Mystic Seaport Chairman J. Barclay Collins, II, said: “My personal respect for David Rockefeller is amplified by his life’s commitment to improving the well-being of our oceans expressed through establishing SfS. He is a great inspiration. Honoring him and SfS brings these values to the forefront of our signature annual event. Their collective resonance with Mystic Seaport’s mission to inspire an enduring connection to our maritime heritage speaks to a shared appreciation for the sea.” Upon receiving the news that he and SfS had been bestowed the award, Rockefeller commented: “Sailors for the Sea and I are incredibly honored to join the illustrious roster of America and the Sea Award recipients. Through this opportunity, we look forward to fostering an even deeper collegial relationship with Mystic Seaport at the America and the Sea event, broadening the scope and outreach of both organizations. It paves the way for our two organizations to collaborate more directly on projects that serve our shared ideals and raise awareness of the issues both organizations hold dear: our maritime past and present and the future vitality of our oceans.”
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DAVID ROCKEFELLER, JR.
The festive annual event returns to the Metropolitan Club’s grand ballroom this year for an evening that includes the award presentation and tribute, live auction, “paddle raise,” entertainment, and dinner. Sponsorships range from $10,000-$50,000; single tickets are $1,000. For more information, please contact Advancement at 860.572.5365 or firstname.lastname@example.org Elisabeth Saxe is Senior Vice President for Advancement.
SAVE THE DATE 2017 America and the Sea Award Gala October 11, 2017
Previous Recipients of the America and the Sea Award 2016 Bob and Rod Johnstone – J/Boats 2015 Nathaniel Philbrick 2014 Charles A. Robertson 2013 Gary Jobson 2012 Jon Wilson and WoodenBoat
John Urban is Director of Major Gifts and Strategic Partnerships.
2011 The Honorable John F. Lehman 2010 Sylvia A. Earle 2009 William I. Koch 2008 Thomas B. Crowley, Jr., and the Crowley Maritime Corporation 2007 David McCullough 2006 Olin J. Stephens, II THE PROTOTYPE FOR SABINO’S NEW BENCHES.
A D VA N C E M E N T N E W S
A MUSEUM IN MOTION: THE MOMENTUM CONTINUES, FUELED BY ANNUAL FUND SUPPORT
onors to the Annual Fund at the America and the Sea Society level, and other special guests, enjoyed several receptions and openings in the last few months. Artist Nikki McClure, one of the world’s leading papercut artists, discussed the inspiration behind her work during a private
reception February 18, when the Museum opened the exhibition “Life in Balance: The Art of Nikki McClure”(left photo above). Donors and guests were treated to a special preview of SeaChange in the Collins Gallery December 9 (middle photo). On March 3, guests toured the Museum’s newest exhibit, “On Land and On Sea:
A Century of Women in the Rosenfeld Collection”, with Richard Rosenfeld, Margaret Andersen Rosenfeld, Julie Doering, who works with the Rosenfeld Collection as a volunteer, and Jon Rosenfeld (right photo above).
WILLIAM AND JOHN ATKIN
Betsy Bowman is Director, Annual Fund.
THE ATKINS’ BOAT PLANS
ver the past 15 years, Patricia “Pat” Atkin has operated the website www.atkinboatplans.com. Through this site, she has provided access to full plan sets for 300 of the most popular Atkin boats. Pat is the widow of designer John Atkin and daughter-in-law of William Atkin, who began designing and building boats at the age of 24 at a small shop in Huntington, N.Y., in 1906. John joined his father in the business just after the conclusion of World War II. Together, they designed more than 800 sail and power vessels, from the 115’ express cruiser Cabrila to a 6’ pram Tiny Ripple. During their combined career, which covered more than eight decades, William and John Atkin designed and built many wonderful vessels and established numerous enduring friendships. Builders and owners of Atkin-designed vessels did not simply come to possess well-founded, sea-kindly boats, they became part of an intimate group of like-minded friends who
carried forward the legacy of good boats, which were designed to be used. As John Atkin once wrote: “Following in the course so well-covered over the many years of Billy Atkin has not always been easy. But I appreciate the heritage he left me, as well as the many friends and clients the world over.” Just prior to his death in 1999, John Atkin determined that he would like his plans to be donated to Mystic Seaport. It was his desire that his life’s work be secured in a place that would continue to make them accessible for future generations. As Pat said, John wanted his plans to be “available to the average man on the street, who might
persuade himself that ‘I can build this little boat’ and find an easy source and resource through which to acquire the plans.” Pat carries on this legacy through her website and has further provided in her own estate plans that all of the Atkins’ plans, business records, half hull models, and other material will come to Mystic Seaport along with the Atkin Boat Plans business currently operated by her through her website. Her thoughtful and generous plan will ensure that Atkin boats continue to be built and sailed by future generations. Chris Freeman is Director of Development.
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REMEMBERING CHRIS COX
ystic Seaport was saddened to learn of the passing of Christopher M. Cox January 6, 2017. Chris, as we all knew him, was Vice President for Development and Communications at Mystic Seaport from 1988 to 2003, and he returned to serve as Charles W. Morgan Campaign Director for Corporate Relations leading up to the Morgan’s 38th Voyage in 2014. Chris CHRIS COX worked in the nonprofit cultural and educational field for several decades and made many friends along the way. Chris was a motivating force for numerous critical initiatives at Mystic Seaport. In his tenure at the Museum, his special talents and high energy brought millions of dollars to the Museum’s endowed, capital, and operating funds. His extraordinary vision and deep passion for education and culture played an enormous part in the successes of many Mystic Seaport projects, large and small. Most importantly, neither the Collections Research Center nor the schooner Amistad would exist without his tireless efforts. Chris was proud to say that his job was about “angles and angels.” He was charming and a creative eccentric. His visionary approach was contagious; he made everyone feel part of something bigger, no matter where he or she worked at the Museum. His boundless capacity for relationship-building had a positive impact on every corner of the Museum and beyond. Many of us learned from him that if it can be dreamed, it can be done. Chris will be greatly missed. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Marie, and family.
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THE WRECK OF U.S.S. MAINE IN HAVANA HARBOR. 2008.28.3.70.
UPDATING THE MUSEUM’S RESEARCH WEBSITE
ver the last year, the Collections Research Center’s website has been undergoing a transformation. While we have been digitizing our collections (nearly half a million images) for more than two decades, we have also created a mountain of data to make available for researchers. Regular users of the site include scholars, students, teachers, authors, genealogists, artists, and others. To serve up all of those images and data to our clientele, we created a website to act as our clearinghouse. Over the years, our research website grew and became difficult to navigate. Now users can easily maneuver their way to links that will take them to, among many other things, 50,000 imaged and indexed pages of ship registers from 1858 to 1900 (containing nearly 1 million entries), probably our most heavily-used resource. Other databases will also connect them to information on tens of thousands of vessels and yachts, all just a click away. We have partnered with the National Archives to bring records of American seamen to the web. Crew lists for New London, CT, and Salem, MA, give details on more than 100,000 crewmen sailing on more than 10,000 voyages. Our library and general collections catalogs will also be found here. The general collections database gets regular updates of images that are linked to catalog records. For example, linking to the database and searching on the string “U.S.S. Maine Merritt” will bring up a subset of images of the Merritt-Chapman-Scott Wrecking Company pertaining to the salvage of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana harbor. The M-C-S collection has 10,000 images associated with it. This is just one of many collections whose digitization was grant-funded. Last year, Mystic Seaport was one of a handful of museums to receive a grant from the National Park Service. The grant, in the amount of $50,000, will be used to create digital images of much of our scrimshaw, painting, and model collections. These digital representations of 1,500 pieces of scrimshaw, more than 1,000 paintings, and nearly 1,000 models will be readily available through our research website for anyone wishing to do research in maritime matters. Researchers, enthusiasts, and other museums will benefit from the ability to track down specifics relating to any and all of this subject area. Start your own exploration at https://research.mysticseaport.org Paul O’Pecko is Vice President of Research Collections and Director of the G.W. Blunt White Library.
THE MUSEUM’S “BIG BEN” STRIKES AGAIN
fter seven years of silence, the Greenmanville Church clock is chiming once again. Museum volunteers Jim Anderson, a certified clock maker, and Bill Michael, a mechanical engineer, spent 15 months repairing the clock. On January 12, it began keeping the correct time and chiming on the hour. The clock was built in 1857 by the Howard Clock Company of Waltham, MA, for a New England college. It had been in storage since 1931 and was acquired by Mystic Seaport in 1951 to be installed in the church’s rebuilt steeple. Over the years, maintenance fell by the wayside, and one by one, each of the four clock faces stopped working. The project consisted of the complete disassembly of the clock’s inner workings, a thorough cleaning, repair and replacement of worn parts, and then the reassembly. “It’s something you may only get to do once in your life,” Anderson said, “like being able to go up inside Big Ben or something. I really enjoyed doing it, being able to troubleshoot the whole thing and make it work. Even after months and months of this, I knew it would be something we’d be proud that we accomplished. This is my Big Ben.” Elissa Bass is the Museum’s Social Media and Digital Manager.
NEW VICE PRESIDENT
ARTS ON THE QUAD REVISITED
ring out your picnic baskets, blankets, and lawn chairs—the Arts on the Quad outdoor performance series is returning to Mystic Seaport this summer! Starting July 12, the series will feature a different performance each Wednesday evening during July and August on the McGraw Quad. Arts on the Quad 2017 will include favorites such as Flock Theatre and Salt Marsh Opera, as well as several groups who are new to the series. Come enjoy opera, Shakespeare, rock music, and more while the sun sets
on the beautiful grounds of Mystic Seaport. A cash bar and snacks will be available, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own picnics. New this year is the Thompson Exhibition Building deck, which will offer featured seating. All performances will be held rain or shine. In the event of rain, the performance will be moved under cover and seating will be provided. Check our website in the coming weeks for updates on performances and to purchase tickets!
hristopher Gasiorek has been named Vice President for Watercraft Preservation and Programs. He succeeds Dana Hewson, who retired last month after 39 years at the Museum. A graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Gasiorek is a professional mariner and educator with more than 25 years of diverse experience at sea and on shore. He holds an unlimited tonnage master’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard and he has circumnavigated the globe twice. From 2007 to 2014, he was the Director of Watercraft Operations at the USMMA, where he oversaw the operation of more than 100 vessels raging from the 224-foot Kings Pointer to sailing dinghies. Gasiorek is a resident of Mystic, CT. He will assume his duties in early June.
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New Gallery Show:
The Art of Rowing
By MONIQUE FOSTER etween July 29 and September 17, the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport will feature a new show, “The Art of Rowing”, which will complement its other four offerings during 2017.
Rowing began as a mode of transfer for cargo and people and was used to propel war
vessels in Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. In England, at the beginning of the
ABOVE: ARTIST HARLEY BARTLETT, “MAKING READY,” OIL, 18 X 24.
RIGHT: ARTIST HARLEY BARTLETT, “EARLY PRACTICE,” OIL 9 X 12.
Mystic Seaport Magazine |
13th century, small boats and barges propelled by oarsmen were used to ferry goods and passengers on the waterways. The lack of bridges in the capital made it a somewhat lucrative business for watermen in their wherries or skiffs to row Londoners from one side of the River Thames to the other. With the increased use of this transportation, it was only natural that passengers began wagering on the speed of each boat and its waterman. The oldest rowing race in the world is the Doggett Coat and Badge Race, which was established for professional oarsmen in 1715 in London. To this day, the winner’s prize is a traditional waterman’s red coat with a large silver badge on the sleeve. By the beginning of the 1800s, college students organized rowing races; the famous annual university Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge was first rowed in 1829. From 2008 to 2014, the former G. W. Blunt White Building at Mystic Seaport was the location for the National Rowing Foundation’s National Rowing Hall of Fame, which included the marvelous rowing exhibit “Let Her Run”. River scenes with rowboats have been favored by artists for hundreds of years. When it comes to depicting rowing as a sport in a painting, the most well-known artist is the American Thomas Eakins, who himself was a rower. His realist paintings of champion oarsmen Max Schmitt and the Biglin brothers on his beloved Schuylkill River have reached fame far beyond art lovers and rowing aficionados.
ABOVE: ARTIST HARLEY BARTLETT, “EASTERN SPRINTS,” OIL 18 X 36.
Given the large number of rowing devotees in New England
Gallery dedicated to this activity. This year
Rowing can also be done for pleasure or
also marks the 165th anniversary of Amer-
exercise. In fact, it has been an integral part
ica’s oldest collegiate athletic competition:
in activities as diverse as fishing, whaling,
a modern Viking), or romantically drifting in a gondola in Venice. Thus, we are excited to feature a broad range of art and artists in our forthcoming show, the “The Art of Rowing”. The show will offer new artworks for sale by, among others artists, Peter Arguimbau, Harley Bartlett, Paul Garnett, Carolyn Hesse-Low, Neal Hughes, and Jeff Sabol. We look forward to welcoming patrons, art collectors, and rowing enthusiasts to the Art Gallery for this special themed exhibit.
the Harvard-Yale Regatta, known as “The
paying a friendly visit to England (if you are
Monique Foster is Director of the Maritime Gallery.
and the Museum’s past support of rowing, it was a natural decision to have a show at the Maritime Gallery dedicated to this activity. Given the large number of rowing devo-
Race,” which took place for the first time
tees in New England and the Museum’s
in 1852. Since 1878, the Thames River in
past support of rowing, it was a natural
New London, close to Mystic, has hosted
decision to have a show at the Maritime
The Race all but five times.
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Mayflower II RESTORING A HISTORIC SHIP
By QUENTIN SNEDIKER
n 2013, well before the staff at the Henry B. duPont Perseveration Shipyard had completed the Charles W. Morgan project, Mystic Seaport started building a collaboration with Plimoth Plantation regarding restoring the Mayflower II to sailing condition with full USCG certification—this to help build the excitement toward the 2020 anniversary celebration of the Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth in 1620. Although the vessel is a reproduction, the Mayflower II is a historic ship in her own right, built between 1955 and 1957 in England. Plimoth Plantation has always had a strong commitment to maintaining the vessel. She was hauled out regularly for maintenance and received timely repairs as needed through the decades. However, as we know from our own experience in maintaining historic ships, eventually all wooden vessels need major restoration. By 2013, it became evident that the time had come for Mayflower II to be holistically restored. In December 2014, Mayflower II arrived at Mystic Seaport for a six-month restoration period. Our original hope was for the vessel to be worked on in winters and return to her usual berth at Plymouth Harbor to meet the busy visitor season each spring, which runs until late November. We approached the work cautiously to avoid finding ourselves caught with too much taken apart and not enough time to get her home. As our work progressed, it soon became clear restoration could not be accomplished incrementally. We wound up spending the first winter surveying, testing, planning, and carefully budgeting for the whole job. She was back at Mystic Seaport in December 2015 to continue the work. This time we elected not to spend the time and money de-ballasting, down-rigging, and hauling her and focused instead on topside work that could be done while she FIVE STEEL GIRDERS PASS THROUGH THE was still in the water. We reframed HULL FROM ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER TO the upper deck, milled framing HELP SUPPORT THE SHIP’S STRUCTURE DURING THE RESTORATION. stock, and completed a myriad of other tasks all toward the ultimate goal. This gave us time to further plan, acquire materials, and build our staff, while Plimoth continued to do their fundraising. With careful planning, we were confident the job could be done in two and a half years. Plimoth Planation agreed the vessel could break with tradition and be scheduled for a 30-month absence. In fall 2016, as a concession to the magnitude of the job, Mayflower II departed for Mystic Seaport, arriving on November 2. TOP: MAYFLOWER II’S BOW WITH THE STEM REMOVED. LEFT: A VIEW OF THE HOLD LOOKING FORWARD. AT RIGHT, ONE CAN SEE THROUGH THE BOW WHERE THE STEM USUALLY IS.
Mystic Seaport Magazine |
Much like the work with the Morgan, the largest part of the restoration will H I S T O RY involve reframing and replanking below the waterline. This means it is necessary to support the weight of the upper structure while the bottom is dismantled and Mayflower II was built at the Stuart Upstructural elements replaced. To accomplish this, Dan O’Donnell, our Shipyard ham shipyard in Brixham, England. The keel naval architect, worked with Arnold Graton Associates to design and was laid in July 1955. fabricate a steel structure to support the ship. Graton is based in Mayflower II was the brainNew Hampshire and is a specialist in restoration of covered bridges. child of Warwick Charlton, a Surprisingly, this work is more like wooden ship restoration than British Army officer who served we might have imagined. as General Montgomery’s press Unlike the Morgan, Mayflower II has gun ports on each side. We officer alongside U.S. forces in took advantage of these and placed steel beams through the ship North Africa. Upon returning to supported by steel columns far enough outboard to allow us to build England after the war, Charlton scaffolding and have access to the hull. Inboard a series of smaller had the idea to build a reproducbeams, posts, jacks, and other supports further suspend the weather tion of the vessel that carried deck and ‘tween deck, facilitating dismantlement and restoration the Pilgrims to the new world in without fear of losing her shape. 1620. The ship was to be given Once this support infrastructure was in place, we began removing as a gift to the American people the stem, keelson, and three bands of planking: the broad strakes MAYFLOWER II UNDER SAIL. as an appreciation for help and COURTESY PLIMOUTH PLANTATION. and above and below the turn of the bilge. cooperation during the war. For shelter from weather, we decided to erect a steel frame and fabric structure. Charlton founded Project Mayflower to do that. The cover is made by Big Top of Perry, FL, and is 100 feet long, 40 feet wide, and On this side of the Atlantic, Henry Horn48 feet high. It is designed to withstand hurricane force winds. In the long run, blower, II, who had founded Plimoth Plantawe feel this is a cost effective solution to sheltering the ship and will expedite our tion on family land in Plymouth, MA, in 1947, work in all seasons. Additionally, it could be used for future projects. had commissioned naval architect William Restoration planning has been detailed with Gantt charts to track progress. We Avery Baker to research and create a set of will begin with replacing the stem and framing. Lower frames and floor timbers plans for a reproduction of the Mayflower. are in fair condition and will not require 100 percent renewal. The worst frames There were no existing blueprints for the are at the turn of the bilge and above. Once this is complete, we will move on to original vessel, so Baker did not have much replanking from the garboard to the lower wale strakes. We expect to have four teams of shipwrights working in different areas of the ship, roughly divided between fore and aft and lower and upper sections. Clamps on both main deck and ‘tween deck need to be renewed, and there are roughly 50 knees to be replaced. Acquiring this many grown knees is a challenge, but we are making good progress towards that number. Nearly all of the bottom planks and 60 percent of the topside planking will be renewed. Mayflower II will also need new fore and main lower masts. Except for these spars, we have nearly all of the other materials either in hand or contracted for. Ultimately near the end of the project, she will receive new plumbing and electrical systems, sails, rigging, and navigation equipment. Our collaboration with Plimoth has been very positive. While construction methods are those with which we are extremely familiar—double sawn frames, heavy planking and ceiling, grown floors and knees like many of our own vessels— her design, form, and detail are different enough from our other projects to make it interesting for all participants. We are looking forward to delivering Mayflower II ready to serve at Plimoth Planation as an icon of our history. In a comment, Whit Perry, director of Maritime Preservation and Operations at Plimoth Plantation, said: “This important work will allow Mayflower II to be ready for the next 50 years of its lifecycle and continue the work of educating scores of people, young and old, about 17th-century ships and seamanship as well as the early European colonization of North America.”
to go on. He did have documentation that
Quentin Snediker is Director of the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard and the Clark Senior Curator for Watercraft.
Whit Perry is Director of Maritime Preservation and Operations at Plimoth Plantation.
the ship was of “180 tonnes burden.” This is a volumetric term meaning the vessel could fit 180 one-ton barrels as cargo. By extrapolating from traditional ship building rules and principles, Baker surmised what the length, draft, and beam would be. Through research, he also had a good idea of what an early 17th-century merchant vessel would have looked like. Charlton read about Plimoth Plantation and Hornblower’s idea to build a ship and the two organizations formed a partnership. Plimoth would provide plans for the ship and, upon arrival in the USA, provide a permanent berth and proper maintenance for the vessel, while Charlton’s Project Mayflower would build the ship. Captained by Alan Villiers, former owner and captain of the Joseph Conrad, one of the historic vessels at Mystic Seaport, Mayflower II arrived to New York City on July 1, 1957.
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Getting Up Steam
t has been more than two years since the Sabino’s whistle has been heard on the Mystic River. But that is about to change. The 1908 steamboat and National Historic Landmark has been in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard since late 2014 for an extensive restoration. Museum shipwrights addressed a number of issues around the vessel. The principle focus was replacing the “stern tube,” a critical structural member where the propeller shaft passes from inside the vessel to the outside. This necessitated a great deal of work reframing much of the stern. The crew also replaced the keel bolts, installed new planking and decking, and restored portions of the superstructure. A thorough inspection of the boiler indicated that replacement was required to meet modern regulations. The Almy water-tube boiler dates from 1940, when the U.S. Navy operated the vessel on Maine’s Casco Bay, but the design goes back to the late 19th century. “Replicating a marine boiler of this size and design presented a challenge; it’s not like you go out and buy one of these off the shelf,” said Quentin Snediker, director of the Shipyard. The task was to design a modern boiler as close to the geometry and architecture of the previous unit, but one that would meet all of the necessary safety and regulatory requirements. The major challenge centered around the fuel. “Coal burns differently from oil or gas—or even wood—and a boiler designed to fire coal is vastly different from a boiler designed to burn other fuels,” said consulting engineer David Sollish. “We were able to only find one manufacturer with the capability and interest in tackling a custom boiler design such as this.” That company was Potts Welding & Boiler Repair of Newark, DE, a company that specializes in all aspects of the custom manufacture and
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THE CORE OF SABINO’S NEW BOILER.
repair of boilers and related components. “At first glance, the Almy boiler appears to be a small, simple design,” said Sollish. “However, there were many years of trial-anderror refinement incorporated into the design when it was built. Since we had no design drawings, we had to reverse engineer the boiler and do all of the calculations by hand.” The new boiler successfully passed the hydro-pressure test administered by the U.S. Coast Guard in late March and was delivered to the Museum, where it will be re-installed in the hull with the old boiler’s casing and stack. Sabino will continue to be powered by her original two-cylinder steam engine, manufactured by J. H. Payne & Son in nearby Noank, CT, in 1908. “This has been an important project for the preservation of Sabino,” said Snediker. “We expect that the hull work and the new boiler will keep her running for at least another 25-30 years or more.” So get ready to hear that whistle blow again for a long, long time. Dan McFadden is Director of Communications.
fter 39 years at the Museum’s Shipyard, Dana Hewson, vice president for Watercraft Preservation and Programs and the Clark Senior Curator for Watercraft, retired in April. Mystic Seaport Magazine caught up with him to ask some questions before his departure. What was your first job at Mystic Seaport? I came to the Museum’s Shipyard in July of 1977, having been hired to perform maintenance on the vessels. I was washing the decks on boats twice a day, painting boats that were hauled, and similar tasks. In the fall, working with others, I did more painting, hauling, and then covering boats for the winter. When were you appointed Vice President? My career path went from entry-level employee to Vessel Maintenance Supervisor to Shipyard Department Director to Vice President for Watercraft Preservation and Programs in May 1990. Eventually, the title of Clark Senior Curator for Watercraft was added to the Vice President title. How is the Museum different from when you started? As visitor expectations have changed over the years, so too has the Museum. Today there is a greater focus on exhibits, visitor experience, and programming, which has been made possible through an increased level of professionalism of the staff and volunteers. At the same time, we have made significant improvements in collections care and facilities.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? There is actually more than one: having the privilege of being involved in the Charles W. Morgan restoration and her 38th Voyage were highpoints both professionally and personally, as was my involvement with the acquisition and restoration of Roann and the replacement of the old shiplift with the new Syncrolift—and, of course, the Amistad project. What is your favorite memory from the Museum? After I had been here a little more than a year, I went sailing on a rainy day on Brilliant with Captain “Biff” Bowker: flat protected waters, rail down, doing 11 knots or so, and later having the night on board with friends. That is something beyond compare. What is your favorite vessel in the collection? Brilliant and Roann are tied for that distinction. Like so many vessels in the Museum’s collection, these are splendid examples of form following function and both achieve an exquisite level of beauty. There is much to learn from these two vessels, and because they are operated on a regular basis, they are effective in bringing the Museum’s message to a widespread audience, which adds to my affection for them. Which “outside” vessel would you have liked to have in the Museum’s collection? There are two vessels that I really believe belong at Mystic Seaport, but both would come with impossible price tags for restoration and ongoing care. The steam yacht Cangarda (1901) and schooner Coronet (1885) are splendid examples of the highest achievement of yacht design and construction from their era. They are among the few remaining examples of their individual types. Thankfully, they have a caring owner. What are you going to miss? The wonderful culture of the Museum. I don’t know of anywhere else I could have met as many remarkable people with so many shared values. What is next for you? I am looking forward to spending time with my wife Sara, our family and newborn grandson, and our boat. In the fall, I will figure out where I would like to spend some time doing some good.
with Retiring Dana Hewson SPRING/SUMMER 2017
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ne of the Museum’s latest exhibitions, “Life in Balance: The Art of Nikki McClure”, opened February 18 in the C. D. Mallory Building. The exhibition shows works by one of the leading papercut artists in the world, Nikki McClure, who specializes in chronicling the details of everyday life at the edge of the Salish Sea in Washington State.
THE WORK OF PAPERCUT ARTIST The exhibition consists of 36 original papercuts by McClure, representing a cross section of her work spanning the last 20 years. McClure’s art is made by cutting a single black piece of paper with an X-ACTO knife and features the themes of water, nature, family, and respect for the land. Many of the works will be familiar to readers of the artist’s children’s books, whose striking black-and-white illustrations have built a national audience for her art. Included in the exhibition is also a video that illustrates her artistic process and how she creates her art. When the Museum opened the Thompson Exhibition Building last September, visitors were amazed by McClure’s 59-foot-long mural “Away” on display in the Pilalas Reception Lobby. It is the largest work she has created to date. Already when the mural was in the works, Nicholas Bell, senior vice president for Curatorial Affairs at Mystic Seaport, had plans for a larger McClure exhibition. “Her art is infinitely relatable. What really impresses people is just how intricate and nuanced these scenes are in spite of how simple the technique is. She can create depth and give the viewer a sense of an intricate and complex world through a single sheet of paper without ever adding anything to it,” Bell remarked. McClure has built a large following through her books, note cards, and popular annual calendar. This was evident at a Museum members event on the opening day of the exhibition when members met with McClure in the C. D. Mallory Building. At the following book signing in the Thompson Building, a crowd of people lined up to get their McClure books signed by the artist.
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PAPERCUT ARTIST NIKKI MCCLURE.
In the queue was Robin Rick, of Philadelphia, PA, who follows McClure on Instagram. Rick had seen McClure’s posting on “Away” and was curious to see it. “I was also excited to see her exhibit here at the Museum,” Rick said. “I have been to Mystic Seaport before, in the late 1990s with my grandfather, who was a lover of boats. For many years, he came to the annual Small Craft Workshop.” Robin Rick was soon joined by her mother, Sarah Steever Rick, who herself is a papercut artist from Sallis, MS. “I looked at Nikki’s art and realized what an amateur I am,” Steever Rick said and smiled. “My art is very different because I use scissors and I don’t pre-draw.” Steever Rick, who has been an artist all her life, continued: “Making things is a necessary part of my life.” When asked if she had picked up any special skills talking to McClure and looking at her art, she answered: “As I have never used a knife, I was trying to figure out how Nikki cuts her curves. It’s like calligraphy or like figure skating—you have edges on your blades, inner-curved and outer-curved edges. That’s what I learned today, how to work on my knife skills.” “McClure has the ability to speak to the mission of this Museum, but she does it in such a way that is unexpected for our audience. She approaches the connection to the sea and water in a way that comes from a different direction from what we often see at Mystic Seaport,” Bell said. Nikki McClure will return to the Museum for more events June 17 and 18. Göran R Buckhorn is editor of Mystic Seaport Magazine.
NEW EXHIBITION SHOWING
GIRLS & WOMEN
n March 4, Mystic Seaport opened a new exhibition, “On Land and On Sea: A Century of Women in the Rosenfeld Collection” in the R. J. Schaefer Building. The exhibition features the work of photographers Morris Rosenfeld and his sons, David, Stanley, and William. They created one
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: MODELS ON SEA GULL, DURING THE 1929 MOTOR BOAT SHOW IN NEW YORK CITY (1984.347.33774); MODELS IN RAIN GEAR, 1954. THE PHOTO WAS PART OF AN ADVERTISING JOB FOR THE OUTBOARD ENGINE MANUFACTURER EVINRUDE DONE IN FREEPORT, LONG ISLAND (1984.187.143353F); TWO SUFFRAGISTS IN NEW YORK CITY, MAY 4, 1912. ON THE LEFT IS JOSEPHINE BEIDERHASE AND ON THE RIGHT IS INEZ MILHOLLAND (1984.187.6818).
of the world’s largest and most significant collections of maritime photography with more than one million images, which are now owned and curated by Mystic Seaport. Many of the Rosenfelds’ iconic images are recognizable to the general public and a great many more are treasured by boating enthusiasts,especially their stunning black-and-white images of the mostly male world of 20th-century yachting. This particular exhibition of 70 images has been selected by Margaret L. Andersen Rosenfeld, who is married to Stanley Rosenfeld’s son, Richard. She is Professor of Sociology at the University of Delaware. Her area of expertise is Women’s Studies. The Museum had no idea the Rosenfelds had taken so many striking images of women at work and at play, on boats and on land, until Professor Rosenfeld began researching her book, which carries the same title as the exhibition. “On Land and On Sea” reveals the social and historical context of women over the better part of the 20th century through the lens of Rosenfeld photos. It incorporates images of everyday and exceptional girls and women, from aviators to telephone operators, swimsuit models to suffragettes. Some of the photographs first appeared in
newspapers or magazines covering social events or patriotic gatherings. Others were commissioned by clients such as AT&T, the American Red Cross, and Evinrude to burnish an image, promote good works, or sell products. Through the Rosenfeld lens, we witness young girls having fun messing about on small boats, society matrons playing golf, and working-class women ironing shirts. The images featured in the exhibition are so strong and compelling that they succeed from all angles. As an onlooker, you’re drawn into each scene—relaxing with the young girls fishing, getting inspired by the columns of Red Cross workers marching in a World War I parade, or concentrating on the assembly of a telephone. Looking closely, the photographs capture women’s popular hairstyles, clothing, shoes, and poses, especially from the decades of the 1910s through the 1960s. “On Land and On Sea” conveys an understanding of the dramatic change in women’s lives that took place in the last century. It depicts not only another era, but women, both ordinary and extraordinary, who broke new ground, all visible through the remarkably vivid photographic art of Morris Rosenfeld & Sons. SPRING/SUMMER 2017
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E D U C AT I O N
MYSTIC SEAPORT SAILING CENTER: A MEETING PLACE FOR THE COMMUNITY
By JOHN BOUDREAU
TOP: STUDENTS IN THE WILLIAMS-MYSTIC MARITIME STUDIES PROGRAM WORK ON BUILDING KAYAKS IN THE SAILING CENTER.
en Ellcome has been lighting fires in his office. In fact, it’s one of the first things he did when he began his job
LEFT: ELLCOME REVIVED THE SAILING CENTER’S FIREPLACE, WHICH HAD LAIN DORMANT FOR YEARS. BELOW: ASSISTANT MANAGER OF SAILING PROGRAMS BEN ELLCOME.
as Assistant Manager of Sailing Programs last September. His office in the Mystic Seaport Sailing Center—formerly called the Youth Training Building—has always had a fireplace, but it hadn’t been used for years. When Ellcome saw it, he realized the fireplace had potential to transform the building’s character. “We wanted to start a culture change in the building, and somehow the fireplace just seemed like the easiest place to begin,” Ellcome said. Along with Sarah Cahill, director of Education, Ellcome is completely reimagining all components of the Museum’s Community Sailing Program, from the types of courses offered to the culture surrounding the Sailing Center. Their goal is to help transform the building from a closed-off classroom space into an open resource for all visitors.
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The best way to signal this new approach, according to Cahill, was to make the name of the building itself more inclusive. “The name change better captures what we actually do,” she said. “The word ‘center,’ in particular, really implies a gathering place and a focal point.” To match the building’s new name, it will host a variety of new activities, most notably the Summer Evening Sailing Series. Beginning June 28, adults and families will be able to drop in to the Sailing Center on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to rent a boat to sail on the Mystic River. The cost of a
E D U C AT I O N rental will be $10 per group, with the rental cost waived for members at or above the Skippers level. The evening series isn’t meant to be a traditional sailing lesson, but rather a time to allow members and visitors the opportunity to practice their sailing skills or go for a twilight cruise. Groups must have at least one sailor with basic sailing skills present in order to rent boats. The focus, according to Ellcome, will be on an informal, friendly atmosphere. “By the end of the summer, I’m hoping people see the Sailing Center as a resource. I’d like it to become an easy point of access for getting out on the water on beautiful evenings,” he said. While improving access to the waterfront is a priority, the Education Department also hopes to better situate the Sailing Center’s curriculum within the Museum’s historical context. “This marriage between more modern sailing classes and the historical education that we do has been a goal we’ve been working towards for a long time,” Cahill remarked. Ellcome hopes to develop new programming that will take advantage of the array of historic small craft available at the Museum— from whaleboats to Beetle Cats. Shannon McKenzie, director of Watercraft Programs, has said that she’s open to collaboration, although talks are still in the beginning stages. The variety of watercraft will not only get sailors comfortable with sailing different boats, but also help them learn the vessels’ history.
THE MYSTIC SEAPORT SAILING CENTER, FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE YOUTH TRAINING BUILDING.
THE JY-15 IS ONE OF THE MAIN BOATS IN THE SAILING CENTER’S INSTRUCTIONAL FLEET.
“We want to stress to our students that even the fiberglass boats have a connection to the past. We don’t want them to think that they’re just learning history through all the wooden boats they’re sailing—we want them to think they’re learning history with every boat they step on,” Ellcome said. This philosophy extends most specifically to the Dyer Dhow, the workhorse of the Museum’s sailing programs, which was originally built during World War II to serve as a lifeboat for the U.S. Navy. The ability to sail these vessels in such a historically resonant setting is what sets Mystic Seaport apart from other yacht clubs and community sailing centers, according to Cahill. “You’re not just renting a JY15 anywhere,” she said. “You’re literally sailing in history.” Even though Ellcome recognizes the historical importance of the fiberglass boats, his first love is wooden boats. The task of caring for wooden boats, he said, also helps people craft a more sustainable lifestyle. “This idea that we can create and regenerate these boats to pass them on to the next generation teaches our children something greater about the idea of ownership,” Ell-
come said. “It also connects to thinking about how we begin to green our communities and connect to the environment.” Boatbuilding seemed to be the most natural way of addressing the topic of sustainability at the Sailing Center. The pilot boatbuilding program occurred this past March, as Ellcome and six college students in the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program constructed several stitch-andglue kayaks in the Sailing Center. These kayaks will form the nucleus of a fleet of vessels built and maintained by Williams-Mystic students. In the future, Ellcome hopes to further develop boatbuilding programs that encourage students to think critically about the elements of science and design that go into creating a seaworthy vessel. Ellcome and his colleagues have laid a strong foundation for meeting the needs of the community. He is optimistic that the Museum’s audience will share the new vision and welcomes Museum visitors to stop by the Sailing Center. “I hope visitors will feel free to come in and say hi. I’m excited for them to rediscover the space,” he said. John Boudreau is the Education Programs Marketing Coordinator at Mystic Seaport.
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Herreshoff: American Masterpieces By Maynard Bray and Claas van der Linde • Photographs by Benjamin Mendlowitz (Published by W.W. Norton & Company, 2016, 272 pages)
Reviewed by DAN McFADDEN
he Herreshoffs need little introduction to many in the maritime community. The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Bristol, RI, turned out thousands of boats known for their beauty, handling, and technical innovation. A Herreshoff was built to exacting standards of craftsmanship and they remain highly sought after to this day. Much has been written about the Herreshoffs and their boats, so the book Herreshoff: American Masterpieces sets out to be something different. It is not a history of the company or the family, there are other books for that. Rather, it is a look at 36 of their boats, all of which are alive and well as original construction or reproductions that represent the diversity of the yard’s output in its heyday. The authors, marine historian Maynard Bray and Herreshoff expert Claas van der Linde, with the collaboration of renowned marine photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz, have produced a gorgeous, compelling read that is as much food for the mind as it is a feast for the eye. However, do not let the size and stunning photography deceive you. At first glance, it is easy to categorize this as a coffee table book, but it is much more than that. The format is very effective: there is an essay for each vessel accompanied by photographs and plans from the Hart Nautical Collection at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA. The authors start in
The authors, marine historian Maynard Bray and Herreshoff expert Claas van der Linde, with the collaboration of renowned marine photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz, have produced a gorgeous, compelling read that is as much food for the mind
1889 with the 16’8” cat-ketch Coquina, one of Nathanael G. Herreshoff’s earliest sailboats, and close with the 77’6” cutter Doris (1905), presently under restoration. Along the way, the reader is exposed to lavish yachts, racing one-designs, cruisers, motor launches, and even dinghies. The commentary from Bray and van der Linde is insightful and, of course, authoritative. Each chapter not only describes the vessel, but weaves in the story of the evolution of design and technology that is such a part of the Herreshoff legacy. As much as the vessels were—and in these examples are—objects of beauty, they were also products of rigorous and innovative structural engineering and efficient construction processes. The plans and drawing from the Hart Collection drive that last point home. The construction drawings, sail plans, object diagrams, and documents illustrate the level of detail and thought that went into even the smallest fitting. An example: a plan and table of dimensions for wooden cleats sized for ropes all the way from 5/16” to 1 ½” in diameter. Even an ardent Herreshoff fan should find new discoveries in these pages. Medlowitz continues to take photographs that capture the detail and beauty of a boat as few others in his craft can. For many, the word “Herreshoff” is synonymous with beauty, and this book certainly makes that case. Dan McFadden is Director of Communications at Mystic Seaport.
as it is a feast for the eye.
TO ORDER THESE OR OTHER BOOKS, PLEASE CALL 860.572.5386 OR EMAIL MSMBOOKSTORE@EVENTNETWORK.COM DON’T FORGET YOUR 10% MEMBERS’ DISCOUNT! REMEMBER WE SHIP ANYWHERE! WWW.MYSTICSEAPORT.ORG/BOOKSTORE
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Six Minutes in Berlin: Broadcast Spectacle and Rowing Gold at the Nazi Olympics
What’s Up, Larry Kelly?
By Michael J. Socolow
By now, “everyone” knows the story of the eight American oarsmen and their cox—working-class boys from the University of Washington—who took the gold medal in the eights at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, a story beautifully told by Daniel James Brown in The Boys in the Boat (2013). In 1999, doing dissertation work at the Library of Congress, Michael Socolow stumbled upon a series of oral histories collected by the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Committee. One interview was with a member of the Olympic gold-winning 1936 crew. Having rowed at college, Socolow found the story enormously thrilling. He tried to pitch the idea for a book, but got one rejection letter after another. When The Boys in the Boat came out, Socolow’s project was dead in the water, but luckily, he did not give up. Socolow’s Six Minutes in Berlin is much more than a retold story about “The Boys.” Instead, Socolow, who is now an associate professor of communication and journalism at the University of Maine, has put the performance of the Husky crew and the Berlin Games in a 1930s cultural, social, and political context. Socolow points out the relationship between rowing and radio, which began in the mid-1920s, especially at the Poughkeepsie Regatta on the Hudson River, where NBC’s and CBS’s broadcasts helped popularize this aquatic sport. Radio was one of the tools used in the Nazi propaganda strategies for the 1936 Games. Joseph Goebbels had made sure the broadcasting equipment was first class. Socolow writes: “Innovative technical and programmatic endeavors marked the Berlin Olympic Games as a milestone in the history of telecommunication.” Aware of the horror under the Nazi regime, American broadcasters tried to keep an apolitical standpoint during their broadcasts at the Games, as they had to cooperate with German state-controlled broadcasting company, RRG. Despite this, the American broadcasters interviewed U.S. black athletes, for example fourgold medalist Jesse Owens, thereby punching a hole in Goebbel’s propaganda machinery. Socolow’s book is a scholarly work, but do not expect academic dryness; it is instead a most wonderful read. Göran R Buckhorn is editor of Mystic Seaport Magazine.
Tugboats Illustrated: History, Technology, Seamanship By Paul Farrell There is something about a tugboat that captures the imagination. Perhaps it is the image of the little workhorse pushing around a ship many times its size, or maybe it is the power embodied in the “floating engine” that is towing a barge up the coastline. The tug is a fascination for many. Described as a 25-year labor of love for the author, Tugboats Illustrated: History, Technology, Seamanship seeks to take the reader into the world of tugboats. Author Paul Farrell, an architect, uses his own sketches and detailed diagrams mixed with historic and contemporary photographs and documentation to depict the design and operation of tugboats around the world. The book traces the evolution of the tugboat from the days of steam power and wooden hulls to the complex steel-hulled versions at work today. “Form follows function” is the rule here: Farrell explains how the distinctive tug design is the direct result of the tasks these vessels are asked to carry out. There are sternwheelers and sidewheelers; steam, diesel, and diesel-electric tugboats; modern azimuth drive “Tractor Tugs”; and even some historic oddities, most notably a steam tug that propelled itself by ratcheting a chain laid on the river bottom across its deck. The book also depicts how the vessels go about their work with detailed explanations of shiphandling practices, towing barges, and coastal and ocean operations. If you have ever wondered how an oil rig is moved into position or how those mammoth 35-barge Mississippi River rafts get around a bend, you will learn it in these pages. The illustrations are the strength of this book. They are reminiscent of the fine drawings David Macauley created for his popular architectural books, such as Cathedral, Pyramid, and City, and are just as compelling and informative. “There is not much about a tug that’s the result of a purely aesthetic decision, and yet they have an undeniable character that transcends the utilitarian function,” writes Farrell. Any tugboat enthusiast would agree with that statement, and the author certainly captures and illustrates that quality in this very fine book. Dan McFadden is Director of Communications.
ystic Seaport Magazine had a brief chat with Larry Kelly, manager of the Mystic Seaport Bookstore, who has worked in the bookstore since October 2007. Is Mystic Seaport Bookstore still the largest maritime bookstore in the USA, and how many titles do you carry in the bookstore? Yes, feedback received from visiting authors leads us to believe this is the largest maritime bookstore in the country. We have about 1,400 titles in the store. How many books do you sell in the store? Last calendar year, we sold approximately 22,000 books. Do you have any personal favorites of the items you are selling in the bookstore, when it comes to maritime fiction, maritime nonfiction, children/youth books, and DVDs? When it comes to novels, my favorite is Riddle of the Sands (1903) by Erskine Childers about navigating the waters and shifting sands in the Baltic Sea—a tale of espionage loosely based on the author’s own experience. In Whale Hunt: The Narrative of a Voyage by Nelson Cole Haley. Harpooner in the Ship Charles W. Morgan 1849-1853, the author brings the reader aboard the Morgan for the entire voyage. I let customers know this is a great book to learn what it was like to be on a whaling ship. Lobster Lady is a youth book for 8-12-year-old readers. Local author Vivian Volovar gives a very good description of her typical workday. The illustrations bring out the work involved and what the vessel is like. Being a woman, she was told she would not last in this business, but did so for 25 years! The DVD Longitude is an adaption of Dava Sobel’s bestselling book with good acting and action. The viewer will be brought to two different times in the past. Longitude was needed to prevent ships getting lost at sea, and awards were offered in the 18th century to entice anyone to determine longitude at sea. John Harrison solved the problem with his ingenious marine clock. Two hundred years later, his forgotten chronometers are found and attempts are made to have them restored. Approximately, how many book signings and author events do you do in a year? We average about 20 a year, including those that are speaking events. Depending on new releases and author availability, it can be more. The next book signing in the store will be on Saturday, May 20, at 2-4 p.m., when Paul Farrell will sign his book Tugboats Illustrated [see review on the left]. SPRING/SUMMER 2017
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FROM THE COLLECTIONS
Making the Museum’s Maritime Collections Accessible
By PAUL O’PECKO
hen Mystic Seaport developed its latest strategic plan in 2010, the first goal on the list was to “Utilize a comprehensive maritime collection that educates and inspires.” Two of the stated objectives within that goal were to “enhance and refine the collection to support strategic priorities” and “enhance modes of access to the entire scope of the collection.” To those ends, the Collections Department undertook a series of collection assessments by outside experts, focusing on some of our most popular collections of objects, including marine paintings, ship models, and scrimshaw. The experts were tasked with reviewing each object in the specific areas for condition, artistic merit, adherence to the Museum’s mission, and general importance within the field of maritime history. These assessments have helped us to better understand what gaps we have in our collections. This information, used in conjunction with a variety of requests and requirements from staff, researchers, and other museums, has helped us to grasp the necessity to further expand the awareness of the Museum’s resources through digitization and online presentation. A few observations from those assessing the collections are valid to show the relative importance of our collections and the need to make them easily accessible to the broader world. One of the world’s authorities on scrimshaw, Dr. Stuart Frank, noted in his assessment of our scrimshaw collection: “Even in the absence of a larger selection of scrimshaw being placed on exhibition and being afforded a more prominent role in the Mystic Seaport exhibition program, a greater online presence will highlight this distinctive collection of a genre that is mostly unknown outside New England, will enrich the presentation of larger historical themes, will expand audiences, encourage visitation, and provide a worthwhile service to scholars, armchair enthusiasts, and the general public.”
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Noted maritime curator and author Norman Brouwer stated in his assessment of our maritime paintings: “Since its founding in 1929, Mystic Seaport has assembled one of the largest and most important collections of original marine art in this country. In size, the collection is probably only exceeded by that of the PeabodyEssex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, an institution that traces its origin back another 130 years.” Rob Napier, professional ship model builder and former editor of the Nautical Research Journal, observed: “If the question is: How well do the model builders and the prototypes they portrayed meet the needs of Mystic Seaport’s mission to be ‘The Museum of America and the Sea’? The answer, based on a high degree of American representation, must be: Very well. I believe this study shows that the Museum’s ship model collection represents a remarkably broad and healthy range of the maritime experience of the United States. The collection is doing what Mystic Seaport wants it to do.” While it may very well be doing what we want it to do in terms of telling the American maritime story, a much better story can be told to a much broader audience if we create quality images to go along with our quality records of such objects. Last year, Mystic Seaport received a grant from the National Park Service in the amount of $50,000 to create digital images of much of the scrimshaw, painting, and model collections. We are ahead of schedule and look forward to having thousands of new images online for the public to explore by this time next year. Paul O’Pecko is Vice President of Research Collections and Director of the G.W Blunt White Library. To get more information about the Collections Research Center of Mystic Seaport and online resources, please visit https://research.mysticseaport.org
EVENTS at MYSTIC SEAPORT AMERICA AND THE SEA: MODERN MARINE MASTERS April 29–June 18 The Maritime Gallery
Save The Date! Mystic Seaport Members’ Annual Meeting & Recognition Day Saturday, May 20 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. The River Room, Latitude 41° FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT WWW.MYSTICSEAPORT.ORG OR CALL 860.572.5339
ANTIQUE & CLASSIC BOAT RENDEZVOUS July 22–23 DOCKTAILS AND DANCING July 22 THE ART OF ROWING July 29–September 17 Opening Reception July 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Maritime Gallery MOBY-DICK MARATHON July 31–August 1 MODEL YACHT REGATTA August 5–6
SALUTE TO SUMMER May 27–28
ANTIQUE ENGINE SHOW August 19–20
DECORATION DAY May 29
COASTWEEKS REGATTA September 17
SEA MUSIC FESTIVAL June 8–11
THE INTERNATIONAL MARINE ART EXHIBITION AND SALE September 22–December 31 The Maritime Gallery
AMERICA’S CUP REGATTA NEWPORT, R.I. June 24
ARTISTS’ WALK September 23, 1 p.m. The Maritime Gallery
THE PLEIN AIR PAINTERS OF THE MARITIME GALLERY June 24–September 17 Opening Reception June 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Maritime Gallery
BY LAND AND BY SEA: ANTIQUE VEHICLE SHOW September 24
THE WOODENBOAT SHOW June 30–July 2
MYSTIC RIVER OYSTER FESTIVAL September 30
SMALL CRAFT WORKSHOP June 30–July 2
CHOWDER DAYS October 7–9
INDEPENDENCE DAY July 4
DYER DHOW DERBY October 14
New Exhibition! AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MARINE ARTISTS EXHIBITION Opens October 14 PILOTS WEEKEND October 14–15 NAUTICAL NIGHTMARES Weekends, October 13–29 HALLOWEEN: TRICK-OR-TREAT October 31 MARITIME MINIATURES BY MARITIME MASTERS November 18–January 31, 2018 Open House November 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Maritime Gallery LANTERN LIGHT TOURS Weekends, November 24–December 23 FIELD DAYS December 1–2 COMMUNITY CAROL SING December 17 HOLIDAY MAGIC December 26–January 1, 2018
For additional programs, classes, and courses, but also for changes or cancellations, please visit the Museum’s website: www.mysticseaport.org For hours of operation, open and closed exhibits, shopping, and dining, please check the Museum’s website www.mysticseaport.org
WOUNDED WARRIORS DAY June 17 SUMMER MUSIC SUNDAYS July 2–August 27, 5-8 p.m. ARTS ON THE QUAD Begins July 12
| Mystic Seaport Magazine | 23
SPRING | SUMMER 2017
FALL | WINTER 2011
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Dated Material Do not hold
Summer begins at the WoodenBoat Show!
June 30 â€“ July 2, 2017 Produced and presented by
at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT www.thewoodenboatshow.com
This is the magazine of Mystic Seaport: The Museum of American and the Sea for Spring/Summer 2017.