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SPRING |SUMMER 2015

Mayflower II A Special Guest at Mystic Seaport

BREAKING GROUND for the

Thompson Exhibition Building


EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION AT ITS BEST!

OVER 60 YEARS of

SUMMER    CAMPS At Mystic Seaport WHY LANDLOCK YOUR KIDS 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


CONTENTS

IN THIS ISSUE

TM

Mystic Seaport magazine is a publication of Mystic SeaporT

SEASCAPES . ..................................… 4

President STEPHEN C. WHITE

ADVANCEMENT NEWS ...................5-7

executive vice presidents SUSAN FUNK MARCY WITHINGTON

MUSEUM BREIFS ......................... 8-9

Editor Göran R BUCKHORN editor@mysticseaport.org

38TH VOYAGERS ......................... 10-11

PRODUCTION Susan HEATH

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Design Dayna Carignan, Mystic Seaport karen Ward, THE DAY PRINTING COMPANY

DONALD C. MCGRAW GALLERY QUADRANGLE ............................ 12-15

MAYFLOWER II................................. 16

contributors Mary K. Bercaw Edwards

Paul O’Pecko

Elysa Engelman

Jonathan Shay

Chris Freeman

Elisabeth Saxe

Arlene Marcionette

Matthew Stackpole

Dan McFadden

John Urban

NEW EXHIBITS............................ 17-19

Katharine Mead

ON BOOKS .................................. 20-21

PHOTOGRAPHY Göran R Buckhorn

Willy Leathers

Susan Funk

National Maritime Museum, London

Katharine Mead Fallon & Wilkinson, LLC. Furniture Conservations Dennis Murphy William Hoffer/ Grundy Insurance

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FROM THE COLLECTIONS . ............. 22

Andy Price

DRAWINGS Lucy Bellwood

SPRING / SUMMER

Evan Turk ON THE COVER:

MAYFLOWER II IN THE MUSEUM’S SHIPYARD.

2015

PHOTOGRAPH: DENNIS MURPHY/MYSTIC SEAPORT.

BREAKING GROUND FOR THE DONALD C. MCGRAW GALLERY QUADRANGLE. PHOTOGRAPH: ANDY PRICE/MYSTIC SEAPORT.

CONTACT US VISITOR INFORMATION: 860.572.5315 • 888.973.2767 ADMINISTRATION: 860.572.0711 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 schedule ADDRESS: 75 GREENMANVILLE AVE. P.O. BOX 6000 MYSTIC, CT 06355 -0990 WWW.MYSTICSEAPORT.ORG

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SPECIAL EVENTS at MYSTIC SEAPORT

S E A S C A P E S The imaginative thinking of Mystic Seaport

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hat does it mean to have imagination? Is it to see beyond the literal or concrete? Is it to think in a way that is outside the norm? Is it to build upon what is understood about the present? In the end, is it linked to creativity, to science? Whatever your answer, I suspect every reader has more than once been asked to let one’s imagination go in order to see a problem differently or to express an idea or vision from a fresh, new perspective. Certainly, we are so much the better for the solutions that imagination has created and for the works of art that have inspired us. Over the years, imaginative thinking has provided institutions like Mystic Seaport with solutions and approaches to challenges that have proven to be critical to success. Whether such solutions were initially met with celebration or with doubt, one thing is undeniable: thoughtful imagination is a mandatory ingredient for an evolving organization. Consider these imaginative changes over time at the Museum: Three men in 1929 believed that our maritime heritage was worth saving and putting on display, and later the Mystic River was deemed the appropriate place for a relic of a whaleship. A seafaring village would be recreated on marshy land, and moving and even removing buildings would open up new spaces as the Museum continued to expand. Some felt that buying a decaying old velvet mill would eventually serve the Museum well, and others felt that holding onto our maritime trades and demonstrating them in a preservation shipyard and in the village would be essential to understanding our country’s heritage and defining Mystic Seaport. Throughout the institution’s history, it has been the act of looking forward to find relevant solutions that has allowed Mystic Seaport to find its way successfully and to build its strong identity. Imagine if no risks were taken or bold decisions made. We would never have moved forward as the “Museum of America and the Sea”. On January 8, we broke ground for the stunning Thompson Exhibition Building, which symbolizes the Museum’s imaginative thinking. The building evokes the spirit of the sea. It stands for opportunity that will serve the Museum well for generations to come. It will showcase our beautiful collections, and it will attract exhibitions from other leading museums around the world. It will invite our visitors during every month of the year to enter the north end of campus through the building and emerge into the Donald C. McGraw Gallery Quadrangle that will now feature seven integrated galleries with new exhibitions such as the three this year: “Modern Masterpiece – 30 Years of the Museum Purchase Award” in spring; “Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers” in summer; and “Ships, Clocks & Stars – The Quest for Longitude” in fall. The first exhibit in the Thompson Building is planned for fall 2016. Imagination!

STEPHEN C. WHITE, President

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MAY

16 –17 — 17 to July 19 — 23–24 — 25 — 30 — 30 –31 —

PILOTS Weekend Modern Marine Masters Exhibition and Sale Salute to Summer Decoration Day Argia Twilight Cruises begin Safety on Sea and Shore

JUNE 11–14 — 17 — 20 — 24 — 26–28 — 26–28 —

Sea Music Festival Planetarium Summer Evening Series begin Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers opens Insider Garden Tours begin WoodenBoat Show Small Craft Workshop

JULY 4 — 5 — 18–19 — 25 — 25–26 — 25 - Sept 20 — 31 to Aug 1 —

Independence Day Summer Music Sundays begin Civil War Encampment Docktails and Dancing Antique & Classic Boat Rendezvous Plein Air Painters of the Maritime Gallery Moby-Dick Marathon

AUGUST 4 — Coast Guard Day 6-9 — Model Yacht Regatta 15–16 — Antique Marine Engine Expo SEPTEMBER 19 — 20 — 26 — 27 — 27 to Dec 31 —

Ships, Clocks & Stars– The Quest for Longitude opens Coastweeks Regatta Annual Members’ Meeting & Recognition Day By Land and By Sea: Antique Vehicle Show 36th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition and Sale

SAVE THE DATE!

Mystic Seaport Members’ Annual Meeting & Recognition Day Saturday, September 26, 2015 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Tent on the Village Green

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT WWW.MYSTICSEAPORT.ORG OR CALL 860.572.5331. The image used in Stephen White’s “Seascapes” is by FRAUKE KLATT Shall We Give Up? Never! Watercolor on sailcloth, 15” x 38 ½” (Detail)


A D VA N C E M E N T N E W S

CHARLES A. ROBERTSON: RECIPIENT OF THE 2014

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: RECIPIENT OF THE 2014 AMERICA AND THE SEA AWARD CHARLES A. ROBERTSON, CHAIRMAN OF THE MYSTIC SEAPORT BOARD OF TRUSTEES J. BARCLAY COLLINS, AND MYSTIC SEAPORT PRESIDENT STEPHEN C. WHITE.

Mystic Seaport annually confers its highest honor, the America and the Sea Award, to a distinguished member of the maritime community at a gala celebration that is also the Museum’s largest single fundraiser. The Award, established by Mystic Seaport in 2006, recognizes an individual or organization whose contributions to the history, art, business, or science of the sea best exemplify the American spirit and character. On November 5, 2014, the Museum honored Mystic Seaport trustee Charles A. Robertson with the 2014 America and the Sea Award at The Metropolitan Club in New York City. Robertson is the founder, chairman, and CEO of American Cruise Lines, Inc., Pearl Seas Cruises, Chesapeake Shipbuilding, and affiliated companies. Engaged in the maritime industry since 1973, Robertson pioneered the small ship cruise industry with the founding of American Cruise Lines, now the largest cruise company in the United States. He is a rec-

ognized expert on cruise ship regulations, and his firms have designed and built 12 small cruise ships and approximately 70 other commercial vessels, up to 320 feet. In addition to receiving the America and the Sea Award, Robertson is celebrating 25 years as a trustee of Mystic Seaport. An important advisor and resource to the Museum’s Shipyard, he serves as chair of the watercraft committee. The Award gala was a resounding success on all levels. The event was sold out, and the overall net revenue exceeded $400,000, making it the most successful single fundraising event to date. Auctioneer Geraldine Nager Griffin, vice president at Sotheby’s, generated enormous enthusiasm for items such as ten bottles of The Real McCoy “stowaway” rum (hidden onboard the Charles W. Morgan during her 38th Voyage); a trip on Capt. Kip Files’s schooner Victory Chimes; a stay in the Morgan Suite at Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI; Nelson H. White’s

oil painting The Orange Umbrellas; a day sail with Gary Jobson on American Eagle; an 18K yellow gold “Criss Cross Cuff” by Verdura; and a New Year’s Eve stay at Blantyre in Lenox, MA. The paddle-raise benefited the 1908 steamboat Sabino, one of the Museum’s four National Historic Landmark vessels. In urgent need of restoration, she was hauled out during the winter for repair. Thanks to the generosity of all who raised their paddles in support of the steamboat, $86,500 was contributed at the gala, and with additional contributions, the Museum has now exceeded its $100,000 goal. Donations of $1,000 and above will be recognized at the Sabino ticket booth, when she returns to the river for the 2016 season. The evening’s entertainment was provided by the Victory Belles and Northern Comfort. Arlene Marcionette is Advancement Administrative and Events Manager.

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A D VA N C E M E N T N E W S

GRANT L. CAMBRIDGE IS NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE

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lease join us in welcoming Grant Cambridge to his role as Chairman of the Advancement Committee. He is a relatively new member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees and has taken on this important responsibility within the board at a time when there are many exciting new opportunities on the horizon. Grant took a moment to speak to Mystic Seaport Magazine.

Charles W. Morgan’s campaign. We can do anything if we work together! Do you see any challenges that need to be overcome to achieve success? One of the challenges is to harness the remarkable range of categories of pursuits in the minds of our supporters and donors. The organization’s name, Mystic Seaport – The Museum of America and the Sea, depicts the depth and breadth

How did you first get involved with Mystic Seaport? My wife Peggy and I grew up in New England. Mystic was a summer boating destination for our families. We both have distinct memories of visiting Mystic Seaport. Nowadays, we enjoy cruising the east coast on our Hinckley Shenandoah, making stops at the Museum. Several years ago, we spent time with Mystic Seaport trustees Jason Pilalas, John Brim, and Barclay Collins, during the St. Barth’s Bucket PEGGY AND GRANT CAMBRIDGE Race onboard MV Rena. Pilalas, a long-standing trustee, and I worked and Mystic Seaport’s marine environment together for 15 years until his retirement. captivating. The passion for the Museum is During that terrific regatta week, we had embodied in President Steve White, the Muthe opportunity to discuss Mystic Seaport seum staff, trustees, volunteers, shipwrights, at length. The trustees’ vision, enthusiasm, and donors. and interest in supporting the Museum is what inspired me. What are your aspirations as the Chairman Why have you chosen to commit your time and philanthropic support to the Museum? I am very fortunate to be able to give back both financially and by rolling up my sleeves and getting involved. I am still in the “go-go” part of my professional career, yet it is important for me to also donate my time. I think it makes our support even more gratifying and connected to the mission. I find the pursuit of the historic maritime research, content, educational programs,

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of the Advancement Committee? My immediate aspiration is inspiration. I am a high-energy leader. I like results. However, I live in California. Logistically, I am available by phone, email, and text. The Advancement team at Mystic Seaport is eager to expand the donor base. I plan to support the team any way I can. I see an amazing sense of purpose. Elisabeth Saxe, Chris Freeman, and I are creating a collaborative, robust process with open lines of communication. The team is leveraging the enormous success of the

of research capabilities. It takes time to appreciate all the incredible work that is going on at Mystic Seaport. The historic 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan is a reminder to the maritime community of the remarkable capabilities of the Museum. Remember, the Morgan, while one of a kind, is just one element of the rare content of Mystic Seaport. There are numerous linkages between corporate and individual donors with the unique content found in the Museum’s collections of vessels, paintings, nautical instruments, ship models, charts, drawings, books, etc. What do you believe is the biggest/best opportunity to grow philanthropic support for Mystic Seaport? There are no silver bullets when it comes to fundraising. I wish there were. It takes effective and gracious stewardship, continuous relationship building, trustee support, and the entire team leveraging the special purpose of Mystic Seaport. Tactically, we need to effectively engage and expand our membership, supporters, individual donors, legacy programs, and corporate donors. Anyone who has supported Mystic Seaport in the past should know how hard everyone is working to improve this national treasure. Chris Freeman, Director of Development, interviewed Grant L. Cambridge.


A D VA N C E M E N T N E W S

MYSTIC SEAPORT SALUTES – JIM GRUNDY If you were to look at Mystic Seaport enthusiast Jim Grundy’s sailing resume, you would identify him as a yachtsman. However, most people associate the Grundy name with insurance for collectable cars, and for a good reason. Jim’s grandfather and great-grandfather have deep roots in the auto industry, but it was Jim’s father, Jim Grundy, Sr., who founded Grundy Insurance in 1947. Today, Grundy Insurance covers more than one million automobiles. As a sailor, Jim set a record for the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race aboard Bella PITA. In addition, construction of Jim’s new Harry Dunning-designed 45-footer is underway at Goetz Composites. Jim knows his way around wooden boats, too. He owns the 100-foot Alden schooner SummerWind, as well as the 1926 Gold Cup racer Horace (pictured above), which is powered by a 650 HP Wright Typhoon V-12. It was in seeking to insure Horace that Jim added the business line of classic boat insurance. “I developed an insurance product to fulfill my own needs, using the ‘Full Agreed-Value’ concept we developed for collectable cars. The natural next step was to make it available to the public on a tailored basis.” Mystic Seaport was pleased to receive a whaleboat donated by Jim for the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyage, and this summer, Grundy Insurance is joining Dodson Boatyard as a sponsor of the 40th Annual Antique & Classic Boat Rendezvous, which will take place on July 25 and 26 at Mystic Seaport. “My first Mystic Seaport experience was as a seven-year-old, staying overnight aboard my family’s first Alden Yawl. I was the kid I would have been more than a century earlier, walking around the Museum, falling in love with each and every boat. I go back each year.” We salute Jim for making Mystic Seaport a philanthropic priority and are grateful for the breadth and depth of the many ways he is involved in the institution. John Urban is Director for Major Gifts and Strategic Partnership.

PLAN YOUR GIVING

AN EXAMPLE OF A DONATION TO MYSTIC SEAPORT, THE YAWL AIDA, WHICH CAME TO THE MUSEUM IN 2013.

When you think about your philanthropic support of Mystic Seaport, please consider a variety of options. There are many ways to support the organization about which you care so much. Please consider: • Contingent beneficiary on an IRA or Life Insurance policy • Appreciated assets such as fine art, antiques, and collectibles • A donation of your boat or your automobile • Appreciated securities • Bequest giving through inclusion in your will PLEASE NOTE, ALL GIFTS ARE SUBJECT TO COMPLIANCE WITH MYSTIC SEAPORT’S GIFT ACCEPTANCE POLICY. WE APPRECIATE YOUR GENEROSITY.

Museum in your estate plan. From simply

I hope you will consider how you wish to

remembering Mystic Seaport in your will to

leave your lasting imprint on Mystic Seaport.

There is a way to contribute to the future

naming the Museum as a beneficiary of a life

My colleague Chris Freeman, Director of

success of Mystic Seaport that you may not

insurance policy, there are many ways you

Development (chris.freeman@mysticseaport.org

have considered. We hope you will take time

can support the institution. Through care-

or 860.572.5302 ext. 5189), and I welcome the

now to reflect upon your lasting impact on

ful planning, such gifts may benefit you and

opportunity to explore the possibilities with you.

the Museum. Mystic Seaport is an enduring

your family now and in the future. These may

Please be in touch, and thank you in advance

organization and through planning a legacy

include charitable remainder or lead trusts or

for taking the time to consider Mystic Seaport’s

gift, you will have the assurance that your dedi-

the gift of an asset. Planned gifts and bequests

future. My contact information is elisabeth.saxe@

cation to the Museum will continue to support

are often an important component of a prudent

mysticseaport.org or 860.572.5364.

an outstanding maritime museum committed

financial and estate plan. They may be used to

As with any philanthropic decisions, please

to sharing the story of America and the sea.

provide life income to you and your spouse,

consult with your own legal and financial advisors

minimize estate tax consequences for your

as you consider a planned gift.

heirs and maximize your charitable giving.

Elisabeth Saxe is Vice President for Advancement.

Turn your love of the sea and maritime heritage into a lasting legacy by including the

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MUSEUM BRIEFS

2 0 1 4 ORION AWARD WINNER: MACY KLEINFELDER This past fall, Mystic Seaport presented the 2014 Orion Award to Macy Kleinfelder, a high school history teacher and Dean of Student Affairs at the Williams School in New London, CT. The Orion Award recognizes educators for their commitment in utilizing the Museum’s collections, programs, and learning resources to create meaningful and innovative learning experiences for their students. Macy has extensive experience with Mystic Seaport and bringing a maritime focus into her classroom. She was one of the first Mystic Seaport for Educators (MSE) Fellows, who create online resources for other teachers using our collections (http://educators. mysticseaport.org). Macy used the full extent

of the Museum’s resources, including having her students complete a “Curators’ Challenge”, in which they had to analyze primary sources and create an exhibit. Macy used these experiences to create innovative in-class projects for her students, including helping create an online map of the 27th voyage of the Charles W. Morgan using the vessel’s logbook, from 1901 to 1902. “We chose to honor Macy with the Orion Award because she embodies the true spirit of the award with her creativity and willingness to try new things in and out of the classroom using Museum resources,” said Sarah Cahill, director of Education at Mystic Seaport. For information about the Orion Award and to nominate teachers to receive this award, please go to www.mysticseaport.org/orionaward

MACY KLEINFELDER

HALLIE PAYNE RECEIVES US SAILING AWARD US Sailing’s Training Committee and Community Sailing Committee have awarded the organization’s 2014 Excellence in Instruction Award to Hallie Payne of Mystic Seaport. Payne, who is camp director of the Joseph Conrad Overnight Summer Sailing Camp and the Community Sailing Program, received the award at the National Sailing Program Symposium in New Orleans, LA, in January. Payne, who started out as a so-called Conrad kid herself, has been involved in the Museum’s sailing programs as an instructor and later as a camp director for more than ten years. During that time, more than 6,000 students have participated in these programs. In a statement, US Sailing writes: “While her current position has significant administrative requirements, she still manages to stay extremely involved in the hands-on aspect of

sailing instruction at Mystic Seaport. She has done an outstanding job providing guidance to both new and veteran instructors alike.” The organization continues: “Her passion and dedication, combined with her superior technical sailing skills and sense of humor, make her a wonderful teacher and mentor.” For more than 50 years, Mystic Seaport has offered sailing programs where people can learn how to sail on the beautiful Mystic River, using the Museum’s fleet of Dyer Dhows. During the summer, young people ages 10-15 participate in the six-day Joseph Conrad Overnight Summer Sailing Camp, sleeping onboard the full-rigged ship Joseph Conrad, which was built in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1882. The ship is outfitted with bunks for 45 campers, flush toilets, showers, heat, and electricity.

MUSEUM PURCHASE AWARDS EXHIBITION Every year for more than 30 years, Mystic Seaport has purchased an art work from the Annual International Marine Art Exhibition at The Maritime Gallery to add to the Museum’s permanent collections. “Modern Masterpiece – 30 Years of the Museum Purchase Award” is an exhibition in P.R. Mallory Wing, which opened on February 14 to showcase many of the works purchased over the last three decades. In the exhibition

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2014 PURCHASE AWARD: WILLIAM G. HANSON’S LEAVING WATCH HILL OIL 20” X 30”

are paintings and drawings of commercial boats, fishing vessels, sailing yachts, and other marine scenes. The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport was founded in 1979 and is recognized as a leader in contemporary marine art and ship models. The Museum Purchase Award honors those masters of contemporary marine art by preserving these works for future generations to enjoy.


MUSEUM BRIEFS

THE MUSEUM NAMES NEW DIRECTORS

DURING 2015, THE 1908 STEAMBOAT SABINO, ONE OF THE NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK VESSELS AT MYSTIC SEAPORT, WILL UNDERGO AN EXTENSIVE RESTORATION IN THE MUSEUM’S HENRY B. duPONT PRESERVATION SHIPYARD.

SABINO UNDER RESTORATION IN 2015 On December 17, 2014, the 57-foot steamboat Sabino, one of the Museum’s National Historic Landmark vessels, was moved into the main shop of the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard after previously having been hauled out from the Mystic River. She is now undergoing an extensive restoration that will have her out of the water until spring of 2016. Museum visitors can follow the restoration work from the second-floor viewing area in the Shipyard’s main building. In May 1908, the steamboat was launched from the W. Irving Adams and Son shipyard in East Boothbay, ME, as Tourist for the Damariscotta Steamboat Company to ferry passengers and freight on the Damariscotta River in Maine. When she was bought by Popham Beach Steamboat Company in 1921, she was given the name Sabino after Sabino Hill (the name Sabino is Native American in origin and a corruption of “Sabenoa”) at Atkins Bay on the west shore of the Kennebec River, her new home waters. Sabino arrived to Mystic Seaport in 1973, thanks to generous donotions made by John R. Deupree and Jean Clark Deupree, and while she has received constant maintenance and work since then, the 2015 repairs will be the most comprehensive restoration initiative since that time. Primary work is to replace the shaft log—a wooden section on top of the keel through which the propeller shaft passes—and to inspect and replace the keel bolts. This requires that her 75 horsepower two-cylinder compound steam engine, boiler (which is not her original, but was installed in the winter of 1940/41), and water tank be removed so the Museum’s shipwrights can gain access from the inside. The shipwrights will evaluate the steamboat’s overall condition and address any other issues they might uncover during their work. She will also receive major plumbing and machinery upgrades. “The goal is to make Sabino good for the next 25 years,” said Quentin Snediker, director of the Museum’s Shipyard. At the Museum’s major fundraising event, the America and the Sea Award Gala, held in November last year, funds for the restoration of the steamboat were especially highlighted during the “S.O.S: Save Our Sabino” paddle-raise, which generated $86,500.

Shannon McKenzie has been promoted to Director of Watercraft Programs. In her previous position, as Assistant to Dana Hewson, Vice President for Watercraft Preservation and Programs, among other things, McKenzie worked on all aspects of the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyage. In her new role as Director of Watercraft Programs, she will oversee the organization of Brilliant, Sabino, launches, and watercraft events, including the WoodenBoat Show, Antique & Classic Boat Rendezvous, and others. “This is a well-deserved promotion and we are thrilled to recognize Shannon’s contribution to Mystic Seaport,” said Dana Hewson. The Museum’s Advancement Department has appointed John Urban to Director for Major Gifts and Strategic Partnerships. “John comes to the Museum with extensive fundraising and corporate partnership experience that he will apply to both individual and corporate fundraising,” said Elisabeth Saxe, Vice President for Advancement. Prior to joining Mystic Seaport, Urban was a Senior Partner at The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), where he focused on the firm’s corporate philanthropy advising services. Elysa Engelman has been appointed new Director of the Exhibits Department. For the last 10 years, Engelman has served as the Museum’s Exhibit Researcher/Developer and worked with numerous exhibits, including “Women and the Sea”, “TUGS!”, “Black Hands, Blue Seas”, and the upcoming “Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers”, due to open this June. “Elysa Engelman takes on this position at an exciting time for the Museum, and we are very pleased that her exceptional creative, innovative, and academic expertise will play an important role in maximizing the potential of the new Donald C. McGraw Gallery Quadrangle,” said Susan Funk, Executive Vice President. SPRING/SUMMER 2015

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3 8 T H V O YA G E R S

Telling Their Tales: The 38th Voyagers

By KATHARINE MEAD

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e’re in the Cape Cod Canal on board the Charles W. Morgan, nearing the end of the long transit between Boston and Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Even after 12 hours, the 38th Voyagers continue to prove that there are many things that can be learned from sailing aboard the last wooden whaleship in the world. Cartoonist Ted Kinyak is preparing a water sample to be analyzed by WilliamsMystic students back at their lab. Ellie Stedall is below decks, writing by hand to recreate the experience of a logbook keeper on a rolling ship. Professor Karim Tiro is cleaning ironwork with the deckhands as Emily Button Kambic, a Boston National Historical Park ranger, asks them how the Morgan differs from sailing on other vessels. Amanda Thackray is looking up at the Morgan’s rig, making sketches and monitoring her security-lashed camera, which is ready to capture the day’s action. Lighthouse keeper Mike Vogel writes in the journal that he will later mail to the Museum’s Collections Research Center along with an original poem. Tyler Putman, a Ph.D. candidate and tailor of historical clothing, observes the crew’s

choice of footwear and knife rigs to contrast with what mariners wore in the past. Each leg of the voyage carried a cohort of these travelers, 85 in all, working on various projects. I met nearly every voyager around the trunk of a minivan in each port, doling out t-shirts and loading overnight bags filled with more than just foul weather gear. The voyagers brought sextants, plankton nets, camera tripods, sketchbooks, carving knives, microscopes, and string instruments onto the ship. Since no one alive had sailed on this 1841 whaleship, each hour on the water was precious. Mystic Seaport had an opportunity and a responsibility to build on

TOP LEFT, VOYAGER SVATI NARULA AT THE WHEEL BETWEEN BOSTON AND MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME ACADEMY. ABOVE RIGHT, SKETCH MADE ON BOARD THE MORGAN BY EVAN TURK.

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VOYAGER JIM TAYLOR PRACTICES USING A SEXTANT, ASSISTED BY WILLIAMS-MYSTIC PROFESSOR RICH KING.


3 8 T H V O YA G E R S existing scholarship and interest to further explore the Morgan’s connection to local, national, and global stories. The interdisciplinary approach of the Williams CollegeMystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program provided further inspiration to invite many perspectives to maximize the Morgan’s time at sea. Sailing the Morgan brought 21stcentury minds together to find inspiration, complexity, and understanding through this 19th-century experience. The call for 38th Voyagers proposals received nearly 300 applications from around the world. A team of staff and outside experts selected a broad range of rigorous, inspired projects: some personal, some professional. Each application showed passion and enthusiasm, reminding us that the Morgan is a well-loved and deeply significant vessel.

VERONICA LAWLOR SKETCHES ON BOARD THE MORGAN.

The voyagers continue to contribute their insights and spread the Morgan’s ongoing story to new audiences through their work. A number of the selected voyagers were quite familiar with Mystic Seaport. Some members and former employees brought years of Morgan memories to share with newcomers like Peter Whittemore, the greatgreat-grandson of Herman Melville, who brought a copy of Moby-Dick to read aloud on board. Some had existing partnerships with Mystic Seaport, like two artists from Dalvero Academy in New York who have been documenting the Morgan throughout her restoration. Filmmaker Caroline Fitzgerald and whaling museum director Jan Ferguson traveled the farthest, from New Zealand, to include the Morgan in a documentary about New England whalers developing working relationships with native Maori peoples. University of Connecticut professor Michael Whitney launched ocean drifters off the Morgan that digitally transmitted their location for months, adding to a national study of current and weather data. The question “what are you working on?” was answered in 85 different ways. Fellowship formed quickly among the voyagers. Professor Peter Norberg brought small white whales, one for each fellow voyager, fresh from his university’s 3-D printer. Conversations began over whale tail necklaces, heirloom earrings, and other talismans chosen for the momentous sail. Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal whaling descendant

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: SEAN BERCAW, GER TYSK, MATTHEW PORTER, AND TYLER PUTMAN SAILED ON BOARD THE MORGAN AND ARE HERE REUNITED TO SAIL ACROSS THE ATLANTIC ABOARD THE SSV CORWITH CRAMER IN FALL 2014.

A PANEL FROM “DOWN TO THE SEAS AGAIN” BY CARTOONIST AND TALL SHIP SAILOR LUCY BELLWOOD.

Elizabeth James Perry wore wampum jewelry and shared a feast of fresh seafood. The 38th Voyagers added something new to the Morgan’s story with their unique perspective and thoughtful presence. The Morgan is back in Mystic, but the 38th Voyagers continue their work. Evan Turk is completing a short animation inspired by his experience drawing onboard as he watched humpbacks diving around a whaleboat in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Dante Francomano, who may be the only person who has played a saxophone on the Morgan’s deck, returned to the Morgan to compose a performance piece for this year’s Sea Music Festival. Mystic Seaport will archive all of the voyagers’ projects for future research and exhibits. A new website will present the 38th Voyager projects alongside content from the voyage as a whole, from the blog of stowaway Ryan Leighton to exhibit visitor comments to memorabilia from port visits. The connections made with the 38th Voyagers and their communities are important partnerships for the Museum that have already spurred new projects. As we approach the first anniversary of the 38th Voyage, many of the voyagers will be reuniting for a symposium to share work, ideas, and memories. How might other Museum objects inspire unexpected and meaningful work as the Morgan did last summer? I, for one, can’t wait to find out. Katharine Mead is the Charles W. Morgan 38th Voyage Program Coordinator. SPRING/SUMMER 2015

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O

By DAN McFADDEN

n a very cold morning this past January, a small crowd braved the icy temperatures on the lawn next to the North Boat Shed to witness the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Mystic Seaport. They were there to ceremonially break ground for the construction of the new Thompson Exhibition Building, a critical component of the gallery quadrangle project, a revitalization and reformulation of the entire north end of the Museum. It is a project that has been more than a decade in the making and aims to transform Mystic Seaport. “Museums must change and evolve and we need to engage visitors in new ways,” said Mystic Seaport President Stephen C. White. “In much the way the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyage rethought how one uses an historic vessel, this project will redefine how this Museum tells the story of America and the sea.” As the Museum entered into a strategic planning process in the early 2000s, it was clear that the north end of the campus required a reimagining to move forward. The most important need identified was additional space of the highest museum standard to contain larger, more immersive and engaging exhibits. The gallery quadrangle project aims to create a museum for all seasons that offers the visitor a more attractive

year-round experience and a logical, unified path to navigate and explore a new level of exhibits. What is presently Anchor Circle will be converted into a formal quadrangle with the Stillman, Wendell, Mallory, Schaefer buildings, and the Greenmanville Church. forming three of the sides. The center space will become a grassy lawn that can host public gatherings and performances, or simply be an area for visitors to sit and relax. The quadrangle redefines how the various buildings relate to each other and presents the visitor with a more coherent and attractive walkway to experience the north end of the grounds. The focal point of the quadrangle will be the Thompson Exhibition Building, a new $11.5 million structure that will house a state-of-the-art 5,000 square-foot exhibit gallery. This will be the largest among Mystic Seaport’s seven galleries and will provide the caliber of conditions required to permit the borrowing of outstanding art and artifacts from other museums around the world. The building will also have a visitors’ entrance, a retail space, and a meeting and lecture room. The building will stretch the length of the north side of the quadrangle on the site of what was the G. W. Blunt White Building, the small brick building that housed the Benjamin F. Packard Cabin, and the North Boat Shed. These buildings were demolished to make way for the new construction (see

A NEW ERA FOR

EXHIBITION

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WENDELL

GREENMANVILLE CHURCH

SCHAEFER

THOMPSON EXHIBITION BUILDING

GREENMANVILLE AVE.

LATITUDE 41O

DONALD C. MCGRAW GALLERY QUADRANGLE

STILLMAN

sidebar, page 15). The Packard Cabin has been relocated to the second floor of the Stillman Building, and the CCA Olin Stephens Reading Room, which earlier was in the Blunt White Building, has been moved to the third floor of Stillman. The new exhibition building will be named for Wade and Angela Thompson in honor of their generous support of Mystic Seaport and this project. “We would not be where we are today if it were not for Wade’s energy and leadership during his 27 years of service as a trustee,” said Board Chairman Barclay Collins. “He passionately believed in the need to enhance the Mystic Seaport experience by transforming the scale and quality of the Museum’s exhibits and the way visitors engage with the buildings and grounds.” The gallery quadrangle will be named for the late Donald C. McGraw, another ardent supporter of the Museum and a charter member and first chairman of its National Council of Advisors. An avid collector, Don McGraw’s passion for the artifacts of America’s maritime heritage was an inspiration at a crucial time for the Museum, and his philanthropy significantly increased the endowment and the enhancement of the Museum’s priceless collection of J.E. Buttersworth paintings. The family’s commitment to Mystic Seaport continues with his son Robin’s service on the Board of Trustees. “We have been seeking an appropriate way to honor the McGraw legacy and we felt that his great interest in maritime paintings and artifacts would be best recognized by naming the space the Donald C. McGraw Gallery Quadrangle, as the buildings that comprise it are dedicated to exhibition,” said White. The task of designing the Thompson Building was entrusted to the renowned Connecticut firm Centerbrook Architects and Planners. They were given the mandate to design a building that would “stand out, but fit in” on the Mystic Seaport grounds. The result is a striking, contemporary design that takes its inspiration from “the geometry of the sea,” as project architect Chad Floyd describes it. Drawing visual cues from the curl of a wave, the spiral of a

MALLORY

A plan of the new Donald C. McGraw Gallery Quadrangle.

The result is a striking, contemporary design that takes its inspiration from “the geometry of the sea,” as project architect Chad Floyd describes it. Drawing visual cues from the curl of a wave, the spiral of a nautilus shell, and the frames of a ship, the building’s arching curve of huge, exposed laminated wood beams define the space inside and out and evoke the craft of ship building. nautilus shell, and the frames of a ship, the building’s arching curve of huge, exposed laminated wood beams define the space inside and out and evoke the craft of ship building. The contemporary aesthetic was intentional. This is new construction and it is important that its design reflect that fact. The building respects and preserves the authenticity of the historic buildings on the grounds by making a clear distinction between the two. Also, site context is important: this building is not located among the historic buildings in the recreated village. Rather, it is at the far north end of the grounds and anchors a quadrangle of buildings that house exhibits or gathering spaces.

This project continues the Museum’s commitment to environmental responsibility. The Thompson Building is being constructed with sustainable materials and it will be heated and cooled with an energy-efficient geothermal system. Permeable sidewalks and paving will enable rainwater to percolate naturally through the ground and an extensive stormwater management system will catch and treat all other runoff before it reaches the Mystic River. However, the physical space is only part of the story. “The truly exciting aspect for me is what we will be able to do and how the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle and the Thompson Building will redefine how visitors engage with our artifacts, interpreters,

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“ ... the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle and the Thompson Building will redefine how visitors engage with our artifacts, interpreters, and scholars, and how we can help the visitors explore the art, science, literature, crafts, technology, and humanity of the American maritime experience.” — Susan Funk,

Museum executive vice president

TOP, MYSTIC SEAPORT TRUSTEES, STAFF, AND LOCAL DIGNITARIES BRAVE BITTER COLD TO CEREMONIALLY BREAK GROUND FOR THE THOMPSON EXHIBITION BUILDING ON JANUARY 8. RIGHT CENTER, A VIEW OF THE NEW GREEN FROM THE DECK OF THE THOMPSON BUILDING. RIGHT, THE LOBBY OF THE THOMPSON BUILDING IS DESIGNED TO OFFER A WARM, WELCOMING ENTRANCE TO THE MUSEUM. OPPOSITE PAGE, THE FACADE OF THE NOW DEMOLISHED G.W. BLUNT WHITE BUILDING.

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and scholars, and how we can help the visitors explore the art, science, literature, crafts, technology, and humanity of the American maritime experience,” said Susan Funk, Museum executive vice president. The project is off to a fast start with three new exhibits scheduled for 2015. “Modern Masterpiece – 30 Years of the Museum Purchase Award” is a collection of fine art annually acquired for the collections through the prestigious Museum Purchase Award. It opened this spring in the P.R. Mallory Building. “Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers” will open on June 20 in the first floor of the Stillman Building. It is a fresh telling of the story of American whaling that incorporates elements from the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyage. On September 19, “Ships, Clocks & Stars – The Quest for Longitude” will open in the R. J. Schaefer Building. A traveling exhibit from the United Kingdom’s National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, “Ships, Clocks & Stars” recounts humankind’s epic effort to solve the riddle of determining longitude at sea, ultimately accomplished by John Harrison’s achievement of building the perfect clock. The exhibit has 148 artifacts, art objects, and working replicas of the original Harrison chronometers. Mystic Seaport is just one of three museums worldwide selected to host the exhibit outside the United Kingdom. Construction is taking place in two phases. The first involves the modification of Anchor Circle into new green space and construction of the necessary infrastructure and utilities improvements for the project. That work is scheduled to be complete and open to visitors this summer. The second phase is the construction of the Thompson Building, which is scheduled to be complete in early fall of 2016. “This is a very exciting time for Mystic Seaport,” says White. “The McGraw Gallery Quadrangle and the Thompson Exhibition Building will reposition the Museum for the 21st century and we can expect great things for the future.”

Dan McFadden is Director of Communications at Mystic Seaport.

WHAT WAS DEMOLISHED

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he new construction and reconfiguring of the north end in the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle project required the demolition of three buildings: the G. W. Blunt White Building, the former mill outbuilding that housed the Benjamin F. Packard Cabin, and the North Boat Shed. Contrary to the common impression, the Blunt White Building was not particularly old, having been constructed in 1964. It was purpose-built to house the Museum’s growing research library. Unfortunately, the building suffered from chronic flooding due to the high water table, and moisture and mold was a perennial problem. In fact, the unsuitable conditions in the building resulted in the library being moved across the street to the Collections Research Center in 2007. Serious consideration was given to incorporating the granite-veneer core of the building into the new exhibition hall, but the environmental issues and additional construction costs could not be justified. The brick building that housed the Packard Cabin originally housed a power plant for the mill complex that existed on the property prior to the Museum. The Stillman and Wendell buildings were also part of that complex. The Packard Cabin building dates from the late 1800s. The exhibit was relocated to the second floor of the Stillman Building. The North Boat Shed began life as an open-air pavilion that was later enclosed for better shelter of the boats inside. The boats have been moved into the Watercraft storage hall across the street. The decision to raze these structures was carefully considered and made in consultation with state and local historic preservation agencies, who did not object. —D.M.

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M AY F L O W E R I I

A SPECIAL GUEST

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or the second time in a year, people crowded the shores of the Mystic River to watch a historic vessel be carefully towed upstream to Mystic Seaport. In August 2014, it was the triumphant return of the Charles W. Morgan from her 38th Voyage. In December, it was Mayflower II on her way to the Museum’s Shipyard to begin a multi-year restoration. Mayflower II is a replica of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts in 1620. She is owned by Plimoth Plantation and open to the public as an exhibit on the Plymouth waterfront. The ship was built in the United Kingdom in 1957 and sailed to the United States, where it was presented to the museum as a gesture of unity with the American people. The 58-year-old ship is at a point where she needs substantial work to return her to seaworthy condition for the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in 2020.

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“We want the best care we can get for Mayflower II and the clear choice for that is Mystic Seaport,” said Ellie Donovan, Plimoth Plantation’s executive director. “We know she will be in good hands.” Due to the importance of the ship to Plimoth Plantation and the local business community, the restoration plan needed to minimize the vessel’s time away from Plymouth. Thus, instead of a single extended period in the Museum’s Shipyard, the project will be carried out over the course of four years with the ship spending winter and spring at Mystic Seaport and returning to Plymouth for the summer and fall tourist season. The primary goal for this first year is to complete a thorough survey and develop the master plan for the following years. The ship was hauled, the hull cleaned, and the ballast removed—a grueling job of moving 130 tons of rock and heavily-rusted steel by hand.

The survey concluded Mayflower II was in overall decent condition, but needed attention throughout. The shipwrights then got to work on the tasks they could accomplish by May. A key job was to caulk the decks and topsides to prevent fresh-water intrusion into areas belowdecks that had been fostering rot. The bottom of the vessel has also received much needed caulking. Subsequent years will tackle larger structural and planking issues. “For us to be entrusted with the restoration of Mayflower II means a lot to Mystic Seaport, because not only are we helping another museum and restoring a ship that’s important to America’s maritime story, but we get to take on an interesting project that we can show to the Museum visitors,” said Shipyard Director Quentin Snediker. Dan McFadden is Director of Communications at Mystic Seaport. MAYFLOWER II HIGH AND DRY AFTER BEING HAULED. IN THE SHIPYARD SHORTLY AFTER HER ARRIVAL.


NEW EXHIBITS

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WHALEMAN as LIGHT ICONIC SAILOR The United States stepped onto the world stage at the end of the nineteenth century, demonstrating the strength 20 words. Wemo landel id que pra vent alita nisimus sanimpore plantotat sloremeum eos eum ipsum dolar ea porit volorer dolar spedissum volorrori consene ped amet dolar quodio. Nem exerum arum voluptat. China. On the battlefields of Europe, during the early twentieth century, American “doughboys” fought their way out of the trenches, tipping the course of World War I in favor of France and Great Britain. De landel id que pra vent alita nisimus sanimpore plantotat eumospi eos eum et ea porit volorer dolar spedissum whalers volorrori consene ped quodio. Nem exerum arum voluptat. De landel id que pra vent alita nisimus sanimpore plantotat eum eos eum et ea porit volorer spedissum volorrori consene ped quodio. Nem exerum arum voluptate when qui dolorunti autes dolore eaquiatas essum, 125 words max. TAT TO O S A N D SC A R S

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DIVE DEEPER ICONIC SAILOR Lorem ipsum doalrers peliqui ullitae eliquia erspeles dendusci incipsapitae dovidel inim volorepudae dis exped que cum ipsa at. Borro tem rem reperna tibusa dolar amet dign. Dollorru ptassent latusan diasim erspeliqui wrdserspeincip somalop sapitae dovidel and then dol 40wrds max. Dollorru ptassent latusan diasim erspeliqui ullitae eliquia erspeles dendusci incipsapitae dovidel inim volorepudae dis exped que cum ipsa at. Borro tem rem reperna tibusa dolar amet dign. Dollorru ptassent latusan diasim erspeliqui wrdserspeincip somalop sapitae dovidel and then dol 80wrds max.

Whales and Whaling

New Exhibit Dives Deep Into the Topic of

2.2.2.: The Whaleman as Iconic Sailor

T

his summer, Mystic Seaport visitors will encounter a groundbreaking approach to the story of America and whaling in a new exhibit in the Stillman Building: “Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers”. The exhibit is opening on June 20 and has been timed to follow the historic, unprecedented 38th Voyage of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan, berthed nearby the gallery entrance. Using artifacts and artworks from the Museum’s collections alongside compelling audio-visual elements, immersive displays, and inspiring interpretation, the exhibit pushes past the mechanics of whaling to show the richer, deeper stories of the peoples, places, ships, and whales that impacted and were influenced by whaling since the Morgan’s construction in 1841. The exhibit explores commercial whaling’s complex effect on our nation’s economy and culture and how its historical and environmental legacy continues to influence us today. And it breaks new ground for the Museum, addressing the advances in whale science and conservation efforts during the past half-century.

1/2” = 1’-0”

Visitors will see on display more than three hundred whaling-related artifacts, images, and documents, including logbooks, photographs, scrimshaw, and ship models, as well as moving images, oral histories, and sound recordings. Some artifacts will be on public display for the first time. “One of the most compelling things about this exhibit is the blending of information about the natural, physical characteristics of whales and the work of whaling. Visitors are greeted by an image that conveys that juxtaposition when they first enter the gallery. Dramatic underwater footage of whales swimming is projected over a wall mural of a classic whale hunt lithograph,” said exhibit designer Bill Ruggieri. The Museum is working with Northern Light Productions to create original multimedia elements that help bridge the gap between the whalers’ world and our own. A short film presents a content-rich, visually stunning introduction to the exhibit topic and themes, using high-definition footage shot during the 38th Voyage. Visitors can also explore a number of topics more deeply through touch-activated “Dive Deeper” sta-

tions located throughout the gallery. The exhibit weaves new research in science and history with 21st-century exhibit technologies to reveal fresh looks at whales, whaleships, and people. For example, visitors can select original films projected onto the surface of a threedimensional globe. One film follows the maiden voyage of the Morgan, from New Bedford, MA, to the Pacific whaling grounds and back. It draws on the digital mapping work of staff member Jason Hine, using the ship’s logs to make visible its voyage track, port calls, and the exact locations where whales were caught. From breathtaking design elements to thought-provoking artifact displays and unforgettable people stories, the new exhibit merits a look when you’re in Mystic this summer. “Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers” is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Service, Connecticut Humanities, and the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation. Elysa Engelman is Director of Exhibits at Mystic Seaport. SPRING/SUMMER 2015

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NEW EXHIBITS

Ships, Clocks & Stars – The Quest for Longitude A

R. J. Schaefer Building

L

By JONATHAN SHAY ater this year, on September 19, Mystic Seaport will open an exciting new exhibit that features pre-

cious artifacts from the fabulous collections of the National Maritime Museum, part of Royal Museums Greenwich, England. This exceptional touring exhibit will only be exhibited in three locations outside the United Kingdom: Mystic Seaport, the Folger Library in Washington, D.C., and the Australian National Maritime Museum, located in Sydney, Australia. The need for accurate time is a relatively

recent development in the course of human history. The rhythm of pre-industrial societies was determined by daylight and the seasons. With the advent of factories, coordination of labor required accurate time, ushering in the modern notion of getting to work on time. But the measurement of time was destined to play an essential role in the solution of an age-old maritime problem. Mariners had long been able to locate their latitude at sea by measuring the angle of celestial bodies. For example, the North Star appears lower on the horizon the farther south one travels. But determining longitude—the east/west position—was a devilishly difficult problem that eluded an answer. As global trade expanded from the 16th century onward, the world’s maritime powers needed to reduce risk and improve safety. Accurate charts and the ability to determine position at sea became increasingly important. Maps were highly prized; in the 16th century, the Spanish monarchy prohibited the circulation of charts to protect their outposts. The British Empire depended on dominance of the sea through trade protected

by the Royal Navy. As today, shipwrecks resulted from a variety of factors, but the inability to accurately determine position was often a contributing cause. The most famous maritime disaster of the period occurred in 1707 when five Royal Navy ships struck the outlying rocks of Scilly, near the southern coast of England, resulting in the loss of 1,600 men. To address the problem, the British Parliament passed the Longitude Act of 1714. This legislation provided for a prize of £20,000, estimated to be worth more than $3 million today, to anyone who could find a way to determine longitude at sea.

CAPTAIN BLIGH’S COCONUT BOWL. ABOVE, RIGHT: REPRODUCTION OF JOHN HARRISON’S CHRONOMETER H4. BOTH IMAGES © NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM, LONDON.

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NEW EXHIBITS The new exhibit called “Ships, Clocks & Stars – The Quest for Longitude” will tell the story of the solution to the riddle of longitude. On loan from the National Maritime Museum, the exhibit examines the most promising solutions that were proposed. Some seem harebrained to us today. One included setting off fireworks from fixed ships to help mariners determine location. Sir Isaac Newton suggested several lines of inquiry and worked on the astronomical and mathematical theories that had potential to solve the problem. The exhibit includes a beautiful engraving of Newton along with his book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Describing the motions of the solar system using mathematics, this rare volume is one of the most important scientific books ever published. Astronomers at the time understood that longitude could be derived from a comparison of local time (determined by a noon sighting of the sun at its highest point) with the time at a known location such as Greenwich. This method had been used on land. But no one was able to determine the time at Greenwich while at sea. Sailors needed a celestial clock or a mechanical clock that could keep accurate Greenwich time. The celestial methods proposed using the motions of the moon or the motions of Jupiter’s satellites. The exhibit features a portrait of Galileo, who discovered the moons of Jupiter. This pristine painting from about 1600 is the earliest surviving portrait of the wizard. Galileo’s moons of Jupiter are highly regular but they were difficult to observe, especially from a ship.

TOP: GALILEO GALILEI. ABOVE: CAPTAIN JAMES COOK BY WILLIAM HODGES. BELOW: A VIEW OF POINT VENUS AND MATAVAI BAY BY WILLIAM HODGES, 1773. ALL IMAGES: ©NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM, LONDON.

The moon was easy to spot, but its motion proved to be erratic and difficult to predict. As described in Dava Sobel’s wildly popular book Longitude (1995), a clockmaker named John Harrison built a time-keeping

device that could capture Greenwich time and keep it aboard a lurching vessel. This chronometer, the crowning achievement of Harrison’s life, will be on exhibit. Along with this priceless treasure, called H4, faithful operating reproductions of Harrison’s earlier versions will also be displayed—these are called H1, H2, and H3. Together, these beautiful reproductions and artifacts sparkle and gyrate with regular precision, marking the passage of time. The Longitude Act required that the winning design could be built by others and successfully tested. In 1766, the Board of Longitude commissioned watchmaker Larcum Kendall to make a copy of H4 to determine if such reproduction was practical. This chronometer was carried by James Cook on his second voyage (1772–1775). It performed magnificently and Cook came to call it his “trusty friend” and “never-failing guide.” Cook also carried it on his third voyage (1776–1780). Kendall’s first three chronometers will be on exhibit along with paintings of the Pacific Islands and a portrait of Cook by artist William Hodges, who accompanied him on his second voyage. Kendall’s second marine timekeeper was issued to the Bounty in 1787 and remained on board after the notorious mutiny. After Captain Bligh and his men were left in the Bounty’s 23-foot launch, they spent nearly seven weeks at sea before reaching Indonesia. Bligh used an improvised scale made from a bullet to measure out the strictly rationed provisions. This scale, along with a horn beaker to measure water for each man and Bligh’s coconut cup, which is inscribed “W Bligh/April 1789,” will be on display. The exhibit includes these exciting tales and more about the history of finding our way at sea. These tales are powerfully rendered by an incredible collection of artifacts from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. The power of the authentic is in full force in “Ships, Clocks & Stars – The Quest for Longitude”.

Jonathan Shay is the former Director of Exhibits at Mystic Seaport.

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ON BOOKS

No Ordinary Being By Llewellyn Howland, III (David R. Godine, in association with New Bedford Whaling Museum and Mystic Seaport, 2015, 455 pages) Reviewed by Matthew Stackpole

T

he title of Llewellyn Howland, III’s biography of W. Starling Burgess succinctly describes its subject; its pages flesh out in astonishing depth and context why this is so. The definition of genius, “exceptional intellectual or creative power or natural ability,” perhaps begins to define Burgess. Certainly, as Howland admits, as a teenager, he was drawn to Burgess’s story: “the young orphan schoolboy, the precocious machine gun inventor, the grief-stricken young widower and poet, the pioneer flier, designer of immortal fishing schooners and America’s Cup defenders and revolutionary automobiles whose life and example called out to me.” What he did not realize was that this call was one he would follow for 60 years, resulting in a most comprehensive chronicling of why the three-word-title is so apt. Howland’s own background, as a descendent of a New England family that has its own important maritime history, an accomplished nonfiction editor at Little Brown Publishing, and a career

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as one of the nation’s premier antiquarian booksellers in maritime books and literary first editions, made him exceptionally prepared to tell the extraordinary and complicated Burgess story. His work on the book began between 1982 and 1985 when, encouraged by Peter Specter, then WoodenBoat editor, Howland wrote four long articles for the magazine on Burgess’s life. While there was a long hiatus in terms of writing, his pursuit of the story and collection of material continued unabated, resulting in this remarkable book. Howland’s vast knowledge of the people with whom Burgess worked, fought, and loved, and sometimes all three, as well as the industries in which he toiled provides in exquisite detail not only Burgess’s story, but also the context in which it occurred. This brings Burgess to life, confronting an astonishing array of personal and professional challenges, successes, and failures in a most powerful way. Burgess’s personal life—he was married five times and suffered great financial failures

as well as successes—is as complicated as his multiple professional endeavors. One observation that can be made is that genius does not always equate to wisdom for all the elements contained in life’s voyage. It is fair to suggest that Burgess was born with extraordinary mechanical and mathematical aptitude, which his father, Edward Burgess, the designer of three America’s Cup defenders in the 19th century, certainly also possessed. What is remarkable is that Starling Burgess applied the skills in three separate industries working with or competing against the brightest, most competent minds in each. Indeed, many of the other people involved are luminaries in their own right. He was not simply a theorist; in each he was exceptionally hands-on, an active participant from concept through development and final production. And there was a significant overlap of application. The technical changes that occurred during his life, many of which he was part of, and the complicated aspects of his personal life support the notion that life is stranger and more complicated than fiction. Truly, the twists and turns, successes and failures, joys and tragedies of his life put most PBS series to shame. Perhaps that is where this story will next be presented. Supported by Mystic Seaport, The New Bedford Whaling Museum, and private donors, remarkably told by Llewellyn Howland, III, and handsomely presented by the esteemed publisher David R. Godine, this is a book any serious collector of American yachting and, indeed, American 20th-century history will find as an essential and welcome addition to his or her library. A word of warning: the level of detail, the wonderful plans, photographs lavishly presented, and the sidebars included make this a book to be relished over multiple sittings even though it is exceptionally hard to put down. Matthew Stackpole is a Charles W. Morgan historian and former Major Gift Officer for the Morgan’s restoration and the 38th Voyage.


STAFF PICKS BACK IN PRINT:

“The Voyage of the F.H. Moore” and Other 19th Century Whaling Accounts

The Charles W. Morgan: A Picture History of an American Icon Late last year, Mystic Seaport, in collaboration with The Day Publishing Company, published a 144-page picture history of the Museum’s flagship, the Charles W. Morgan. The book, The Charles W. Morgan: A Picture History of an American Icon, is a photographic account of the story of the American whale fishery, the Morgan’s career as an active whaleship and exhibit, her five-year restoration, and her historic 38th Voyage during the summer of 2014. The images are selected from the Museum’s collections and from work by the Museum’s photographers, Andy Price and Dennis Murphy, who accompanied the vessel during her latest voyage. There was high demand for the book at Christmas and the first printing sold out quickly, but the second printing is now available. The book retails for $39.95. To order your copy of The Charles W. Morgan: A Picture History of an American Icon contact the Museum bookstore at 860.572.5386 or email msmbookstore@ eventetwork.com or go to the Museum’s website at store.mysticseaport.org. The DVD of filmmaker Bailey Pryor’s The Charles W. Morgan: America’s Last Wooden Whaleship, broadcast on PBS last year, is also available in the bookstore and online on the Museum’s website. The DVD retails for $15.99.

The Logbooks: Connecticut Slave Ships and Human Memory By Anne Farrow In 1757, the vessel Africa, owned by Gurdon Saltonstall, who was a wealthy merchant, sailed from New London, CT, to the small island Bence, located in the Sierra Leone River. On board Africa, which was bound to West Africa to take on slaves, was Saltonstall’s 18-year-old son, Dudley, who was on the voyage to learn the trade. The two-masted vessel was commanded by a veteran in the slave trade, John Easton of Middletown, CT. During the voyage, Dudley kept a logbook, and he would also document two other trade voyages on which he sailed within the 20-month period that followed. In 2004, journalist and writer Anne Farrow discovered Saltonstall’s three logbooks, which reveal a period in New England’s history that today seems to be forgotten. American enslavement did not occur only in the South. Farrow writes: “Americans still do not have a shared and meaningful body of knowledge about a labor system here that held millions in bondage.” The Logbooks is not only a story about the memory loss about slavery in New England; Farrow includes a parallel narrative about her mother’s amnesia, as she slowly disappears into dementia. The story in The Logbooks is essential and relevant to people today.

A Path in the Mighty Waters By Stephen R. Berry Between 1700 and 1775, more than 300,000 Europeans crossed the Atlantic to settle in the British colonies in North America. Using a particular voyage, that of James Oglethorpe’s Georgia Expedition, which set sail from London to Georgia in October 1735, Stephen R. Berry tells the story of how people experienced their crossing to the New World. In journals, letters, and other accounts, the passengers describe the challenges of physical confinement and the experiences of living closely with people from different regions, religions, and classes—and then there was the special character of the ocean itself. Berry writes: “activities performed on solid ground usually take priority over the temporary and fleeting events experienced on the water.” A Path in the Mighty Waters is a well-researched and beautifully written account of the important role the Atlantic has played in American history.

Edited by Greg Bailey In 1873, 21-year-old Samuel Grant Williams went whaling aboard the brig F. H. Moore. For the hunt, the vessel, mastered by Robert Soper, went to the West Indies and along the coast of Belize. Williams writes vividly: “I grabbed my iron, shore people call it the harpoon, and waited for Mr. Streeter [the mate] to say ‘when.’” Williams plants two harpoons and the whale takes off; however, because this journal is of later date, the hunt ends not with a lance but with a bombgun. The editor, Greg Bailey, discovered Williams’s manuscript (although he never tells us how or when) and has published it for the first time along with previously-published excerpts from Francis Allyn Olmsted, J. Ross Browne, and Charles H. Robbins, who went to sea in 1839, 1842, and 1837, respectively. Williams’s journal is interesting but not remarkable, especially the fragmented Part II, entitled “An Unfinished Book.” What is most striking in reading all four writers together is how brutal and exhausting the work of whaling was and, conversely, how rich was the oral world they created aboard ship: a world of yarning, song, fiddling, and dancing. The sailor Tom, Browne writes, was “death on the fiddle!”; he also notes the playing of a “viola,” or guitar, by the Portuguese sailors.

Dr. Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, University of Connecticut

Victura: The Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea By James W. Graham Throughout James W. Graham’s book, Victura: The Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea, readers get a fresh perspective on one of America’s most well-known families, their historic lives, and the impact that their collective love for the sea had on both. Purchased in 1932 by Joseph Kennedy, Sr., for the family’s enjoyment, the Wianno Senior Victura was built by the Crosby Yacht Yard and was the family’s flagship vessel for decades. From a starring role in presidential photo-ops to a place of refuge during times of trial and tragedy, Victura’s role in shaping the Kennedy family history is remarkable. Time spent sailing while growing up was credited with helping a young John F. Kennedy survive after his PT 109 was rammed and sunk during World War II. Competing and winning for decades in races throughout Nantucket Sound is credited with empowering generations of Kennedys—male and female—to be leaders in both their public and private endeavors. References to the sea can be found in many of the public speeches given by Kennedys throughout their political careers. In chronicling their exploits on the water, this book provides a fresh perspective on the famous clan. The Kennedys are a unique family, but their generational connection to the sea is one that many readers will find familiar.

Dan McFadden is Director of Communications at Mystic Seaport.

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

SPRING/SUMMER 2015

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FROM THE COLLECTIONS

THE

STORY

A BOU T

A

P I C T U RE

A Little Long in the Tooth By PAUL O'PECKO

rare form.” With growing interest in

O

ne of the most unusual objects at the Museum has spent the last year away from Mystic Seaport being put back into pristine condition. The object in question is a coat rack; however, not an ordinary coat rack, but rather a curious piece of folk art from the last quarter of the 19th century. Between 1874 and 1878, Capt. John Orrin Spicer of Groton, CT, commanded the whaleship Nile on four voyages to the Eastern Arctic between Greenland and Baffin Bay. He brought back primarily whalebone (also known as baleen) and whale oil. On at least one of those voyages, Capt. Spicer also acquired some tusks from a narwhal, a small arctic cetacean closely related to the beluga whale. He fashioned the tusks, along with walrus tusk ivory and exotic wood, into one of the most remarkable coat racks you are likely to encounter. A gift for his wife, it eventually went to another owner before it was donated to Mystic Seaport in 1964. The tusks are fitted into four wooden ball-shaped feet that support a wooden platform from which sprouts the central wooden column, topped by a crown of walrus tusk spindles. The narwhal tusks are connected to the central column with more ivory pegs supporting a ring of ivory. The tallest of the tusks in the coat rack is just over seven feet high. Unfortunately, the coat rack has not been on exhibit for many years due to its poor condition. It made its way into the spotlight once again, though, when Dr. Stuart Frank of the New Bedford Whaling Museum, MA, did a thorough examination and detailed report of the scrimshaw collection at Mystic Seaport. While not a piece of scrimshaw, Dr. Frank still calls this a masterwork that is a “unique survivor of what must even in its day have been a

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SPRING/SUMMER 2015

the coat rack, there came the need to act, so the piece was examined by Randy Wilkinson of the conservation group Fallon & Wilkinson (F & W) and a treatment schedule was set up. After leaving the Museum for the F & W studio, the object had a layover at the X-Ray facility of Mashantucket Pequot Museum, CT, where Doug Currie, the Head of Conservation at the museum, maneuvered the tools of his trade to get internal views of the fittings used to keep the coat rack together. A number of suspicions were confirmed about the piece that tries to meld narwhal tusks, walrus ivory, exotic wood, and iron fittings into a single entity. Unfortunately, all those materials are not compatible as they expand and contract at different rates and react to each other in ways that cause major instability in the object. Fallon & Wilkinson spent the last year cleaning and reinforcing the piece, so that it can once again make its way out into the public eye. There are hundreds of other pieces in our collection that can benefit from such loving conservation work, and we will continue to seek funds to help those objects make their way into the exhibit halls of Mystic Seaport. Paul O’Pecko is Vice President of Collections and Research and Director of the G.W. Blunt White Library at Mystic Seaport. Image Courtesy of Fallon & Wilkinson, LLC, Furniture Conservators. To get more information about the Museum’s Collections Research Center and online resources, please visit http://library.mysticseaport.org


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Gowrie Group is proud to be a Community Partner of Mystic Seaport and support the Museum’s work and mission through shared values, business collaboration, and philanthropy. Contact Gowrie Group at 800.262.8911, mysticseaport@gowrie.com, or www.gowrie.com/seaport. For more information on becoming a Mystic Seaport Corporate Member, please call Alex Alpert at 860.572.5382.


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Mystic Seaport Magazine - Spring/Summer 2015  

Mystic Seaport Magazine - Spring/Summer 2015  

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