FALL | WINTER 2012
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Restoring a Past, Charting a Future An Artistic Discovery of Americaâ€™s Whaling Legacy by the Dalvero Academy
where there’s a will,
Mystic Seaport magazine is a publication of Mystic Seaport
SEASCAPES . ..................................… 4
President STEPHEN C. WHITE
there’s a way to support the museum.
IN THIS ISSUE
ADVANCEMENT NEWS................... 5-6
executive vice presidents SUSAN FUNK MARCY WITHINGTON
Editor Göran R BUCKHORN firstname.lastname@example.org
MUSEUM BRIEFS .......................... 7-9
MORGAN UPDATE ..................... 10-11 NEW EXHIBIT ............................ 12-13
PRODUCTION Susan HEATH
contributors NAT ARATA Maribeth Bielinski TrudI Busey Fred CALABRETTA Chris Freeman AUDREY HAWKINS BOB JOHNSON DAN MCFADDEN MATTHEW STACKPOLE JERRY WATKINS
1812 WAR EXHIBIT..................... 14-15 MY MYSTIC SEAPORT.................. 16-17 ON BOOKS ................................. 18-19 KIDS’ STUFF.................................... 19 GIFT IDEAS ..................................... 20
Design Karen WARD THE DAY PRINTING COMPANY
EDITOR'S PICKS ............................. 21 FROM THE COLLECTIONS............... 22
PHOTOGRAPHY GÖRAN R BUCKHORN DENNIS MURPHY ANDY PRICE MYSTIC SEAPORT PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVES
Fall / winter
On the Cover: ART BY AUDREY HAWKINS OF THE DALVERO ACADEMY, BROOKLYN, N.Y. SEE PAGES 12-13 FOR ARTICLE BY AUDREY ON THE DALVERO ACADEMY’S ART EXHIBIT, WHICH IS ON VIEW IN THE STILLMAN BUILDING THROUGH THE SUMMER OF 2013.
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
SAFEGUARD MYSTIC SEAPORT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
Turn your love of the sea and Mystic Seaport into a lasting legacy by including the Museum in your estate plan. From simple bequests to charitable remainder trusts, there are many ways to support Mystic Seaport while minimizing estate taxes and maximizing your charitable giving. To learn more, please visit www.mysticseaport.org/legacygiving
VOLUNTEER SERVICES: 860.572.5378 PLEASE GO TO THE MUSEUM’S WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION ON THE FALL/WINTER/SPRING SCHEDULE
come earn y o u r s e a l e g s. 75 Greenmanville Avenue Mystic, CT 06355 l 888.973.2767
ADDRESS: 75 GREENMANVILLE AVE. P.O. BOX 6000 MYSTIC, CT 06355 -0990 WWW.MYSTICSEAPORT.ORG
& FALL/WINTER 2012
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A D VA N C E M E N T N E W S
SPECIAL EVENTS at MYSTIC SEAPORT SEPTEMBER 23 to Dec. 31 — 33rd Annual International Marine Art Exhibition
OCTOBER 6 — Fall Beer Tasting
S E A S C A P E S Take Your Time
ime, it seems these days, is a commodity in both short supply and high demand. We are so busy that we wish to have more of it, only to spend what we have on getting
6-8 — Chowder Days
7 — Argia Twilight Cruise 12 — AcquAria in Concert 13-14 — PILOTS Weekend
18 — Adventure Series begins
19 — Sights & Frights begins
31 — Skipper Ken Read presentation on the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race
more things done and fulfilling our many obligations. Taking one’s time – to linger, to
pause, to appreciate – is a skill that is difficult to exercise, perhaps now more than ever.
NOVEMBER 8 — Marcus Rediker on The Amistad Rebellion
How fortunate we are to have a place like Mystic Seaport where “taking one’s time” is valued, if not required. Last spring, two new exhibits opened that require time – a
10 — Charles W. Morgan Day Fireworks & Free Admission
good amount of it – to truly appreciate the quality of the objects,
the skill of the artists, and the beauty of the presentation. “Trea-
23 to Dec. 2 — Members’ Double Discount Days
sures from the Collections” represents the finest examples from
DECEMBER 1 — Lantern Light Tours begins
our collections and is stunningly presented in a transformed Schaefer Exhibit Hall. It is the combination of curatorial and MYSTIC SEAPORT PRESIDENT STEPHEN C. WHITE
31 — Trick-or-Treat
exhibiting expertise that draws in the visitor and demands one’s attention. An hour (or two) quickly passes, leaving one thirsty for more. In the Dalvero Academy’s “Restoring a Past, Charting
a Future – An Artistic Discovery of America’s Whaling Legacy,” located in the Stillman
23-24 — Field Days
1 to — Maritime Miniatures by April 7, 2013 Maritime Masters Exhibition and Sale
8 — Santa Claus is Coming! 23 — Community Carol Sing
26 to — Holiday Magic Jan. 1, 2013
Building, twenty-four artists share the results of 2 ½ years of work inspired by Mystic Seaport and Charles W. Morgan. Each artist’s contribution creates a unique section of a masterpiece quilt of contemporary interpretation that surprises the visitor by its depth when viewed individually or collectively. And yes, not surprisingly, it requires time to fully comprehend the talent of each artist and the messages within his/her exhibit pieces as a part of the whole. Luckily for our members, these two exhibits, and everything else at the Museum, can be visited time and time again. In this era where we check off our “to-dos” or “mustsees,” engaging places like Mystic Seaport are all the more essential, as they allow us to go deeper and to slow the pace of time by getting lost in experience and content. This is a value we cultivate and share, and one that is supported by your annual membership and philanthropic gifts. Our latest presentation from our curators, scholars, and exhibit creators is actually found at another institution, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, CT, where “The Rockets’ Red Glare: Connecticut and the War of 1812” opened in July. This is the result of five local institutions collectively telling the local story of the War of 1812. It is a wonderful representation of effective collaboration. Please be sure to see this exhibition (and buy and read the companion book), as many of these objects are rarely seen, and the Connecticut story of the War of 1812 has never been told like this, thanks to the great work of the collaborating institutions: Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Mystic
The Museum grounds will be closed to visitors between January 2 and February 13, 2013. Please check our website for hours of operation for the Collections Research Center, Museum Stores, the Maritime Art Gallery, and Latitude 41° Restaurant during that period. Museum Administration, Education, and other departments will continue to operate on standard business hours. www.mysticseaport.org
J ANUARY 2013 30 — Maritime Author Series begins FEBRUARY 2013 16-24 — Winters Aweigh APRIL 2013 9-10 — Pirate Days and 16-17 13-14 — Educators’ Weekend
Seaport, New London County Historical Society, New London Maritime Society, and Stonington Historical Society.
STEPHEN C. WHITE President
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The image used in Stephen White’s “Seascapes” is by YVES PARENT, Blue Dinghy, 8” x 16” OIL
ystic Seaport is known as a place that celebrates and teaches maritime traditions that have been passed down among generations. These include some of the defining moments of a person’s life, such as the first time they handle a Dyer Dow on their own, or the instant they finally master a clove hitch. Mystic Seaport also makes memories of another kind – hosting memorable weddings, anniversaries, and celebrations in a one-of-a-kind location on its striking waterfront. For the past three years, Sperry Tents has been the exclusive tent provider for Mystic Seaport; a partnership that has resulted in many beautiful and successful events on the Museum grounds. Sperry Tents is a unique company, particularly well-suited to a partnership with the nation’s largest maritime museum. Fine craftsmanship is the hallmark of Sperry Tents products. The company offers classic wooden pole tents with a crisp, coastal aesthetic in complete alignment with Mystic Seaport. The company is founded by the same family that has run Sperry Sails in Marion, MA, for more than 35 years. This nautical expertise is clearly seen in the de-
Sperry Tent, whether installed at Mystic Seaport, on Martha’s Vineyard, or in Napa Valley, is still handcrafted by the skilled crew of Sperry Sails. In just 18 years, Sperry Tents has grown in remarkable fashion to include over 16 locations across the country. “We’ve managed to meet increasing demand without losing focus on what we do best: providing classically designed tents made out of true sailcloth with handcrafted details,” says Tim Sperry. “But even though our reach has grown, our company roots still lie in coastal New England and we are proud to support the region’s history and traditions alongside Mystic Seaport.” When you walk into a Sperry Tent at the Museum, you immediately appreciate the confluence of a well-crafted, nautically inspired product set against a traditional maritime background. It is a partnership that is deeper than a standard sponsorship agreement – it involves two institutions that share a respect for the past, knowledge of fading skills, and a commitment to make both relevant for the future. Mystic Seaport is proud of its relationship with Sperry Tents and we look forward to many successful events to come.
NAUTICALLY INSPIRED SPERRY TENTS PARTNERS WITH MYSTIC SEAPORT sign and layouts of their tents. The very first Sperry tent was constructed by Steve Sperry in 1980 when the sail maker found that he needed to construct a canopy for a large gathering of friends and family. Using waterproof sailcloth, native pine poles, and bronze rings, he created the tent that served as the ancestor of the many that would follow. In 1994, Steve Sperry’s son, Tim, established Sperry Tents as an independent rental company while Steve’s other son, Matt, continued to advance Sperry Sails’ tentmaking productions. Today, each and every
CREATING A LEGACY Mary Beth Gruber, a longstanding Museum member and active Mystic Seaport PILOT, has recently chosen to make a legacy gift to Mystic Seaport through her estate plans. Mary Beth says: “Mystic Seaport has given me so much – an appreciation for the history of ships and the sea, navigation, and the connection with boats, water, and sailing. I first got involved with the Museum through an internship in the 1980s. Now I have been a member for 32 years and an active PILOT since 2004.” So why did she choose to include Mystic Seaport in her estate plans? Mary Beth smiles when she says: “During my years as a member, I have
gotten to know many different members of the professional staff at the Museum. It is my desire to support their work and the mission of the Museum into the future. That is what has inspired my support.” Thank you, Mary Beth, for your generosity. Because of Museum members like you, Mystic Seaport is certain to continue to be a successful institution in the future. For more information on how to include Mystic Seaport in your estate plans, contact Chris Freeman at 860.572.5302 ext. 5189 or at email@example.com
For more information on this artist, please contact: The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, 860.572.5388
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ADV ANCEMENT NEWS
MYSTIC SEAPORT HONORS THE BARNEGAT BAY A-CATS WITH THE WILLIAM AVERY BAKER AWARD In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Catboat Association at Mystic Seaport, catboat enthusiasts converged on the Museum’s waterfront on the first Saturday and Sunday of July 2012. During this historic weekend, Mystic Seaport announced that the Barnegat Bay A-Cat class will receive the William Avery Baker Award. This award is intended to promote the awareness and appreciation of fine examples of one-design classes or boats of like kind, to foster faithful preservation and restoration, and to encourage more people to keep these boats in use. It is given to a private individual or organization for superior work in © KATHY BRAY preserving historic yachts or recreational small craft. Bill Baker was a naval architect, maritime historian, and designer of replicas of historic vessels including Mayflower II. The Barnegat Bay A-Cats are certainly deserving of this award. In 1922, Charles D. Mower designed the MaryAnn, the first A-Cat on Barnegat Bay, for Judge Charles McKeehan. Built by Morton Johnson of Bay Head, this new vessel was noted for its exotic, bold, powerful, and graceful lines. During the 1970s, Nelson R. Hartranft led a revival of the A-Cats that was helped along with another resurgence in the 1990s, this time led by Peter Kellogg. Over their long history, the A-Cats have inspired loyalty and devotion from many people determined to preserve these special vessels. To this day, an A-Cat makes an impression that is not easily forgotten.
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BRILLIANT EQUIPMENT FUND RENAMED IN HONOR OF CAPTAIN GEORGE H. MOFFETT, JR. Mystic Seaport is an institution that cherishes the idea of legacy and preservation. Its staff, volunteers, and donors all strive to protect the heirlooms of the past for future days. This devotion to posterity was again apparent following the recent death of one of our beloved colleagues. After George H. Moffett, Jr., passed away in February 2012, Mystic Seaport received many thoughtful donations in his honor. These gifts were all directed to the Brilliant Equipment Fund, a reserve used to keep the Museum’s renowned schooner in fine shape. In recognition of Captain Moffett and all that he did for Mystic Seaport during his life, this fund has been renamed in his honor. Captain Moffett was the third captain of Brilliant since the arrival at Mystic Seaport in 1953. Right from the outset, George proved to be an exemplary educator, program manager and THE MUSEUM RENAMES FUND TO HONOR caretaker of our beloved Brilliant. Early in his CAPTAIN GEORGE MOFFETT. career at the Museum, he set forth three goals for himself and the program: 1) to establish an endowment for the long term care of the vessel; 2) to replace the original teak deck that dated back to her construction at the Henry B. Nevins yard in 1932; and 3) to sail Brilliant across the Atlantic once again in an attempt to repeat her near record-breaking 1933 crossing. It took all of 24 years and almost every waking hour of George’s time to accomplish these goals and he succeeded in all three. Along the way, George secured his reputation as the finest captain in his field – as evidenced by his receipt of both the “Sail Trainer of the Year” and the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” both presented by the Tall Ships America (American Sail Training Association). All of those who had the privilege to sail with Captain Moffett would readily agree that they are better off for having had the experience. Mystic Seaport thanks all those who have supported the George Moffett Equipment Fund for Brilliant, and we all look forward to many years of success for this cherished vessel.
On the evening of March 10, rowing history was written at Mystic Seaport when the National Rowing Foundation (NRF), the governing body of the National Rowing Hall of Fame, which is housed in the G.W. Blunt White Building at the Museum, inducted 19 new members into “The Hall.” The following athletes were honored for their individual accomplishments: Jennifer Dore Terhaar (not present), Jeff Klepacki, Robert Kaehler, and the twins Mary McCagg and Elizabeth McCagg Hills. Three crews were honored for their results: the 1972 Olympic men’s eight and coach, Michael Livingston, Cleve Livingston, William Hobbs, Eugene Clapp, Timothy Mickelson, Peter Raymond, Franklin Hobbs (not present), Lawrence Terry, Paul Hoffman, and Coach Harry Parker; the 1992 Olympic women’s pair, Anna Seaton and Stephanie MaxwellPierson; and the 2000 Olympic men’s pair, Ted Murphy and Sebastian Bea. Before the celebrations began at Latitude 41° Restaurant and Tavern, there was a reception party in the Blunt White Building where the inductees mingled with their families, friends, and invited guests. Many in the U.S. rowing community were present, including some “old” Rowing Hall of Famers. This was the second time in its 56-year existence that the National Rowing Hall of Fame hosted a stand-alone induction ceremony (the first one was held at the Museum in 2010). During the day of March 10, about 50 rowing history buffs had gathered in the River Room at Latitude 41°⁰ for the sixth Rowing History Forum. Present were some of the world’s leading rowing historians, among them Chris Dodd, Peter Mallory, Bill Miller, and Tom Weil, who all gave en-
TOP LEFT: ROWING HISTORIANS CHRIS DODD (ON THE LEFT), WHO HAD JUST PUBLISHED HIS LATEST BOOK, PIECES OF EIGHT, AND TOM WEIL. LEFT: GILLIAN PERRY ABOVE: HART PERRY’S BOAT, WHICH ONCE BELONGED TO THE BRITISH OLYMPIANS DON AND DICKIE BURNELL.
tertaining lectures about topics from the rich history of rowing. The previous evening, more than 70 people had celebrated the memory of NRF’s former executive director Hart Perry, who passed away on February 3, 2011. It was not only a tribute to Perry, but also a fund-raising party and silent auction in his name for rowing history, the National Rowing Hall of Fame, and rowing exhibits. Many of the items had belonged to Perry and were donated by his widow, Gillian Perry, for the auction. The top-notch item, which at the end of the auction brought in $5,000, was his old, wooden pulling dinghy, which he had purchased in England in the late 1960s from a well-known rowing family, the Burnells. Charles “Don” Burnell (1875-1969) became an Olympic
ON TOP: ROWING HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2012 OUTSIDE THE G.W. BLUNT WHITE BUILDING. BACK ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: SEBASTIAN BEA, TED MURPHY, WILLIAM HOBBS, EUGENE CLAPP, AND PETER RAYMOND. MIDDLE ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: ROBERT KAEHLER, JEFF KLEPACKI, ELIZABETH MCCAGG HILLS, HARRY PARKER, STEPHANIE MAXWELL-PIERSON, PAUL HOFFMAN, AND LAWRENCE TERRY. FRONT ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: MARY MCCAGG, ANNA SEATON, CLEVE LIVINGSTON, TIMOTHY MICKELSON, AND MICHAEL LIVINGSTON.
champion in the eights in 1908, and his son, Richard “Dickie” Burnell (1917-1995), took an Olympic gold medal in the double sculls (together with Bert Bushnell) in 1948. The auction collected a total of $15,000. Göran R Buckhorn is the editor of Mystic Seaport Magazine.
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AFTER ALMOST 75 YEARS, BACK ON BOARD THE MORGAN
NATE NEVINS ABOARD THE MORGAN, RESTING ON A BITT.
n the 1930s, while young Nathan Samuel Nevins was staying at his grandmother’s in New Bedford, MA, his uncle Bob suggested that they should visit the Charles W. Morgan, which was then still at South Dartmouth at Round Hill, the summer estate which had been owned by Colonel Edward “Ned” Green, son of the famous, eccentric Wall Street investor Hetty Green. Nate, now 83 years old, who insists on being called by his first name and not by his last name, as “it was my father who was Mr. Nevins,” revisited the Morgan in the beginning of May this year. He bravely climbed the 48-step staircase with his cane to once again stride her deck almost 75 years after his last visit. It was an emotional moment for Nate and for everyone who witnessed it. At Nate’s first visit in the late 1930s, he remembers that the whaleship was in a sad state as Colonel Green, who had died in 1936, had left no provision in his will to maintain the vessel. Nate was fascinated by the captain’s roomy cabin and the swinging, gimballed bed in the captain’s stateroom. This bed, which would remain horizontal when the vessel was rolling, was installed in 1864 for Captain Thomas Landers’s young wife Lydia, who accompanied her husband on the ship’s seventh voyage, which lasted for 1,286 days.
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“I can’t believe it would take me all these years to come and see her again,” Nate told his guide Matthew Stackpole, the Museum’s Morgan historian. But Nate has had a busy life: in addition to being a longtime Boy Scout (BSA member since December 10, 1941!), marrying “Gertie” Glunts and raising a family in Syracuse, N.Y., serving seven years in the U.S. Army, and logging almost 4,000 hours as an aircraft pilot, Nate has been a sales engineer and motivational speaker at a large company. He is also eager to point out that he was, in his free time, an expert at restoring antique small boats. Nate, who is a proud recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award of the Boy Scouts of America, said: “I have worked with youths all my life. It’s a pleasure to see how young minds absorb knowledge.” While this magazine’s editor escorted Nate, who was in a wheelchair, around the grounds, Nate was cheerfully chatting and joking with Museum
visitors and staff. He was especially happy to talk to two of the young workers at the Museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, Evelyn Ansel, shipwright apprentice, and Jon Day, shipwright I. As Jon went to find a little souvenir for Nate from the Morgan, Evelyn told Nate that she was the third generation working on the Morgan, as her father, Walt, is part of the restoration team and his father, Will, belonged to the crew that rebuilt the whaler in the 1980s. “Never forget,” Nate said, “that you here at Mystic Seaport are not restoring the Morgan for your sake, it’s for coming generations.” He continued, “I hope to see her sail in 2014,” and with a twinkle in his eyes he added, “Maybe the Museum would even make me an ‘Honorary Quartermaster’?” View an interview with Nate Nevins when he was visiting the Museum at:
2012 INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL TOUR: AN EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE In May, George White, chairman of the Mystic Seaport International Council, led a group of Museum supporters on a trip to Italy. It was a rewarding outreach effort and a successful fundraiser for Mystic Seaport. Reviewing the photos of our trip, I am reminded of what a unique travel experience it was. Venice and Florence were excellent choices of destinations for our visit to a country that acknowledges in everyday life the pride of its history. For those of us associated with Mystic Seaport, this journey provided an opportunity similar to our visits two years ago to some Northern European
maritime museums, where we were able to compare various museums’ approaches to displaying maritime artifacts. The tours of the Naval Museum and the Arsenal in Venice were outstanding. They both conveyed the bountiful and rich maritime history of this beautiful city and explained its dominant position in European history. Like Mystic Seaport, both museums face the challenge of making their stories relevant to today’s museum visitors. The Arsenal, occupying a site dedicated to marine use for almost a thousand years, is still challenged to make its authenticity pertinent
GETTING TO KNOW ALEX
earned her “volunteer legs” helping various neighborhood community organizations. Alex majored in International Relations at UC Davis in California, and during her final semester she interned at the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland. “I was born in Colombia, so with Spanish as my native language, I expected my assignment would be in a Spanish-speaking country. Switzerland was quite a surprise!” Moving East, Alex earned a Master’s degree in public administration from New York University and subsequently taught courses in U.S. politics and Latin American politics at the University of Connecticut. For eight years, Alex juggled teaching with tending her family of three children: Jaxon (8), Emilia (6), and Mateo (2), plus attorney husband, Merrick, and black Labrador, Bella (who sports her own volunteer tag!). Living in close proximity to Mystic Seaport, the family visits often, and Alex is delighted to now work at the Museum. Alex confides she has a personal goal: “I run and ski, but I really want to learn how to sail.” She is certainly in the right place to do that! Trudi Busey is a volunteer at Mystic Seaport.
today. Spending time with museum staff was very rewarding and I hope we will continue to share ideas in the future. Visiting the gondola boatbuilding yard was an incredibly special experience. We learned that this watercraft has been in use for centuries and is being replicated today to the same dimensions and with the same craftsmanship as the originals. I hope George White is researching other locations that provide the same blend of fun and education as our first two trips. Bob Johnson is a member of the Mystic Seaport International Council.
NATE NEVINS (ON THE RIGHT) HAPPILY CHATTING WITH MATTHEW STACKPOLE, THE MUSEUM'S MORGAN HISTORIAN.
Mystic Seaport welcomed Alexandra Alpert as director of Membership and Volunteer Services on March 19, 2012. Alex, as she is known around the Museum, says her mission is two-fold: ALEXANDRA ALPERT to grow Mystic Seaport membership and to ensure a top-notch member experience. Alex’s plans include an emphasis on community outreach. She envisions more strong programs designed to retain current members and attract new members. Also on Alex’s docket are fresh ideas for expanding corporate and business memberships. While living in San Francisco, Alex worked on local and national political campaigns and notes a similarity in working with Museum members, staff, and volunteers: “Everyone has a common interest.” She finds meeting and working with the Museum’s volunteers the best part of her job. Alex
WELCOME NEW CITIZENS! On Flag Day, June 14, for the first time, Mystic Seaport hosted a Naturalization Ceremony at the Tom Clagett Boat Shed. Seventy-five people from thirty-three countries officially became U.S. citizens. Representatives from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service remarked it was the largest ceremony ever held in this part of Connecticut. Opening the ceremony, Museum President Stephen C. White stated that there could hardly be a more suitable place to welcome new citizens than the historic grounds of Mystic Seaport, where several exhibits throughout the years have told the many stories of immigrants coming to America.
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M O R G A N U P D AT E
By DAN MCFADDEN
ince the first new plank was fastened to the exterior hull of the Charles W. Morgan early last spring, the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard has been abuzz with activity and the sounds of shipwrights busily sawing, planing, drilling, and hammering as they install the ship’s new skin. More than 100 new planks are needed for the restoration, with the focus on the hull below the waterline. Many of the planks coming off the vessel date to her original construction in 1841. Although anyone with a passing knowledge of boat building would recognize the work taking place, the key difference that never fails to impress is the massive scale of the task. These are huge pieces of wood. A typical midships plank could be 40 feet long, a foot-and-a-half wide, 3 ½ inches thick, and weigh hundreds of pounds. Milling, cutting, shaping, and fitting planks of this size requires specialized gear and techniques unusual in this day and age. Of course, the whole point of the Shipyard is to tackle challenges of this sort, both to preserve and maintain the Museum’s watercraft collection and to pass traditional skills and knowledge on to a new generation of shipwrights. Thus, when faced with the need to figure out a way to replank a vessel the size of the Morgan, they sat down and worked out an assembly line of sorts to get the job done. Visitors to the Shipyard can’t help but notice the piles of logs next to the entrance. These logs are the raw material for the planks and while they may not look like much to the untrained eye, they are actually extremely valuable and the result of years-long hunt to find the right material for the job. When the Morgan was built, finding longleaf pine and white oak suitable for shipbuilding was not difficult. But after more than a century of logging and deforestation, old growth trees of the necessary size are very hard to find and it is only through special relationships with plantation owners and specialty lumber dealers that the Museum has been able to acquire the necessary wood. Raw logs are sorted and surveyed in the yard and then cut into raw slabs, called flitches, in the sawmill. The flitches are then stacked until they are selected to become a plank. The next step is an illustration of the difference between repair and restoration. Where a modern repair would do what is necessary to return the vessel to seaworthiness, restoration goes one step further. To preserve as much of the historic fabric and integrity of the Morgan, each new plank is exactly patterned on the old one it replaces – right down to duplicating the type and placement of fastenings. Once selected to become a plank, the flitch is sent through the planer to give it the required thickness and then is set out in the middle of the shed to be carefully cut and shaped to precisely match the one it will replace. This
A Charles W. Morgan Update
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: SHIPWRIGHTS HAMMER IN WEDGES TO HOLD A NEW PLANK IN POSITION; THE TIGHT CURVES IN THE BOW AND STERN PRESENT A CHALLENGE; A NEW PLANK COMES OUT OF THE STEAM BOX; THE HULL IS CAREFULLY BRACED TO MAINTAIN ITS SHAPE DURING THE RESTORATION.
Mystic Seaport Magazine |
GOV. DANNEL P. MALLOY HOLDS ONE OF THE ORIGINAL TRUNNELS FROM THE MORGAN THAT WAS GIVEN TO HIM BY THE MUSEUM.
YEAR OF THE CHARLES W. MORGAN
is highly skilled work and requires something of an artistic eye as well. Ship planks are not simple, rectangular slabs of wood, far from it. Each plank must conform to the complex curve of the hull and require careful beveling and shaping. The resulting product is as much a work of sculpture as craft. To increase the flexibility of the wood so that it can be bent along the frames – and not broken in the process – it is steamed for several hours in the custom-built steam box next to the Morgan. When ready, it is quickly pulled out and moved by forklift and human muscle to its position on hull. Levered and wedged into place, the plank will then be allowed to cool before final fastening. All of this has to be done in a matter of minutes before the plank loses flexibility and the risk of splitting increases. Once cool, the shipwrights carefully locate the position of fasteners, and then drill the holes. The planks are held on by a combination of bronze spikes and wooden trunnels. The word trunnel is a derivative of “treenail” and trunnels are wooden pegs fashioned out of black locust. Each one is pounded in, cut off and slit in the end to receive a small wedge to expand the head, pounded home and then cut flush. A few swipes with a hand plane and the job is done. Once exposed to water, the trunnels will swell and lock the structure together. Fastening wood with wood may seem odd to the modern mind, but it certainly did the job for 170 years. The work will continue until the Morgan goes back into the water on July 21, 2013. Until then, there is a unique opportunity for visitors to step back into the past and see traditional shipbuilding practiced firsthand. It is something not to miss.
In a public ceremony at the Capitol last April, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy declared the 2013-2014 school year to be the “Year of the Charles W. Morgan” in the state of Connecticut. The designation is an important part of the Morgan project as it heralds collaboration with public school systems across the state to use the vessel as a tool for education. Although most often thought of as a maritime artifact, the Morgan and the story of whaling touches on themes of globalization, American social and economic history, science, environmental conservation, and others. The plan is to use her and the 38th Voyage in 2014 as the basis to create an extensive series of learner-based programs for schools and educators. Plans so far include an Online Learning Community with interactive resources and lesson plans, on-site programs for school groups to visit the Morgan, off-site programs where Museum educators travel to schools to assist teachers with in-person presentations, and partnerships with institutions of higher learning, such as the Museum’s current joint efforts with WilliamsMystic program and the University of Connecticut-Avery Point. With the state’s support, the “Year of the Charles W. Morgan” is off to a good start.
Dan McFadden is Director of the Communication Department at Mystic Seaport.
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PARTICIPATING ARTISTS OF THE DALVERO ACADEMY: MICHELE BEDIGIAN, SUE BUROKER, ALEX CHARNER, SARA DILIPLANE, CHRISTINE FOLTZER, AUDREY HAWKINS, LABENIDA HUI, MARGARET HURST, APRIL KELLY, JEN KIAMZON, VERONICA LAWLOR, ROSA LEE, SI YEON LEE, BILL MARTIN, DANIELLE MCMANUS, NATHANIEL MILLER, KATI NAWROCKI, EDDIE PENA, TODD RAWSON, DOMINICK SANTISE, JEANETTE SIMMONS, JULIA SVERCHUK, EVAN TURK, AND LAURA VILA.
By AUDREY HAWKINS first saw the Charles W. Morgan on a cold Saturday in January 2009. Coming from what seemed to be a much warmer New York, I was shivering under layers of wool. I was struck by Mystic Seaport’s muted colors in the snow. But I was not prepared for the sight of the Morgan in drydock, and her height towering over me. Although I knew she had been used to hunt whales, she seemed like a whale herself, come ashore, tangled in scaffolding. This was the impression I tried to communicate in my first drawings of the Morgan. I was at the Museum for a weekend of reportage drawing with the Dalvero Academy, a school for drawing, illustration, design, and photography in Brooklyn, N.Y. Veronica Lawlor and Margaret Hurst, the school’s founders and instructors, often
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take the Dalvero artists on trips around the city and to locations in Florida, San Francisco, even Paris. Reportage drawing is a cornerstone of the school. We constantly practice drawing out in the world because in real life, people do not sit still for you. They amble, run, sing, or in pairs and groups, laugh, fight, kiss, and everything in between. Besides being excellent drawing practice, reportage can result in a document conveying a scene from the artist’s viewpoint. Drawing in the city, we have become inured to curious onlookers and vicissitudes of weather from 90-degree heat to torrential rains. At Mystic that January, it was so cold the ink froze onto the page. Prepared to use every circumstance, many of the artists used the texture of frozen ink to their advantage. Veronica and Margaret brought us to Mystic Seaport for the history and the romance.
tion Shipyard. When he saw Veronica and Margaret in the café, he asked them what they were doing. After giving him an explanation, Veronica recalls that he said that the Museum was restoring the Morgan, the only wooden whaleship left in America. Veronica said, “Wow, we would love to document that!” And Quentin replied, “We would love you to do that! Maybe we could have a little exhibit of some of the drawings.” The Morgan was a perfect reportage subject with enormous potential for illustration exploring a dizzying array of viewpoints: economic, historical, social,
ecological, mythical, personal. After our first visit, we came regularly, chronicling the restoration through drawing. At each visit, Quentin provided us with access to the interior of the vessel. Inside the echoing hull, he told us about the restoration, answering our questions and sharing his enthusiasm for the whaleship and his craft. Aside from reportaging the work on the Morgan, we were also hard at work on our own projects on subjects as varied as textiles, shipbuilding, and 19th-century homemaking — all threads that we followed from the ship to the wider world around it. For my part, I drew the Shipsmith Shop, the Mystic Print Shop, and, of course, the Morgan, looking for connections between the three. After each trip, our work proliferated until our small New
York apartments were bursting. No one knew if a show was in the cards, but we kept working for the love of it, because that is what we do. Naturally, we hoped. In June 2010, Veronica and Margaret assembled a portfolio of our projects, mainly to show Quentin what we had been doing. When Susan Funk, executive vice president, stopped by, Veronica and Margaret shared the portfolio with her. Susan loved the work and invited them to present it to the Museum Board. With the Board’s blessing, and the tireless work of Jonathan Shay, director of Exhibits, an exhibit of our work became a reality last spring. The opening of the show, “Restoring a Past, Charting a Future – An Artistic Discovery of America’s Whaling Legacy,” on May 19, was the culmina-
tion of more than two years of work. I do not think I was alone that night in feeling elated. More than that, I am grateful to my instructors and Mystic Seaport. The Museum gave us incredible access to knowledge, information, and stories that inspired us to communicate through art, which is the essence of illustration. They also embraced us and our work, and gave us a place on their walls to share that work with the Museum’s members, visitors, and staff. For more information about this exhibit, which is located on the second floor in the Stillman Building, and to view some of the art work, please visit www.mysticseaport.org/dalvero. The exhibit will stay open through the summer of 2013.
ARTWORK BY MARGARET HURST ARTWORK BY APRIL KELLY
Veronica envisioned “white swirls with the black masts sticking up, and small New England style buildings dotted around the property.” While trying to capture that romance in our drawings, we gleaned all the information we could from the exhibits and the knowledgeable staff. Our instructors assigned projects ranging from editorial illustrations to animation storyboards. They also encouraged us to follow our own ideas and to build projects around them. The assignments hone our illustration skills, and the personal
projects keep our own interests at the heart of our work. We must have stood out in the eyes of the Museum staff. We fanned out over the grounds, reading through the exhibits, making notes and drawings for posters, stamps, books, and animations. We did not act like regular tourists. We lingered in the snow, drawing and peppered the staff with questions, follow-up questions, and yet more questions. We were conspicuous at least to Quentin Snediker, director of the Henry B. duPont Preserva-
ARTWORK BY SUSAN BUROKER (BELOW)
Audrey Hawkins is one of the 24 artists of the Dalvero Academy.
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1812 WAR EXHIBIT By FRED CALABRETTA
n July 6, 2012, the collections of Mystic Seaport were well
represented when an exhibition entitled “The Rockets’ Red Glare: Connecticut and the War of 1812” opened at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New Lon-
MODEL OF AN ICON – USS CONSTITUTION OR “OLD IRONSIDES.” THE BASE IS MADE OF WOOD FROM THE ACTUAL SHIP. 1945.834
1812 WAR EXHIBIT don, CT. The exhibition and a recently published companion book are the culmination of a unique collaborative initiative involving the Museum and four other organizations in southeastern Connecticut. The exhibition was made possible with generous support from the Connecticut Humanities Council. Additional funding was provided by the Coby Foundation, Ltd., and the Edgard & Geraldine Feder Foundation. The development process for the exhibit lasted for two years and eight months – two months longer than the war! In response to a suggestion made by Meredith Brown, then president of
CONSTITUTION BATTLES HMS GUERRIERE. SCRIMSHAW WHALE’S TOOTH ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM PERRY. 1939.1746
the Stonington Historical Society, representatives of Mystic Seaport, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London County Historical Society, New London Maritime Society, and Stonington Historical Society met in November 2009 for the first of a series of meetings to develop a project commemorating the War of 1812. The bicentennial of that
little-known event provided an excellent opportunity to explore and interpret the war’s maritime connections and its substantial impact on the people of Connecticut. The project team decided that an exhibition and book would best convey the themes of this important period in Connecticut’s history. The partners identified abundant resources, including compelling documentation and unique and fascinating artifacts and images, all of which strongly support the meaningful telling of War of 1812 stories. Both the exhibition and book rely heavily on historic objects, images, manuscripts, publications, and other
“THE ROCKETS’ RED GLARE: CONNECTICUT AND THE WAR OF 1812” EXPLOITS OF HER SAILORS. “DECK OF THE U.S. FRIGATE CONSTITUTION”. WOOD ENGRAVING, 1851. 1939.7
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HUNDREDS OF ARMED, PRIVATELY OWNED VESSELS SUPPORTED THE AMERICAN WAR EFFORT. SOME ACHIEVED FAME, SUCH AS THE GENERAL ARMSTRONG AND HER CONNECTICUT-BORN CAPTAIN SAMUEL REID. COLORED LITHOGRAPH BY N. CURRIER, CA. 1830. L1959.1164
material drawn from the rich collections of the five organizations. A small number of selected objects from other sources further support the effort. The Lyman Allyn Art Museum on 625 Williams Street in New London offered gallery space for six months in 2012. Edward Baker, director of the New London County Historical Society, is overall project director and manager, Fred Calabretta is guest curator for the exhibition, and the principal author of the book is Glenn Gordinier, Mystic Seaport’s Robert G. Albion Historian. The war, which was fought between Great Britain and the United States from 1812 to 1815, was triggered by wide-ranging issues. Among the most significant was British interference with American ships and sailors. This harassment inspired the popular slogan “free trade and sailor’s rights,” which also highlights the war’s important ties to American maritime trade and naval activity. Many of the war’s most important events occurred on the water, including the high seas, lakes, and rivers. Consequently, exhibit visitors will see material
representing the maritime experience and sailors’ lives, such as ship models, rare documents, paintings, and prints. The War of 1812 and the trade-restricting embargo that preceded it severely hampered maritime commerce, causing financial loss and hardship for the people of Connecticut. A British coastal blockade of Connecticut’s coast brought a more direct impact. This enemy presence resulted in harassment, raids, the destruction of ships, and several notable attacks, all of which combined to bring the war home to Connecticut. One of the key goals of the exhibition is to humanize the story by revealing the war-time experiences and feelings of Connecticut’s citizens, virtually all of whom found their lives dramatically affected by a war most of them opposed. The stories of a young Stonington farmer-turned-soldier and a patriotic Groton woman are among those highlighted, giving visitors a feel for life in Connecticut during a very trying period. Connecticut’s citizen soldiers—the state’s militia— served in large numbers during
the war, especially in defense of the coast. Their important role is represented by a pair of rare uniform coats and additional objects and images. American naval successes, particularly early in the war, contributed to our national identity by playing a major role in establishing sailors and the navy as iconic symbols of our country. A selection of art, scrimshaw, popular culture items, and musical selections illustrate this important aspect of the war’s influence on American life. Connecticut experienced a lasting impact as a result of the war, which ended without a clear victor. Several additional groups of objects reflect the war’s legacy. Among these are images and items associated with some of the war’s heroes, especially those with strong Connecticut ties such as naval officers Isaac Hull and Thomas Macdonough and Groton heroine Anna Warner Bailey. Among the most dramatic Connecticut events during the war was a four-day bombardment of the village of Stonington by a powerful squadron of Royal Navy ships. An impressive selection of distinctive artifacts brings to light the dangers faced by Stonington’s residents and a spirited group of defenders. This battle has also given the exhibition its signature artifact –
Stonington’s battle flag. This 12’ by 18’ American flag flew over the village during the British attack. Prized for two centuries by the people of Stonington, this rare flag may be considered Connecticut’s own Star-Spangled Banner. The exhibition goes beyond important naval and military themes by also focusing on the war’s impact and meaning for all of Connecticut’s citizens. Among the objects conveying this key theme are several early views and maps, a tea set saved by a local woman as the British threatened to come ashore in Stonington, and a plow abandoned by a local farmer as he rushed off to defend Stonington. A pre-war dress sewn by an American woman using imported British cotton offers a poignant illustration of the subsequent disruption of trade and the war’s impact on the home front. Finally, three audio programs will further enhance the visitor experience. All were created by consummate audio producer Yves Feder. One presents a selection of War of 1812 music arranged and performed by Craig Edwards with the assistance of supporting musicians. Two others, developed from scripts written by Fred Calabretta, use sound effects and the actual words of War of 1812 participants and witnesses – read by actors – to capture a powerful sense of time and place.
LEFT, THIS UNIQUE, EMBROIDERED SEA BAG APPEARED ON “ANTIQUES ROADSHOW” IN 2001. IT DATES TO ABOUT 1840 AND FEATURES IMAGES INSPIRED BY THE WAR OF 1812. 2000.178.
Fred Calabretta is Curator of Collections & Oral Historian at Mystic Seaport.
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MY MYSTIC SEAPORT
MY MYSTIC SEAPORT
MY MYSTIC We all tend to have our
favorite spots and activities at Mystic Seaport. Mystic Seaport Magazine grabbed a pen and a pad and went out on the Museum grounds to catch some various “voices” and get some answers to the question: “What is your BERNIE KALINOWSKI
Mystic Seaport?” “I love volunteering at Mystic Seaport,” says Bernadette “Bernie” Kalinowski, Norwich, CT, who has volunteered at the Museum for seven years and eight months. One day a week, she is an interpreter splitting her time between the Chandlery and Bringhurst Drugstore. On another day, she catalogs manuscripts and does other related work in the Collections Research Center (CRC). What is your Mystic Seaport? “I especially enjoy meeting and talking to people from all over the world. The children who come to the Museum can be great fun if you engage them and make them realize that history is not boring. So, whether
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FRED AND FRAN ROFFE
I am working in an exhibit or reading a letter from an 1812 prisoner of war to the purser of his ship begging for his salary so he can buy himself socks, I enjoy it all.” Longtime Museum members Fran and Fred Roffe, Hampton Bays, N.Y., first visited Mystic Seaport with their 40-foot boat True Love in 1968. Since becoming members of the Museum in 1979, they have not missed docking at Mystic Seaport at least once a year. Fran and Fred, who are doing the maintenance of True Love themselves, have won the Owner Maintained Power Prize at the WoodenBoat Show in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011 (second in 2010). What is your Mystic Seaport? “We have spent most of our summers since 1968 cruising on True Love, and have visited many beautiful ports, but none can compare with staying at Mystic Seaport. As we age, we have become more selective about where we travel and now spend most of our boating time at the Museum. There is so much to see and do, so even after being there for more than a week we feel that we’re leaving
too soon. We’ve made so many friends among the staff and volunteers that we say, ‘We’re almost home,’ when we arrive at the Mystic River.” Paul O’Pecko, Westerly, R.I., began working for Mystic Seaport in 1984 in the G.W. Blunt White Library. Now vice president of Collections and Research, Paul works with all the non-boat collections, which includes, “art, books, objects, photos, film, manuscripts, naval architecture plans, charts, maps, and more,” he says. What is your Mystic Seaport? “While my natural professional bias tends toward the Museum’s collections, whether researching in logbooks, rare books, or in the painting collection or elsewhere, my most enjoyable moment came as a visitor to Mystic Seaport somewhere around 1995. My wife and I brought our young daughters to an American Girl Dolls event held on the Museum grounds. The memory of them, dressed as American Girl Doll characters, kicking up their heels to the music in the gazebo on the Village Green is one I will not soon forget. Mystic Seaport really can be a magical place.”
William “Bill” McKenzie, Mystic, CT, became a member in 2004 and has been a volunteer since 2008. “I’m working as ‘relief’ two days a week up in the Shipyard Gallery, and one day a week at the exhibits at the North End of the Museum, wherever I’m needed,” Bill says. What is your Mystic Seaport? “I have never had a poor day at the Museum whether I’m assisting staff, or discussing and explaining exhibits to visitors, or sitting quietly by the river. If I have to choose, I would say my most enjoyable experiences are visiting the exhibits on my offtime to listening to the exchange between the interpreters and visitors. Mystic Seaport is a special and most pleasant place, and I have never heard of anyone who has not gained knowledge during their visits here.” Another one of the “locals” is Joe Callaghan, Mystic, CT, who has been volunteering for 13 years at the Museum, in the Shipyard, Rosenfeld Collection, and Ship Plans. Right now he is working in the Library and The Maritime Art Gallery. Recently, Joe’s wife, Cindy, also began volunteering, greeting visitors in the Visitor Center. What is your Mystic Seaport? “My Mystic Seaport is just that – the whole museum! It has a unique group of qualified and capable people working on a truly unique piece of geography with a priceless collection of artifacts. It’s a privilege to work with these people and artifacts. In the Library we are a team of volunteers working behind the scene on things that have a positive impact on the Museum. For instance, every year our team (Bill Healy, Jake Wise, Jim Good, Chris Morren, Jim Giblin, and I) sets up a book sale during the WoodenBoat Show. The
sale normally nets $4,000 for the Museum, and between 1,500 and 2,000 surplus books will be disposed of in the process. It takes a lot of work. Otherwise, just to have regular access to the Museum is an honor.” Mats Andersson and his two children, 10-year-old Andreas and 13-year-old Susanna, of Stockholm, Sweden, were visiting the Museum for the first time in the beginning of May this year. Mats, who has been a boater for decades, is among other things a board member of the Society Briggen Tre Kronor in Sweden, which has some three thousand enthusiasts supporting the wooden 35m/115-foot brig Tre Kronor af Stockholm, which was launched in 2005 in Stockholm. She is now sailing every summer and used in the Sustainable Seas Initiative to promote the Baltic Sea environment and develop young people’s cooperation and leadership in the Baltic region. What is your Mystic Seaport? “What I really enjoyed with the Museum was the wide and encompassing picture of life at sea as well as the shore infrastructure required for building, maintaining, and operating boats and ships in the 19th century. I was very impressed with what Mystic Seaport has achieved when it comes to the Charles W. Morgan, Joseph Conrad, and all the other vessels in context of the seafaring village. The Museum staff and volunteers were so friendly and keen to share their knowledge. Of course, I found my favorite boat, a beauty named Emma C. Berry that would be a dream to take out on open water. My daughter, on the other hand, was fascinated that a cute Danish lighthouse tender, Gerda III, had found her way to the Museum.”
David Childs, Stuart, FL, is a man who is wearing many Mystic Seaport hats. He has been a member for eight years, when he also began volunteering in the Shipyard. Four years ago, David became staff, alternating being the Captain for either the Museum’s water shuttle Necessity or the steamboat Sabino. He has a most unusual commute to work. In early spring, David leaves Florida with his trawler Calypso and sails for six weeks on the Intracoastal Waterway and the Chesapeake, arriving at Mystic in early May. During the first part of his work season he volunteers: painting, caulking, varnishing, and cleaning boats. “I really enjoy working with the staff and other volunteers in the Shipyard. When the Museum’s boating season begins, I become Captain of Necessity and Sabino,” David says. What is your Mystic Seaport? “It’s the connection with the public. Sharing the history, showing how things were done, listening to the visitors’ stories and telling them our stories. The connection is Mystic Seaport and that is what makes me smile all day long.” A fairly new member of the Museum staff is Gretchen Oat, Preston, CT, who began working as supervisor of gardens at the end of October 2011. What is your Mystic Seaport? “The Museum’s preparation for the summer gardens begins early in the year while the grounds are quite asleep. Our seeds arrive in late January/early February. We promptly begin our first seeding by mid-February. That time of the year, I love walking into the greenhouse first thing in the morning while it’s still frosty cold outside to peek in at our germination tables to see which of our spring seeds have popped up. It’s this little patch of paradise that makes me so happy.” FALL/WINTER 2012
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Why Read Moby-Dick? BY NATHANIEL PHILBRICK (VIKING, 2011, 144 PP) Reviewed by MATTHEW STACKPOLE
Why Read Moby-Dick? is an elegantly presented
SHUCKED by Erin Byers Murray To get a break from her big-citygirl life, food and lifestyle writer Erin Byers Murray of Boston headed out to the coastal town of Duxbury, MA, for an eighteenmonth stint working on an oyster farm. The result, Shucked, is an entertaining, personal tale about the business of oysters, and about early, freezing-cold, wet winter days with fun-loving, hardworking, mud-digging New England oyster farmers, who know the right way to “shuck” an oyster. Murray has sprinkled every chapter with seafood recipes, mostly with oysters, of course. This is a book for oyster lovers.
small book that deals with a very big book. In his book Nathaniel Philbrick insightfully covers not only the content, context, and creation of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, but also illuminates the significant historic and human themes that are its fabric and the reason for its timeless relevance. Moby-Dick, he says, “is a book that was written for the future.” Philbrick is uniquely qualified to be our guide to understanding why Moby-Dick should be read. As a writer himself, his understanding of and empathy for Melville’s process of creating the book and the human context, both personal and professional, within which it was done provide stimulating insights about its content and its author. His depth of knowledge about the “Whale Fishery” and its history was honed as he wrote In The Heart Of The Sea, the 2000 winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction, which is the true story of the sinking of the Nantucket whaleship Essex by an enraged bull sperm whale in the Pacific in 1820. Why Read Moby-Dick? seamlessly interweaves the story of Melville the writer with insights and explanations about various passages and chapters of MobyDick. We learn, for example, that Melville drew inspiration from the great tales of Shakespeare and from his near neighbor Nathaniel Hawthorne, whom he admired immensely and to whom he dedicated Moby-Dick. Philbrick tells us that Melville has created “A Mighty Messy Book” whose fundamental themes and conflicts reflect the contradictory forces that were fermenting in the evolving nation of the mid-19th century; most powerfully the simmering issue of slavery that divided the country, resulted in the Civil War, and raised issues which are not fully resolved today. Philbrick recognizes that Moby-Dick contains elegant, eloquent writing, such as the “beautiful, carefully modulated final sentence” of the chapter about Nantucket, which he describes as a “little sidebar of miraculous prose, one of many that Melville scatters like speed bumps throughout the book as he purposely slows the pace of his mighty novel to a magisterial crawl.” How is it that a book that was essentially ignored until after its author’s death and the arrival of a new century is now considered a classic, a must-read? What makes this book last, why is it so timeless? Philbrick suggests that its power and relevance come from the fact it encompasses the full spectrum of elemental forces, contradictions, and issues of the human condition. Thus “coming to it having accumulated essential life experiences can make all the difference.” Like a nautical pilot who, because of his great knowledge of the local waters, guides vessels safely through them, Philbrick, who admits to having read Moby-Dick twelve times but doesn’t comment on how many times he has dreamed about it, leads the reader effortlessly through the story of the book and its writing; leaving one with a deeper appreciation of its creation, content, and timeless relevance. But be warned, after reading this book it will be hard not to immediately read, or reread, Moby-Dick.
At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the White Star Line’s luxurious passenger ship Titanic sank in the North Sea after striking an iceberg, and approximately 1,517 lost their lives. One hundred years after this tragedy, the ocean liner’s fate still captivates the whole world. So, how much do you actually know about the Titanic? Did you know that it took sixty-two seconds to launch her, and twenty-two tons of tallow, soap, and train oil to grease the wooden platforms, or “ways,” so she could slide into the river? What was first served for the first lunch? (Rice soup, corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes, cabin biscuits and bread, and peaches and rice, for the third-class passengers, that is.) How many life jackets did the Titanic carry? (3,560, enough for everyone.) How many movie stars and murderers were on board the ship? Who was the “unsinkable” Molly Brown? Was the ship orchestra’s last song really “Nearer My God to Thee”? This entertaining book, with rare photographs and many illustrations, will give you 882 ½ answers about the Titanic that you need to know.
Matthew Stackpole is a former Executive Director of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and a major gifts officer and ship’s historian for the Charles W. Morgan Restoration Project.
TO ORDER THESE OR OTHER BOOKS, please call 860.572.5386. or email firstname.lastname@example.org
| Mystic Seaport Magazine |
POXED & SCURVIED by Kevin Brown With the “opening up of the oceans,” Kevin Brown writes in his well-written and interesting new book Poxed & Scurvied, came a cost, which was seen not only in the toll taken on the health of sailors on long voyages, but also in “the exchange of disease.” Every naval empire in the age of sail, whether it was Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, England, or others, had their ships carrying scurvy, flux, spotted fever, plague, smallpox, syphilis, and other infections. Brown tells stories about brave surgeons who tried to save lives from the horrifying times of the Black Death to the dreadful sinking of HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War.
882½ AMAZING ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TITANIC by H. Brewster & L. Coulter
DON’T FORGET YOUR 10% MEMBERS’ DISCOUNT! MEMBERS’ DOUBLE DISCOUNT DAYS NOV. 23-DEC. 2 REMEMBER WE SHIP ANYWHERE!
Hemingway’s Boat In January 2004, Karin Soderberg, associate director of Membership, began the Maritime Authors Series, which was then a small gathering of Museum members who came to enjoy a wine and cheese reception and a chat with a famous – or not so famous – author. The author would give a talk and maybe show some slides, and, at the end of the event, sign his or her latest book. “At that time,” Soderberg said, “I was grateful to get 10-15 people.” However, the popularity of the series increased, especially when the Library Fellows with Paul O’Pecko at the helm got behind the pro-
PAUL HENDRICKSON AND DANA HEWSON
gram. “When we switched to the Blunt White Building with its lovely library ambiance,” Soderberg continued, “the program really started to grow.” Over the past nine years, authors including Revel Carr (former director of Mystic Seaport), Llewellyn Howland, Mark Kurlansky, James Nelson, and Nathaniel Philbrick have come to talk about their books. Because of the increasing popularity of these events, the venue is now held in the River Room at Latitude 41° Restaurant. On April 25, for the last meeting of the Series this year, about 75 people had assembled to meet and listen to Paul Hendrickson, who talked enthusiastically about his latest
two biography subjects: Ernest Hemingway and his beloved boat Pilar. Hendrickson’s wellresearched and beautifully written 500-page book, Hemingway’s Boat (2011; paperback, July 2012), is not only about Hemingway’s boat per se, it is an interpretation of the great author’s life, the books he wrote, and the women and people he loved – or hated – during the time he owned Pilar, from 1934 until he ended his own life in 1961. While Hendrickson was researching Pilar, a 38-foot Wheeler Playmate built in 1934 at Wheeler Shipyard in Brooklyn, N.Y., he contacted Dana Hewson, vice president and Mystic Seaport’s Clark Senior Curator for Watercraft, who twice has visited Finca Vigía, Hemingway’s home in Cuba where Pilar is on display. As an expert who has done research
on Wheeler Playmates, Hewson has helped the Hemingway Foundation to establish which state Pilar was in. At Hewson’s second trip, the Cubans had renovated Hemingway’s boat. Introducing Hendrickson’s talk in April, Hewson said: “The Cubans have done a pretty good job restoring Pilar.” In March 2013, Hewson and National Trust architectural historian Dwight Young will lead a trip to Cuba to guide Museum members through some of Cuba’s cultural and architectural sites, including Hemingway’s Finca Vigía. For more information about this trip, contact Alexandra Alpert, director of Membership at 860.572.5382. For more information about upcoming authors at the 2013 Maritime Authors Series visit www.mysticseaport.org/members
Be an artist, or a poet, or both! Probably everyone knows the traditional round
song “Row, row, row your boat.” One of the earliest printings of the song, maybe even the first printing, is from 1852. Then the lyrics were almost the same as the ones we sing today, but the tune was different. The most popular version in our time is the following:
Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream.
Now, be an artist and try to draw a picture to illustrate the poem. Maybe you can pretend that you are in the boat rowing. Are you alone in the boat, or are there some of your siblings, parents or friends in the boat, too? Or maybe a little puppy? Is it a sunny day, or is it raining? Are there high waves, or is the water calm? Use your imagination. Then, find a painting, photograph or picture. What is happening in the painting? Write down some words describing objects in the painting. What do you think the artist would like to tell you? Try to write a poem about the picture. Good luck!
Elena, 3, and Antia, 5, Sannicandro from Scarsdale in N.Y., drew two beautiful pictures for the kids’ drawing contest in the Mystic Seaport Magazine’s Spring/Summer 2012 issue. They get a free Museum membership for their family for a whole year. Congratulations girls!
BY ELENA SANNICANDRO
BY ANTIA SANNICANDRO FALL FALL/WINTER / WINTER 2012
| Mystic Seaport Magazine | 19
NIGHT WATCH Dedicated in loving memory of Don Treworgy and Frank Murphy
My footsteps echo hollowly, Now Available! Small Deck Prism Hanger 2013 Classic Sailing Calendar
New Book on the War of 1812 The Rockets’ Red Glare: The War of 1812 and Connecticut, written by Mystic Seaport’s Glenn Gordinier, with contributions from another eight authors, has just been published by the New London County Historical Society. Though largely overlooked in the American narrative, the War of 1812 was a turning point for the nation, and for the state of Connecticut. This new book examines the many facets of America’s second major war, and its impact on destiny. The war was not a distant event for the residents of Connecticut, especially those who lived along the coast. Enemy warships attacked shipping and communities up and down Long Island Sound, and the state’s military and civilians responded. The region saw aerial bombardment, kidnapping, torpedo warfare, espionage, and improvised explosive devices. The Rockets’ Red Glare reflects the collaborative effort of five museums and historical societies which have created this book and a companion exhibit at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, to tell Connecticut’s story of the War of 1812, and place it in the context of larger national events. This book gathers a series of essays to provide international and national context to the issues and struggles in Connecticut. A series of sidebar articles provide more local connections, and full-color images of objects from the exhibit illustrate the topic. 112 pages, 8.5” x 11” format: Available for $18.00 at the Mystic Seaport Bookstore. Call: 860.572.5386 or email: email@example.com to order your copy. See also pages 14-15.
Mystic Seaport Magazine |
This stunning 16-month wall calendar for 2013 features 12 classic images from the Rosenfeld Collection at Mystic Seaport. Some of the most memorable moments in the history of sailing are captured in striking black and white photographs. Printed using recycled materials, priced at $13.99.
Gift Ideas Racing in the Wind ~ Rosenfeld Note Cards The art of maritime photography will always be in style, as will hand-written correspondence. Our boxed notes represent a mere snapshot of the images in the Rosenfeld Collection. All cards are blank inside, leaving room for your own personal creative message. Printed using recycled materials, priced at $14.95.
FALL / WINTER 2011
Introducing a new hanger now available for our small deck prism! Manufactured in the USA, made of steel and brass powder. Our deck prism hanger lets you display your authentic deck prism in its proper point-down position. This hanger is ideally suited for use in the garden but may also be mounted indoors to provide a decorative visual accent. Small deck prisms come in nine colors: deck prism green, dark green, red, cranberry, turquoise, light blue, lemon, cobalt, and crystal clear. Small prism $14.95 Small prism hanger $19.95 Large prism $24.95 Large prism hanger $19.95
on the cold slate sidewalks, as the night settles in, on the silent Seaport. The faint smell of banked, coal and wood stoves drifts by. On the waterfront, the pigeons murmur, in Clagett Boat Shed. The ice in the river, creaks, and snaps from the falling tide. The Lighthouse casts dim shadows in the gloom, as a wharf rat scurries in fright, under a pile of wood. A low groan of protest, sounds from sleeping ships, as an errant breeze blows by, stretching hawsers, and swaying masts. The clamshells on North Parade Dock, a left over from the seagulls repast, crunch and crackle, as I walk on them. The bell in the Greenmanville Church steeple, strikes three, as an approaching weather front, brings a light powdery snow, to Mystic. A grind and din from sand trucks, on Rt. 27, intrudes into the silence. The weather front passes, and leaves a chilly morning behind, as buildings stand dark, against the lightening east, morning sun, peers over the hill, and maintenance building, while strident calls from geese and gulls, signal no food from the river today. I retrace my steps over the slate and cobblestones, the guard shack door looms before me. My patrol is over.
Rosenfeld Fine Art Prints Stunning works of art, caught in time by two generations of the Rosenfeld family. Fine Art Decorative Silver Prints are the perfect gift for your sailing enthusiast. Comprising of nearly one million photographs, the Rosenfeld Collection at Mystic Seaport is the largest single collection of maritime photography in the world. Contact us about framing options – now available to make your gift-giving easier! Visit www.rosenfeldcollection.com to order and view many other of our Rosenfeld Collection products, including posters, notecards, and books. Or call 860.572.5383 x4706.
— Jerry Watkins (October 2011) Jerry Watkins retired from Mystic Seaport in 2010. He came to work at the Museum’s Facility Department, beginning in 1995, and then served as a security guard from 1996 until his retirement. He has previously worked at Electric Boat in Groton for nine years and then at the Fire Department at the Naval Submarine Base in New London, where he retired at the age of 55 after 26 years. Jerry, who began writing poems in high school, is still writing his poems by hand. Don Treworgy (1939-2009) worked at the Planetarium at Mystic Seaport for 48 years, first as a supervisor, later as its director. The Planetarium was renamed the Treworgy Planetarium in his honor in May 2009. Frank Murphy (1918-2011) was a devoted volunteer at Mystic Seaport for more than 35 years, accruing more than 10,000 hours. Known as the Museum’s “clock man,” Frank repaired, wound, and maintained many of the institution’s 18th-and 19th-century clocks.
What’s Up? Boo! For the second year in a row, Mystic Seaport offers the spooky Halloween event Sights & Frights. Follow the carved pumpkins lightning your way through the Museum’s 19th-century seafaring village. Go through the haunted ship, if you dare. Families with young children can take the “non-creepy” path which leads to fun activities for the young ones (October 19, 20, 26 & 27).
Give me candy… Dress up in your favorite costume – and the children in theirs – for this year’s Trick-or-Treat at the Museum. Perfect for children 10 years of age and younger. Bring your own big or small trick-or-treat bag and get it loaded with candy from all the “spooks” in the village. Pumpkin carving contest for all ages. Free for members, non-member child $5 (October 31).
Shop till you drop! We will happily help Museum members with your holiday shopping. Starting on November 23, it’s time again for Members’ Double Discount Days. Members get 20% off almost everything in the store and online – exceptions are sale items, original art, and John Stobart prints (November 23-December 2).
Following the Lantern Light Lantern Light Tours at Mystic Seaport have become a real New England holiday tradition. For the 33rd year, step back in time to Christmas Eve 1876 to follow the hard-working villagers of Greenmanville. Reservations are strongly recommended, please call 860.572.5322 for information (starting December 1).
Naughty or nice? Jump-start the holidays with your children at Mystic Seaport. Bring the kids to meet Santa Claus in the Membership Building between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. He is eager to hear if they have been good and if they have any special Christmas wishes (December 8).
Get in the holiday spirit One of the oldest traditions at Mystic Seaport is the annual Community Carol Sing. Now for the 57th season, bring a canned good for the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center to enjoy the Museum and the Carol Sing for free. Get in the holiday spirit by listening to the Mystic Seaport Carolers, and join in as Jamie Spillane leads the Carol Sing at 3 p.m. (December 23). FALL / WINTER 2011
| Mystic Seaport Magazine | 21
FROM THE COLLECTIONS
The Story about a Picture by Maribeth Bielinski
PASSING THE TIM E
ince the founding of Mystic Seaport roughly 80 years ago, our collection has grown steadily, encompassing almost every conceivable facet of maritime history. The Museum acts as the steward of a tremendous collection of unique objects that help tell the story of our nation and its relationship to the sea. The Collections Research Center (CRC) is the repository for those collections and the CRC staff are the keepers. Of all the items in this vast assemblage, one category that repeatedly draws awe and praise from staff and researchers alike is the ships’ manuscripts, specifically the logbooks. When visitors step inside the CRC and request a logbook from the vast collection of manuscripts on file, it is often for the purpose of genealogical research, vessel inquiries, whaling history, or other factfinding pursuits. A typical logbook contains daily entries recording pertinent information affecting the ship, such as location, weather, wind direction, crew activity, whales caught, barrels of oil produced, as in this example, “Tuesday, May 12th 1857 — Commences with moderate breezes and fine cool weather, on the larboard tack, under all sail…” (MSM Log 503 schooner Richard Mott). Although logbooks are valued for their preservation of tangible (who, what, where, when) data, my experience shows that the true (and often overlooked) treasure within many logbooks is not what is officially recorded in the journal, but rather what has sometimes been scribbled on or around the margins of the pages by the First Mate or the Captain. A fine example of this can be seen in the logbook from the U.S.S. Frigate Columbia from May 6, 1838 to June 16, 1840 (MSM Log 167). This logbook was kept by Commodore
Mystic Seaport Magazine |
George C. Read, who we also assume was the artist of some wonderful watercolors. The caption accompanying this illustration reads, “In a Typhoon or Hurricane with lots of Sails — Off the Coast of China 7th, 8th, & 9th of August 1839.” Aside from the beautiful illustrations, the logbook from the Columbia also acts as a scrapbook and artist’s portfolio, containing poems and miscellaneous newspaper clippings that are carefully pasted within the pages. Here are the two first stanzas in the poem “The Ocean”:
The awful spirits of the deep, Hold their communion there; And there are those for whom we weep, The young, the bright, the fair. The ocean hath its silent caves, Deep, quiet, and alone; Though there be fury in the waves Beneath them there is none.
When a man was away from home for extended periods of time, many days spent at sea performing mundane and repetitious duties, it is understandable that his mind would wander to a place far from the realities of shipboard life. The effects of boredom can be seen in the drawings and scribbling found in many journals. In a time long before Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, illustration was the mariner’s method of expressing his individuality, frustration, and passion. These “accessory” items or notes, often hastily drawn around the daily logbook entries, are priceless not only for the artistic license and personalization they provide, but for the familiarity and understanding that they create for readers of the 21st century. Who does not or has not ever doodled when bored? Through these historical flights of fancy, today's reader can come to a deeper understanding and unexpected personal connection to the author and activities of the past. Maribeth Bielinski is the Collections Access Manager at Mystic Seaport’s Collections Research Center.
…what you can do for Mystic Seaport. Our strength lies in our community of members, friends, volunteers, and staff — a tradition of support since 1929. You can help to preserve this tradition and maintain this extraordinary place by investing in Mystic Seaport with an unrestricted gift for the Annual Fund. Last year we raised more than $1 million in unrestricted gifts. This year the need is greater and we have to do even better. Every gift of every size is important. Here are some examples of what your unrestricted dollars can do:
$65 buys five acid-free document boxes for the safe keeping of our ship’s logs $100 provides a 2 month supply of paint brushes for the care of the Museum’s small craft collection
$300 purchases 10 yards of fabric for a costume for one of the role players $370 buys one ton of coal for the Sabino so that she can take visitors for a cruise on the Mystic River
$437 provides 5 gallons of bottom paint for the preservation of our large historic vessels (30 gallons are needed for each vessel)
To get more information about Mystic
and online resources, please visit http://library.mysticseaport.org
$690 is the cost of giving one child the overnight sailing camp experience on the Joseph Conrad
Seaport’s Collections Research Center
$1,300 buys a 6 month supply of food used for the fireplace cooking demonstration in the Buckingham-Hall House
$2,000 to $3,000
is the cost of restoring one oil painting in preparation for an exhibit No matter how much you choose to give, be assured that we are extremely grateful for your support. Your gift will make a difference.
FALL | WINTER 2012
FALL | WINTER 2011
75 Greenmanville Avenue PO Box 6000 Mystic, CT 06355-0990 Dated Material Do not hold
give a full year of
fun. it’s surprisingly easy to wrap.
Give a Mystic Seaport
MEMBERSHIP. Get $5 off and an exclusive 13-month Mystic Seaport wall calendar for FREE when you purchase a Mystic Seaport gift membership — give a year of free unlimited admission, a free subscription to Mystic Seaport Magazine, special discounts at Latitude 41o Restaurant and Tavern, our stores, and on classes and camps. To purchase a gift membership (or just a calendar), visit www.mysticseaport.org/givethegift or call 860.572.5339.