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FROM HULL TO HOME

STREAMLINED MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM MAGAZINE • SPRING / SUMMER • 2019


ON LAND AND AT SEA UNIQUE SUMMER CAMPS

AT MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM! Mystic Seaport Museum has a variety of fun summer camps for children and youth ages 4-18. Where else could your child experience hands-on maritime skills on the campus of a living history museum? Here they can sail on the schooner Brilliant, sleep on board a historic ship, the Joseph Conrad, and learn how to sail on the scenic Mystic River. This year, we brought back some popular day camps, including LEGO® camps, Float Box Derby: Create and Row Your Own Unique Vessel, Build a Bevin Skiff, and a Race Clinic Week. We have also added a new joint camp with Project Oceanology. For more information, visit www.mysticseaport.org/summercamps


CONTENTS

MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM MAGAZINE is a publication of Mystic Seaport Museum PRESIDENT STEPHEN C. WHITE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT SUSAN FUNK CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER DAVID PATTEN SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR CURATORIAL AFFAIRS NICHOLAS BELL SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR ADVANCEMENT LAURA HOPKINS EDITOR GÖRAN R BUCKHORN editor@mysticseaport.org PRODUCTION SUSAN HEATH

SPRING / SUMMER

20

DESIGN KAREN WARD DESIGN CONTRIBUTORS ELISSA BASS ANNE EDGAR CHRIS FREEMAN LLEWELLYN HOWLAND LAURA HOPKINS ARLENE MARCIONETTE DAN MCFADDEN

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2019 IN THIS ISSUE

PAUL O’PECKO SHERRI RAMELLA QUENTIN SNEDIKER PHILIP TANKARD JOHN URBAN

SEASCAPES............................................................... 4 ADVANCEMENT NEWS.......................................... 6-10 MUSEUM BRIEFS.................................................. 11-13

PHOTOGRAPHY KANE BORDEN

ANDY PRICE

JOE MICHAEL

TATE, LONDON, UK

WHY TURNER?......................................................... 15

MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVES

COMING EXHIBITION: J.M.W. TURNER.................. 16-17 NEW EXHIBITION:

ON THE COVER: The Museum’s exhibition, Streamlined: From Hull to Home, will open on June 15 in the Collins Gallery, Thompson Exhibition Building. Photo: Rosenfeld Collection, Mystic Seaport Museum. 85741FP.

CONTACT US VISITOR INFORMATION: 860.572.5315 ADMINISTRATION: 860.572.0711 ADVANCEMENT: 860.572.5365 MEMBERSHIP: 860.572.5339 PROGRAM RESERVATION: 860.572.5331 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 SPRING AND SUMMER SCHEDULES. ADDRESS: 75 GREENMANVILLE AVE. P.O. BOX 6000 MYSTIC, CT 06355-0990 WWW.MYSTICSEAPORT.ORG

STREAMLINED: FROM HULL TO HOME.................... 18-19 NEW EXHIBITION: MARY MATTINGLY’S OPEN OCEAN ............................ 20 BY THE NUMBERS: WATERCRAFT COLLECTION............ 21

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THE WATERCRAFT COLLECTION........................... 22-24 THE STORY BEHIND THE MUSEUM FLAG...................... 25 SUMMER AT THE MUSEUM .................................. 26-27 ON BOOKS ....................................................... 28-29 FROM THE COLLECTIONS ........................................ 30 EVENTS AT MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM ...................... 31

Exhibit curator Matthew Bird holding a stylish vacuum cleaner featured alongside boats, engines, and housewares in the exhibition Streamlined: From Hull to Home.

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

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SEASCAPES

We’re pleased to share this issue of

it to say that the Gallery Quadrangle proj-

the Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine. In

ect, anchored by the Thompson Exhibition

fact, we have so much to share with you

Building, symbolizes both his strength as a

that we’ve had to add additional pages

leader and his generosity. We are fortunate

to our standard format. The combination

to have a leader like Mike ready to take

of programming and exhibitions in 2018

over from Barclay. Mike more than dem-

along with the new, major exhibitions and

onstrated his leadership ability when he

changes for 2019 generated a jam-packed

served as chair of the Gallery Quadrangle

Magazine, which we hope you’ll enjoy.

Project Team that brought us Centerbrook

At Mystic Seaport Museum, launches of

Architects and Chad Floyd, who designed

vessels like the Charles W. Morgan and the

the Thompson Exhibition Building. Mike is a

Mayflower II generally require months of

maritime businessman and lifelong sailor,

planning and typically draw great fanfare

and his deep appreciation for the sea and

in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Ship-

Mystic Seaport Museum is sure to serve

yard. During the summer of 2018, however, there were significant launches at the Mystic Seaport Museum Sailing Center, which may not have drawn international coverage but which were exceptionally meaningful to the designer and builder of each vessel. I’m referring to the Float Box Derby, which was a new element to our community sailing program. Nine young budding naval architects applied their new understanding of what makes a successful boat, used basic materials, and then, upon completion, launched them in the Mystic River. If you haven’t seen the video

SEASCAPES

FLOAT THAT

BOAT

us well during his tenure as Board Chair. Mystic Seaport Museum celebrates its 90th anniversary on Christmas Day 2019. It is an important milestone for any organization to attain, and thus it is only fitting that we begin our anniversary with the October 5 opening of our next exhibition: J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate. A driving vision for the McGraw Gallery Quad project was the ability to bring to the Museum the finest exhibitions from the world’s leading museums. Without the Thompson Exhibition Building, hosting the Turner exhibition would never have been

yet, please go to www.mysticseaport.

a reality. With Turner, we will have now

org/learn/summer-camps/. It’s bound to

hosted exhibitions from Tate London; the

make you smile!

Yale Beinecke Library; Gustavianum, Up-

I’m confident that our newest naval

psala University Museum; Canadian Mu-

architects and their families will take some

seum of History; and the Royal Museums

interest in our next exhibition in the Collins

Greenwich. These exhibitions exemplify the

Gallery, Streamlined: From Hull to Home,

goals of our Era of Exhibitions and satisfy

which is opening on June 15. In it, we will

the vision to reimagine the interchange

see not only advances in naval architec-

between maritime heritage and broader

ture from the early 20th century as found

contemporary culture. Speaking of which,

in our collection, but also find examples of

stay tuned for exhibitions funded by the

how design theory extended throughout all aspects of our recreational and daily lives, as streamlining

Luce Foundation. The first one coming up on August 10 in the R.J. Schaefer Building.

took its lead and inspiration from naval architecture. Let’s see

Please enjoy the Magazine, as it speaks so directly to the

if some of our community sailors in the Float Box Derby this

energy at the Museum and the manner in which we are fulfilling

summer incorporate streamlining into their unique creations!

our operational and strategic goals.

At our Annual Meeting on May 18, our members witnessed an important transition in leadership at Mystic Seaport Museum, as

See you in Streamlined!

J. Barclay Collins, II, completed his six-year term as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and turned the gavel over to Michael S. Hudner, who has served the Museum as a trustee since 2004. Barclay’s impact on the Museum has been significant, as you can read on pages 6-7 in this issue of the Magazine, but suffice

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| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

STEPHEN C. WHITE, President


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SPRING / SUMMER 2019

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

B Y LAU R A H O PK I N S J. Barclay Collins, II, Chair of the Board of Trustees, stepped down in May 2019 after leading the institution for six years. Fortunately, he will continue to serve a vital role on the Museum’s Board, though the mantle of leadership has passed on to Michael S. Hudner. When Barclay started his tenure at Mystic Seaport Museum, the Charles W. Morgan had not yet been hauled for her major restoration Barclay Collins, with the Charles W. Morgan in the background during her 38th Voyage in 2014.

CHAIRMAN BARCLAY COLLINS STEPS DOWN

and the Gallery Quad Project was still a work in progress. While Barclay’s accomplishments are many, spearheading the successful conclusion of the Thompson Exhibition Building and leading the Museum into a new Era of Exhibitions stand out. His ability to inspire new levels of giving has transformed the institution. I spent a little time with Barclay recently

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. ­—George Bernard Shaw

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SPRING / SUMMER 2019

and asked him to reflect on his experiences at the Museum. You have been involved in leading not-for-profit organizations for more than 30 years. What has sparked your dedication to serving in this way?

My non-profit service and philanthropy comes from a deeply held belief that one has an obligation


A D VA N C E M E N T N E W S to help make the world a better

My dear friends Charlie

at Mystic Seaport Museum will

weather, I know my friends will

place. This conviction led to my

Hamm and Richard Vietor in-

have a lifelong impact on their

have a delightful experience.

involvement in many cultural,

troduced me to this magical

character. That alone is worth

The waterfront in the summer

educational, and preservation

place and encouraged my in-

every minute of time and in-

offers a plenitude of activities

organizations and others dedi-

volvement. I haven’t regretted

vestment I have made in this

and programs and provides

cated to population health and

a moment of it!

great institution.

a captivating way to pass

protecting the environment.

Share some insights into your

What is your favorite

an afternoon.

leadership style.

Museum vessel?

What are some of your

George Bernard Shaw said it so eloquently, and, like him, I be-

The most effective boards

As a passionate and loyal

lieve it is my privilege to devote

strike a proper balance be-

boat owner, my own boat will

We have gardens at our

my energy and resources to

tween setting strategic pri-

always be my favorite. India

home in Sharon, Connecti-

helping make my community

orities, overseeing and sup-

is a 1966 wood ketch, custom

cut, which are English-style

a better place.

porting the chief executive

P.L. Rhodes design. Visiting

with many perennial borders.

Why Mystic Seaport Museum?

officer and senior staff, being

the Museum by boat offers

Gardening is an avid hobby

philanthropic, connecting oth-

a completely different expe-

of mine, and I am currently

ers with the organization, and

rience and gives one a new

Chairman of the New York

not micro-managing! I feel

perspective on this historic

Botanical Garden. I have also

my lifetime of experience in

institution. India does spend

been involved in health care

non-profit board governance,

quite a bit of time dockside

for many years, and I am cur-

my passion for maritime his-

at Mystic Seaport Museum

rently Chairman of the United

tory, and my love of Mystic

each summer.

Hospital Fund of New York and

Seaport Museum have all con-

Where do you like to spend time

on the Board of the Brooklyn

Mystic Seaport Museum combines my love of the sea and of history. My particular passion for history has its origins in my childhood in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Before my father started a successful business career, he was a farmer. I spent many happy

tributed to my ability to lead

hours roaming the Gettys-

this organization.

burg battlefield’s beautiful

What is your proudest

landscape and imagining our

accomplishment at the Museum?

country 100 years ago. I have always had a deep and abiding love of the sea and wooden sailing boats. I simply enjoy being on the water.

when you visit the Museum?

other interests?

Hospital Center. I devote en-

I enjoy bringing my friends

ergy as a board member to

to the Museum to see the lat-

several other organizations

est exhibitions and to visit the

as well. Do you have a vision for the

Let me just say that bring-

Collections Research Center.

ing my two grandsons here

Each exhibition this year has

to attend summer camp has

been excellent, engaging au-

brought me great satisfaction

diences in a distinct and ex-

and pride. Their experiences

citing way. Regardless of the

Museum’s future you would like to share with us?

A maritime museum teeming with visitors, “spinning the turnstiles,” who are eager to experience the delights of our waterfront activities, board our iconic vessels, and immerse themselves in our worldclass exhibitions that explore the intersection between our maritime heritage and contemporary issues—a maritime museum that has taken its place as one of the very finest in the world—that is my vision. If you would like to honor Barclay’s leadership with a gift in his honor, please call 860.572.5365. Laura Hopkins is senior vice president for Advancement.

Barclay Collins (right) with Mystic Seaport Museum President Steve White at the Morgan’s homecoming ceremony on August 6, 2014.

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

MICHAEL S. HUDNER:

NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE MUSEUM BOARD all walks of life and locations

BY LAURA HOPK INS Michael S. Hudner has served on the Board of Trustees for 15 years, and in May, Hudner became the 13th Chairman of the Board of Mystic Seaport Museum. He brings a wealth of knowledge and a passion for the Museum. “We are blessed with a remarkably strong set of institutional assets at Mystic Seaport Museum, starting with the dedicated and highly competent staff, membership, donors, a great board of trustees, all superbly led by Barclay Collins for the past six years, extraordinary world-class collections afloat and ashore, and outstanding facilities,” Hudner said. Hudner’s involvement in the marine world started in adolescence, when he began racing small boats on Narragansett Bay while secretly yearning to sail over the horizon. He has enjoyed blue water racing and cruising ever since, and for the last 28 years, he has sailed his own Little Harbor sloop, Moonracer. As co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of B+H Shipping Group, an international bulk shipping enterprise, Hudner has engaged

8

should have the opportunity to learn about maritime history—it has historic and continuing relevance to our free and prosperous American society. This deeply held conviction has manifested not only in Hudner’s career but also in his philanthropic and volunteer pursuits. He has been a trustee at Hurricane Island Outward Bound School; a trustee of SEA, a Tall Ship semester at sea program for ocean science; and a member of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. Hudner enjoys and feels compelled to mentor and teach, drawing on knowledge and “lessons learned” during his life, including his personal life. He and his daughter, Bay, are the surviving members of his family after two tragic losses: his son, Rip, in 2004, and his wife of 40 years, Hope, in 2016. These painful losses clarified for him what is really important in life. “A tremendous amount has been accomplished since I joined the Museum board 15 years ago, and now it is time to put the next leg in place,” Hudner said. “Our inspirational late trust-

in global issues facing seaborne

ee, Wade Thompson, was

transportation for more than

purposeful and looked for re-

four decades.

sults. For him, transformational

He believes the marine

change in practice meant ‘get-

world—boats, ships, the sea,

ting the turnstiles spinning.’ I

voyaging, and the environ-

am taking my cue from Wade.”

ment—is a medium for learn-

Hudner continued, “Audi-

ing and personal development.

ence development—broader,

Living on a vessel on the ocean

deeper, and younger—building

means accepting risks and pre-

on our amazing institutional as-

paring for them. People from

sets and traditions must be our

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

“Audience development—

priority. We need to refresh our

broader, deeper, and

and discover a whole new way

relevance in a changing world

younger—building on

of marketing to new audienc-

our amazing institutional

who do not know the Museum is

assets and traditions must be our priority.”

es. Effectively reaching people our biggest opportunity and our most urgent challenge. “I expect that unimagined ways of thinking about what we can offer our public in furtherance of our mission will come out of the efforts being made for the Era of Exhibitions. We want Wade and Angela Thompson to be proud of how we followed their vision and generosity.” Laura Hopkins is senior vice president for Advancement.


S A V E

T H E

O c t o b e r

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

D A T E :

3 0 ,

measure the impacts of human

2 0 1 9

activity and climate change on the ocean,” said Mrs. Schmidt.

BY SHERRI RAMEL L A

“We also fund development of

Mystic Seaport Museum

remarkable new technologies

is delighted to announce the

that can help protect ocean

recipient of the 2019 America

resources. And finally, we en-

and the Sea Award: American

courage investment in new

businesswoman and philan-

industrial materials and new

thropist Wendy Schmidt.

circular production processes

Mrs. Schmidt has focused

that

much of her life’s work on ocean exploration and ocean

my work with the 2019 America

and inspired. She is president

and the Sea Award by Mystic

of The Schmidt Family Foun-

Seaport Museum.”

dation, which supports pro-

The celebratory annual

grams in renewable energy,

black tie event on October

healthy food and agriculture,

30 at the Metropolitan Club in

and human rights. Schmidt

New York City will begin with

Marine Technology Partners of

new ocean technologies with applications for conservation and research in areas including habitat health, marine

a cocktail reception with the

2019 AMERICA AND THE SEA AWARD:

WENDY SCHMIDT

For more information about the gala, please contact the

Schmidt Ocean Institute, which

Advancement Department at

operates the research vessel

860.572.5365 or advance-

Falkor, a mobile platform to ad-

ment@mysticseaport.org.

vance ocean exploration and

Sherri Ramella is Advancement

discovery. Since 2013, more

events manager.

than 500 scientists from 165 institutions and 30 countries

PA S T R E C I P I E N T S

have conducted research on R/V Falkor. Mrs. Schmidt has

the lead philanthropic partner of the New Plastics Economy Initiative, driven by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Schmidt

paddle raise, and entertain-

ets are $1,000.

husband Eric co-founded the

health and currently serves as

award presentation, auction,

$10,000-$50,000; single tick-

able fisheries. Schmidt and her

lenge Prizes focused on ocean

honoree, followed by dinner,

ment. Sponsorships range from

plastic pollution, and sustain-

sponsored two XPRIZE Chal-

today’s

I’m grateful to be honored for

tions she has founded, led,

development

make

economy a thing of the past.

health through the organiza-

supports

could

wasteful, linear, single-use

race managers and athletes to

ing maritime museum, Mystic

be leaders and spokespeople

Seaport Museum stands with

on restoring ocean health.

leaders, such as Mrs. Schmidt,

2018

Dawn Riley and Oakcliff Sailing

2017

David Rockefeller, Jr., and Sailors for the Sea

2016 Bob and Rod Johnstone – J/Boats 2015

Nathaniel Philbrick

2014

Charles A. Robertson

critically endangered oceans,

2013

Gary Jobson

and influence change.

2012 Jon Wilson and WoodenBoat

Given the enormous impact

in their efforts to highlight our

Mrs. Schmidt has had on the advancement of science and knowledge surrounding climate

“I’m happy to join the dis-

change and its effect on ris-

tinguished group of past award

ing sea levels, a circumstance

recipients who focus on learn-

impacting Mystic Seaport Mu-

ing about and protecting the

2009 William I. Koch

Volvo Ocean Race and the Ves-

seum, we are excited to honor

ocean, whose value to human

tas 11th Hour Racing team to

her with the America and the

life is so often underestimated.

put sustainability at the core of

Sea Award. As a maritime insti-

My ocean work enables criti-

2008 Thomas B. Crowley, Jr., and the Crowley Maritime Corporation

their operations, empowering

tution, and the nation’s lead-

cally important research to

has extended her oceansfocused work to the sporting world through 11th Hour Racing, partnering with the 2017-2018

2011

The Honorable John F. Lehman

2010 Sylvia A. Earle

2007 David McCullough 2006 Olin J. Stephens, II

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

THE STONE FAMILY’S GENEROUS GIFT OPENS UP THE WATERCRAFT HALL BY JOHN URBAN

Bob enjoyed the sea and all

being tied to Bob’s work as a

Through the generosity of

types of ships that sailed on

member of Chubb’s Board of

a seven-figure pledge from a

it, from the H-12 he shared as

Directors.

trust established by the late

a child with his brother Galen,

Robert G. Stone, Jr., Mystic

the racing shells he powered

Seaport Museum is develop-

at Harvard, the landing craft he

ing conceptual plans to cre-

commanded in the Philippines

ate a significant portion of the

in the Second World War, the

Rossie Mill Building as a new

merchant ships that formed

storage and exhibition area

the basis of his business ca-

for boats.

reer, to a series of chartered

While a new Watercraft Hall exhibition area is still in the and be with others who felt the same.” As a member and leader of Mystic Seaport Museum, Bob was generous in giving his time, sharing his fundraising prow-

conceptual stage, it is exciting to imagine the realization of a new year-round space for the exhibition of small boats. Mystic Seaport Museum was most fortunate to be led by

Robert “Bob” G. Stone, Jr.,

and owned racing yachts on

was a longtime member and

which he spent his happiest

trustee of Mystic Seaport Muse-

hours. In the words of Bob’s

um, serving as Chairman of the

son Gregg, himself a longtime

Board of Trustees from 1989 to

member of the Museum, “My

1995. Bob’s name is well known

father loved watercraft of all

from his time as a member of

types. He rowed as a student,

the New York Yacht Club. His

inspired others to do the same,

leadership and sportsmanship

worked in commercial ship-

were evident on the world stage

ping, and found great joy,

Hall. In fact, Bob’s generosity to

in 1983 when he, as the com-

contentment, and learning by

the Museum was evident once

modore of the club, was called

being on the water. For him,

again in 2018, when the insur-

upon to transfer the America’s

Mystic Seaport Museum was of

ance company Chubb notified

Cup to Alan Bond after Australia

great importance as a leading

Mystic Seaport Museum that

II won an upset victory, captur-

center of maritime history, but

the Museum was the recipi-

ing the cup. Bob’s strong vision

the Museum was also a place

ent of a $500,000 corporate

porters to realize this wonder-

was likewise evident with the

on land where he could garner

gift. This was the result of a

ful opportunity.

key role he played in the club’s

that same sense of wonder and

designation Bob made prior to

acquisition of Harbour Court.

joy he had when on the water—

his passing in 2006, the gift

John Urban is director of Major

Robert G. Stone, Jr., at the helm of the S&S Yawl Aquene. Photo: Mystic Seaport Museum/Rosenfeld Collection.

10

Bob Stone, September 1975

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SPRING / SUMMER 2019

ess, and donating through his own giving. As someone who was familiar with the power of philanthropy, through his will, he created a charitable lead trust, and it was this trust that jump-started the re-envisioning of the Museum’s Watercraft

Bob Stone, and we are similarly grateful to Gregg Stone and his siblings for their support of the Museum and for a belief in the importance of preserving our maritime history and the lessons afforded by the sea. With Bob’s love of boating and wishes to see boats broadly exhibited, the Stone family made their gift with the hope that it would inspire others to give. We look forward to working with Museum sup-

Gifts and Strategic Partnerships.


MUSEUM BRIEFS

MAYFLOWER II TO LAUNCH SEPTEMBER 7

After nearly three years high

ahead of the big day, the ship

and dry for restoration, the May-

will be moved sideways and then

flower II will return to the wa-

rolled out onto the shiplift. The

ter Saturday, September 7, in an

launch program will feature an

exciting public event in the Mu-

engaging lineup of speakers and

seum’s Shipyard.

entertainment as well as the cer-

The restoration project is a

emonial christening by a special

collaboration between Plimoth

guest before the ship is lowered

Plantation, which owns the ship,

into the Mystic River.

and Mystic Seaport Museum. May-

The shelter that has enclosed

flower II is being prepared to take

the ship, affectionately known as

part in the 400th anniversary of

the “mailbox,” will be taken down

the Pilgrims’ arrival in Massachu-

in the early summer, enabling visi-

setts in 2020.

tors to better view the ship and

For those who were fortunate enough to attend the launch of the Charles W. Morgan in 2013,

the remaining work as we count down the days to launch. Look for more details at

the Mayflower II event will follow

www.plimoth.org and

a similar pattern. In the weeks

www.mysticseaport.org.

BRILLIANT HAS A NEW CAPTAIN Mystic Seaport Museum welcomed Dan

and Pride of Baltimore II, and most recently the

McKenzie as the new captain of schooner

SeaMester vessel Argo, on which he completed

Brilliant this past winter. He succeeds Nicholas

three trans-Atlantic voyages.

Alley, who now manages the Yachts on Exhibit program at the Museum.

“My emphasis in sail training is definitely to make sure that the students have a strong

McKenzie brings exten-

foundation and support net where they feel

sive experience in sail

comfortable challenging themselves—and be-

training and educa-

ing challenged,” said McKenzie. “I expect that

tion with billets on

for a lot of these people maybe they’ve been

numerous sailing

on boats before, but not a sailboat, and cer-

In May, the Membership Of-

vessels, including

tainly not on such a large boat that requires

fice launched a fun challenge

so much work.”

for the Museum’s members. The

the Los Angeles

#WHERESBURGEE

Maritime Insti-

A native of New Jersey, McKenzie has a B.S.

members are asked to send in

tute’s 110-foot

from Warren Wilson College and is presently

photos of the membership bur-

brigantine Exy

completing an M.S. ExEd from Minnesota State

gee (or the membership hat)

Johnson, the

University. He holds a USCG 500-ton Ocean

when out traveling. The Mem-

clippers Stad

Masters License and is a resident of Mystic,

bership staff will pin the des-

Connecticut.

tinations on a Member Burgee

Amsterdam

The 61-foot Brilliant is the platform for one of

World Map in the Membership

the oldest youth sail-training programs in the

Lounge and feature the pho-

country. Designed by legendary naval archi-

tos online. Photos have already

tect Olin Stephens, II, and launched in 1932,

come in from around the world,

the schooner operates a busy schedule of

from the Arctic to New Zealand.

summer youth programs and spring and

Send your images to member-

fall adult programs on multi-day cruises

ship@mysticseaport.org or use

throughout New England and beyond.

hashtag #wheresburgee.

McKenzie will be responsible for all as-

Read about the Membership

pects of the vessel’s operation.

burgee/Museum flag on page 25.

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

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MUSEUM BRIEFS

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR VIKING DAYS Building on the success

Draugar Vinlands and the clin-

performance stage will feature

of last summer’s Viking Days,

ker-built Viking longship Draken

a rotation of shows, from sto-

Mystic Seaport Museum will

Harald Hårfagre, a reconstruc-

rytelling to musical and theat-

be transformed once again in

tion of what the Norse Sagas

rical performances. Children

celebration of Viking culture,

refer to as a “Great Ship.” And

can get creative with a variety

complete with a Viking market,

you won’t want to miss seeing

of crafts around campus and

trade demonstrations, lectures,

“Expedition America,” the new

learn how to play Viking games,

and on-the-water activities on

documentary about the ship’s

such as Hnefatafl. Exceptional

June 1-2.

North Atlantic crossing!

Viking-inspired crafts made by

This immersive event high-

Those interested in the

lights the daily life of the Vikings.

maritime aspects of Viking

skilled artisans will be available

Through a wide range of fun

culture can watch traditional

Whether you’re a 9- or 99-

and educational elements, the

faering sailing, a Nordic boat-

year-old Viking enthusiast,

event aims to break down the

building demonstration, and a

there will be something for ev-

stereotype of raiders in horned

special Planetarium show on

eryone during Viking Days at the

helmets. There will be plenty

Viking navigation. Be sure to

Museum. See full schedule on

of new activities this year in

visit the Scandinavian food tent,

the Museum’s website.

addition to the festival’s cen-

enjoy some mead by Groenfell

terpieces: a Viking village en-

Meadery, and then take in a

Arlene Marcionette is the Museum’s

campment by living historians

game of Kubb on the lawn. The

for sale.

public programs project manager.

cups, straws, sandwich and salad containers; and pasta stir sticks, paper to-go containers and serveware. The

Sustainability

Com-

mittee at the Museum began meeting in early 2018 at the direction of Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport Museum,

who

encouraged

the committee to make recommendations for financially sustainable, positive changes

MUSEUM LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO REDUCE SINGLE-USE PLASTIC Mystic Seaport Museum has

efforts, gave a joint presen-

own plates. As a maritime in-

launched an initiative to work

tation at the 2019 Council of

stitution we must be a leader

toward eliminating single-use

American Maritime Museums

in the effort to change the

plastics on its 19-acre cam-

Annual Conference in Manito-

course of our ocean’s health,”

pus on the Mystic River.

woc, Wisconsin, last April.

said Sherri Ramella, head of

The program is being developed

12

and

“Plastic pollution is a per-

the Sustainability Committee

implemented

vasive problem facing our

through the leadership of a

environment, particularly our

In conjunction with the Mu-

staff Sustainability Committee

ocean. An estimated 18 billion

seum’s food-service partners

in collaboration with Chesa-

pounds of plastic waste en-

Coastal Gourmet and Event

peake Bay Maritime Museum

ters the world’s ocean every

Network, here are some of

in St. Michaels, Maryland. The

year, breaking down into mi-

the

two teams, who share infor-

croplastics and entering the

introduction of paper and

mation, resources, ideas, and

food chain of all marine life,

nautical-themed

results

often making it to our very

shopping bags; plant-based

of

implementation

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

at Mystic Seaport Museum.

implemented

changes: reusable

to the Museum’s impact on the environment that also will inspire and energize the public to adopt similar practices. “I am honored to be working with a group of colleagues who feel as passionately as I do about the crisis caused by plastic pollution. I am grateful to Museum President Steve White for his encouragement and support, as we embark on the mighty and critical task of changing our daily habits and practices,” said Ramella.


MUSEUM BRIEFS

MUSEUM MEMORIAL GARDEN: TO REMEMBER LOVED ONES It is a hallmark of the Mystic

members of the Board of Trust-

Seaport Museum community

ees of Mystic Seaport Museum,

that so many families develop

staff, volunteers, and Museum

enduring, multi-generational

friends gathered to rededicate

connections to the institution.

the Memorial Garden behind

Parents bring their children to

the Treworgy Planetarium and

the Museum, and they, in turn,

to establish a memorial bench

bring their families to introduce

in honor of Rhoda Hopkins

them to this place that is a

Root, who served Mystic Sea-

source of special recollections

port Museum as the head of

for countless people.

Volunteer Services for many

This deep passion for Mystic

years. Her spirit inspired the

Seaport Museum over genera-

recent makeover of the gar-

tions creates lasting legacies

den, and emulating her “can

of interest, enthusiasm, and

do” attitude, her friends came

support for our mission to in-

together to create this space,

spire future generations. Each

where this and future gen-

of us who work to sustain this

erations can seek solace and

community feels privileged that

think of fond memories of

many of these families choose

family members.

the Museum as a place to memorialize their loved ones. On September 29, 2018,

One of Rhoda’s friends and a dedicated volunteer told me the other day, “Rhoda was an

inspiration. Whenever you en-

Radley, John R. Duborow, Frank

tered her office, you suddenly

Turnbull Crawford, Andrew B.

felt like the most important

Lowman, Charles Maxwell, III,

person in the world. No mat-

John and Alice Sullivan, Ronald

ter how busy she was, she al-

R. Joyce, James W. “Rob” Rob-

ways graciously made time for

ertson, Helen Hantzopoulos,

a visit. It is fitting that Rhoda’s

John and Sidda Stucke, James

bench is pointing north; she

B. Funk, Jr., and Rogers Mont-

truly was our compass, our

gomery Doering.

North Star.”

If you are interested in hon-

On that sunny September

oring or memorializing a loved

afternoon, we also remem-

one at Mystic Seaport Museum,

bered other friends of the Mu-

please contact the Advance-

seum who are memorialized

ment Office.

in the garden: Robert “Bob”

Chris Freeman is director of

Welles Morse, Eleanor Bartram

Development & Legacy Giving.

FRANKLIN LOST AND FOUND SYMPOSIUM In the beginning of April, Mystic Seaport Museum held a daylong symposium entitled “Franklin Lost and Found: Probing the Arctic’s Most Enduring Mystery.” The symposium drew 11 experts and scholars from far afield to discuss the ill-fated Franklin Expedition from 1845 to the present. Approximately 140 audience members, some of whom came from Mystic while others had found their way from the UK, heard from these experts on one of maritime history’s most enduring mysteries. Discussions ranged from

Franklin experts and hosts, from left: Jonathan Moore, senior underwater archaeologist, Parks Canada; Keith Millar, emeritus professor and honorary senior research fellow, University of Glasgow College of Medicine; Peter Carney, independent Franklin scholar; Kenn Harper, Arctic historian and author; David C. Woodman, author of Unravelling the Mystery of the Franklin Expedition: Inuit Testimony; Steve White, Mystic Seaport Museum president; Leanne Shapton, artist, publisher, and author of Artifacts from a Doomed Expedition, The New York Times; John Geiger, president of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and author; Russell Potter, professor of English and director of media studies, Rhode Island College, and author; Lawrence Millman, mycologist and author; Nicholas Bell, senior vice president for Curatorial Affairs, Mystic Seaport Museum.

the terrestrial and underwater

Collins Gallery between De-

to stage these types of exhibi-

archeological surveys, to the

cember 1, 2018, and April 28,

tions that bring world attention

forensic testing that has been

2019.

to the Museum,” said Nicho-

Since launching the Era of

las Bell, senior vice president

Exhibitions in conjunction with

for Curatorial Affairs. “Hosting

Staging symposia is not

the opening of the Thompson

world-renowned experts to

new per se for the Museum,

Exhibition Building in 2016, part

delve deeply into issues of in-

performed on the recovered crew members’ remains.

but it is new in terms of con-

of the Museum’s long-range

terest around the exhibitions

the role of the Inuit in de-

necting such an event to an

plan has included returning to

provides added cachet and

termining what happened to

exhibition, in this case, it was

the hosting of scholarly exami-

speaks directly to the Muse-

HMS Erebus and HMS Terror

Death in the Ice: The Mystery

nations of topics and issues.

um’s mission and vision.”

and their crews, to “Franklin in

of the Franklin Expedition,

“A top goal of the Era of Ex-

Popular Culture,” to updates on

which was on display in the

hibitions initiative is being able

Elissa Bass is the Museum’s social media and digital manager.

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine | 13


I

f you’ve never visited us by sea and spent a night at our docks,

you may never have experienced the magic hours of Mystic Seaport Museum. Do you want to share the Museum with your yacht club or marina group? Contact us to set up a Mystic Seaport Museum Rendezvous for your fleet.

CRUISING THE MYSTIC RIVER

We can offer your group private exhibition visits and behind-the-scenes tours. To make a reservation, book online through Dockwa.com

Celebrate your next event on a cruise down the Mystic River estuary. Enjoy a summer evening aboard one of the Museum’s charter boats, each uniquely suited to carry two, four, six, or up to 70 guests. Take a two-hour river cruise, or head out for a day on Fishers Island Sound. Each of the traditional vessels in the fleet allow guests to weave their celebrations into American heritage as they steam or sail down one of Connecticut’s most scenic, ecologically distinct, and historic rivers. Visit www.mysticseaport.org/charters for more information.

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR SOME

MAGIC HOURS? 14

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

SPRING / SUMMER 2019


WHY TURNER?

J.M.W. Turner, Venice: Looking across the Lagoon at Sunset, 1840, watercolor on paper. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856 ©Tate, London 2018.

BY ANNE EDGAR As an art museum publicist who can scarcely distinguish a stern from a bow, I was surprised to see “Mystic Seaport Museum” pop up on my cell phone screen late last year. The mist cleared, however, when I realized that the call came from Nicholas Bell, one of the most creative young voices in the museum field, with whom I’d worked at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. Nicholas now holds an important new position at Mystic Seaport Museum, senior vice president for Curatorial Affairs. He’s overseeing a profound change: the development of an ambitious, ongoing exhibition program, whereby the Museum will conceive and organize exhibitions as well as bring major “loan shows” that otherwise might not be seen in the U.S. What’s more, he informed me that for the next exhibition the Museum is partnering with Tate, London, to present the largestever American survey of J.M.W. Turner’s watercolors. This is a triumph. Today, many art lovers and art historians value the great British painter’s watercolors even more highly than they do his large finished oil paintings. They praise the sketches’ spontaneity and boldness and the direct line they seem to open to the inner workings of the master’s mind. Some experts also detect the seeds of Impressionism and abstraction in the 19th-century works.

J.M.W. TURNER AT MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM AN OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME

Because watercolors are

collection. How glad we are

vulnerable to fading, Tate

that the Chancery Court in

travels these works sparingly.

London overruled his wishes!

So, while we in the U.S. have

Now that I’m collaborating

enjoyed a good number of

with Nicholas and the Museum

shows devoted to Turner over

team on J.M.W. Turner: Water-

the years, none have brought

colors from Tate, I can only

together so many of the deli-

say that I’m looking forward to

cate drawings. I understood

Saturday, October 5, when the

right away that Mystic Seaport

exhibition opens in the Collins

Museum was training a light on

Gallery in the Thompson Exhi-

a life’s work—and that it was

bition Building and we all get to

likely we Americans would not

appreciate for ourselves the

have another opportunity like

magic we might have missed.

this in our lifetimes.

Anne Edgar is the founder and

There’s a delicious irony

principal of Anne Edgar Associates.

here, too. J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate would never have happened had Mr. Turner himself had a say in it. The artist bequeathed the contents of his studio to the British nation with the stipulation that the thousands of drawings there be destroyed, while the finished oil paintings take pride of place in the British national

At the same time the Turner exhibition will open, the Museum is publishing a book together with the publishing house Skira Editore, Conversations with Turner: The Watercolors, which is edited by Nicholas Bell. Read more about the book on page 29.

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine | 15


U P C O M I N G E X H I B I T I O N : J . M . W. T U R N E R : WAT E R C O L O R S F R O M TAT E

Tate: The Artist and his Admirers, 1827, J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851) © Tate.

HOW TURNER SAW HIS WORLD to Mystic in October for a five-

BY DAN MCFADDE N This fall, Mystic Seaport Museum will be the only North American venue for a remarkable exhibition of watercolors by the British artist J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). The exhibition, J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate, is curated and organized by Tate, London, which is the home of the renowned Turner Bequest of 1856, the vast legacy of art donated to Great Britain by the

Watercolors

from

Tate

brings together 92 watercolors, four oil paintings, and one of the artist’s sketchbooks. It

“Turner shows, more often

instead is the opportunity to

than not, are thematic,

look at the entire arc of his life.”

meaning they are about one angle of his artwork. What we have here with

As you walk through the exhibition, Bell says, you can see Turner thinking through questions such as “How do I use this

is curated by David Blayney

Watercolors instead is the

Brown, the Tate’s Manton Se-

opportunity to look at the

How do I use this technique from

nior Curator of British Art 1790-

entire arc of his life.”

my earliest years?” Turner was

1850. The exhibition spans the entirety of Turner’s long career

— Nicholas Bell

material, especially watercolor?

watercoloring at age 10 and continued throughout his life. Though

and, by focusing on the artist’s

ing they are about one angle

watercolors, provides insight

of his artwork,” says Nicho-

his oil paintings, the artist’s

into the private visionary be-

las Bell, senior vice president

watercolors were a ground for

hind the public figure.

he is perhaps best known for

for Curatorial Affairs at Mystic

experimentation where he could

Rome, Buenos Aires, and San-

“Turner shows, more often

Seaport Museum. “What we

try things out before applying

tiago (Chile), the show comes

than not, are thematic, mean-

have here with Watercolors

them in other media.

artist. After successful runs in

16

month run.

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

SPRING / SUMMER 2019


“Turner was trying to seek

ships around the British coast

out some deeper truth as to

and on the River Thames. He

how we experience the world

spent time thinking and looking

that did not tow the line of ob-

at the ways in which people

jectivity,” Bell says. “So many

engage with that natural force,

artists before him were trying

the sea.

to present things exactly as

“I think the reason people

you would see them; I think

who are passionate about maritime subjects and people who

he felt he was doing things as

have a relationship to the sea

they would be sensed.” Watercolors

from

are inclined to respond well to

Tate

Turner is because he enjoyed

brings together landscapes and atmospheric seascapes, architectural and topographical sketches, travel drawings,

Tate, Whalers (Boiling Blubber) Entangled in Flaw Ice, Endeavouring to Extricate Themselves, exhibited 1826, J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851) © Tate.

a similar relationship and was able to express it differently than many artists before or after,” says Bell. “Maritime art

and even a number of intimate

was fundamentally defined by

interior views. Some watercol-

what Turner did, because he

ors were completed in the stu-

was the greatest, and he did it

dio, others sketched en plein

early enough that everybody

air. A number appear to have

after him had to respond to

been dashed off on tiny slips

what he did.”

of paper; others are finished

J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors

works, conceived for display,

from Tate runs October 5, 2019,

incorporating ink, pencil, and

through February 23, 2020,

gouache. Many of the works

in the Collins Gallery of the

were never intended for public display. They were “for his own

Thompson Exhibition Building.

pleasure,” in the words of con-

Dan McFadden is director of Communications.

temporary critic John Ruskin. One can see Turner’s ability to capture the expansive forces of nature in A Mountainous Coast with a Stranded Vessel, or Whale, Possibly at Penmaenmawr or in North-East England (c. 1825-38). Painted when he was in late middle age, the work demonstrates how comfortable he had become with skills that nobody else in his time had. Turner, the human being, also emerges. In The Artist and his Admirers (1827), one of 127 sketches on blue paper, cre-

Tate: A Mountainous Coast with a Stranded Vessel, or Whale, Possibly at Penmaenmawr or in North-East England, c. 1825-38, J .M. W. Turner (1775–1851) © Tate.

comfortable moving in the high-

Ice, Endeavoring to Extricate

est social circles. The Artist and

Themselves (1846).

his Admirers provides a glimpse

“In some ways this is the

of that capacity to move be-

most diverse section in the

tween worlds as it shows Turner

exhibition, because the other

completely enmeshed in the

six are defined around a period

highest strata of society and at

in his life and what his primary

home there.

activity was during that period.

Unique to the exhibition’s

The section ‘Turner and the

display in Mystic is a section

Sea’, instead, looks at different

curated especially for the

ways in which he approached

Museum: “Turner and the Sea.”

that subject across the whole

The 17 works are a mix of oils,

span of his life,” says Bell.

watercolors, and a sketchbook;

Turner, unlike many of his

gets a hint of his dual person-

Mystic Seaport Museum is the

contemporaries, spent a lot

alities. Known as a bit of a ruf-

only venue to feature one of

of time on the water. He nev-

fian—Queen Victoria is said to

the artist’s sketchbooks. A

er crossed an ocean, but he

have considered him mad, dirty,

highlight is the oil Whalers (Boil-

crossed the English Channel

and dangerous—he was very

ing Blubber) Entangled in Flaw

many times. He spent time on

ated at Petworth House, one

Mystic Seaport Museum Gratefully Acknowledges the Generous Support of the Following: LEADERSHIP CIRCLE Alexander and Amanda Bulazel Charles and Irene Hamm Ken and Dina Siegel Chubb, the global insurance company, in honor of Robert G. Stone, Jr. PATRON CIRCLE Grant and Peggy Cambridge Cape Branch Foundation Max Greenberg, in honor of Leon and Esther Greenberg The Manton Foundation Hope H. van Beuren ERA OF EXHIBITION SPONSOR S. Carter Gowrie Steve Stepler and Susan Scarritt Robert and Susan Vincent

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

17


NEW E XHIBITION: STRE AMLINED: FROM HULL TO HOME

CELEBRATING AN ICONIC AMERICAN STYLE

Above: Photo: Rosenfeld Collection, Mystic Seaport Museum. 86277F.

B Y E L IS S A B A S S It’s summertime and the exhibiting is easy.

Left: In the 1930s, boaters could shop for a Waterwitch engine through the Sears catalog.

That’s the underlying theme of Mystic Seaport Museum’s

Opposite page, clockwise from top: One of two Waterwitch engines on display in the exhibit; a 1950s electric mixer that “wants to be a car when it grows up,” according to curator Matthew Bird; Connecticut designer Lurelle Guild styled the iconic Electrolux vacuum cleaner to look like a speeding train.

upcoming exhibition, Streamlined: From Hull to Home, which runs June 15-August 25 in the Collins Gallery of the Thompson Exhibition Building. It’s summertime, the Museum’s and the region’s high season for tourists, and Streamlined is an exhibition that will appeal to all types of visitors, said Elysa Engelman, director of Exhibits.

Nicholas Bell, the Mu-

Streamlined: From Hull to Home charts the progress of

seum’s senior vice president

streamlining from naval engineering through design and

for curatorial affairs, notes

manufacturing and into the everyday lexicon. The exhibit

that “Streamlined design is an

features boats and outboard motors from the Museum’s

iconic 20th-century style that

collections, images from the Museum’s Rosenfeld Collec-

is celebrated and beloved by

tion, as well as household objects, advertisements, and

American museum audienc-

various engineering and other plans.

es. What Streamlined will do

“It feels really summery,” Engelman said. “It will be

is move the story forward by

something that families can relate to and enjoy, as well

revealing [streamline design’s]

as visitors who are more interested in the design history or artistic elements. In a lot of ways, it’s about the American

“‘Streamlining’ is used all the

discovery of family fun on the water. And it includes so much of

time in today’s world to mean

the retro mid-20th century décor and designs that people are

simplifying a process or making

really nostalgic for.”

it easier to facilitate,” Bird said.

Streamlined will include a number of boats and about 30 marine

“And many people are familiar

engines from the Museum’s Watercraft Hall, which is home to 460

with ‘streamlining’ as a design

watercraft and several hundred engines. It’s really the first time

style from the 1930s and ’40s

in the Museum’s history that the engines are being showcased.

that created smooth shapes

Matthew Bird, who teaches the history of industrial design at

with rounded corners and vi-

Rhode Island School of Design, is the curator for the exhibition. His

sual references to speed, such

excitement going through the Watercraft Hall to identify elements

as bands of horizontal lines or

for the exhibit was palpable and contagious.

18

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

dramatic wind-swept shapes.”

maritime roots. It will show that while planes, trains, and automobiles generated all the attention, in design history, boats were there first. Boats and their engines preceded the betterknown streamlined history that we’ve grown up with. And that history has been hidden in our Museum collections since we were founded in 1929.” It was a friend of Bell’s who sparked the initial idea for an


Bird agrees. “The collections at Mystic Seaport Museum—the boats, the motors, the photographs—tell a better, truer, more exciting story of how ‘streamlining’ transitioned from engineering to design and show how we went from fast boats to fast planes to fast LOOKING everything else, like vacuum cleaners, cookware, radios.” Bird has two clear and obvious favorites among what he identified from the Museum’s collections for the exhibition and says they really served as the foundation for everything else that followed. Firstly, the 1936 Waterwitch outboard engine is the ultimate example of the streamlined style. It is a beautiful gleaming aluminum, pod-shaped celebration of speed. It was also created at the cross-over point where engineering created shapes designed to reduce resistance and designers copied those forms to produce manufactured objects that looked fast, even if they went as slowly as a 2hp motor or didn’t move at all. The Museum has a vast collection of other outboard motors, and it was immediately clear that a progression of them show the arrival of design in our manufactured items. Secondly, the 1904 ElCo auto launch Panhard is a wooden boat that uses hand-construction methods to create a completely rounded, pod-shaped hull that seems impossibly modern for something made in 1904. It points out that the shapes needed to make a boat go fast, the natural outcome of hydrodynamic engineering, arrived at being as beautiful as they were functional. Using boats in the collection to show the development of these shapes, and how they fueled innovations in airplane, bus, train, and car design, is a great way to connect the collection to the world outside. Streamlined is the fifth exhibition to be housed in the Thompson Exhibition Building, which opened in 2016 as the centerpiece of an initiative the Museum calls the Era of Exhibitions (EoE). Streamlined “gives us a real opportunity to highlight that the Era of Exhibitions allows us to bring in these different experts. They say, ‘Look at all these incredible things you have: they tell a great story.’ EoE is giving us the tools to have these exhibition of this type. John Stu-

so excited about the extreme

art Gordon, the Benjamin Att-

aesthetic expression. It made

more Hewitt Associate Curator

me realize that we can have

of American Decorative Arts at

multiple conversations about

Yale University Art Gallery in New

one object. Where our staff

Haven, stopped by the Museum

members will look at these en-

for a visit and Bell took him on

gines from an engineering, busi-

a tour of the Watercraft Hall.

ness history, or use perspective,

conversations,” Bell said. Engelman said when the Museum would work with guest curators in the past, they typically were historians who came from maritime backgrounds. “Matthew [Bird] is a design historian, with new perspective and connections. This cultural context is very exciting for us.” “Having outside curators who are intentionally not from a maritime background helps our collections be more visible to

there is also the design—how

other fields,” Bell added.

engines,” Bell recalled. “He was

things look.”

Elissa Bass is the Museum’s social media and digital manager.

Mystic Seaport Museum Gratefully Acknowledges the Generous Support of the Following:

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE Alexander and Amanda Bulazel Charles and Irene Hamm Ken and Dina Siegel Chubb, the global insurance company, in honor of Robert G. Stone, Jr.

PATRON CIRCLE Grant and Peggy Cambridge Cape Branch Foundation Hope H. van Beuren

“He just wigged out over the

Era of Exhibition Sponsor S. Carter Gowrie Robert and Susan Vincent

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine | 19


N E W E X H I B I T I O N : M A R Y M AT T I N G LY ’ S O P E N O C E A N

AN UNUSUAL PARTNERSHIP LEADS TO THE FIRST OF THREE UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

BY ELI SSA BAS S In January 2018, the Henry Luce and Chipstone foundations jointly funded a “think tank” at Mystic Seaport Museum that brought together eight prominent scholars from across the arts and humanities to participate in a day-long discussion with Museum staff, management, and trustees. Moderated by Chipstone staff, the program focused on possible goals for the Museum to advance its interpretation and programming. It also gave this diverse body of scholars access to the collections. Among the takeaways from that cold winter day was the rich potential these collections hold to connect with audiences who can, in turn, bring new perspectives to the Museum’s mission: “to inspire an enduring connection to the Ameri-

lations and related program-

works, opening drawer after

ming. These projects will pro-

drawer of artifacts, in search of

vide new perspectives on the

“evidence of how the sea has

art and ensure the continued preservation and refinement of the collections while also promoting public access. “As a history museum, we aren’t a typical candidate to partner with a foundation supporting American art, but we have a considerable collection of American art,” said Nicholas Bell, senior vice president for curatorial affairs. “This grant would allow us to investigate our collection in such a way that we would understand it differently.” The proposed installations and associated collections research and public program activities will encourage new scholarship around the themes of “the sea as muse,” a window into the

opens on August 10 in the R.J. Schaefer Building. Mattingly is a leading contemporary artist from Brooklyn, New York, with an interest in the sea as a platform for artmaking. She was one of the eight people invited to participate in the 2018 think tank because of the frequent intersection of her practice with maritime subjects, including her continuing installation, Swale, a barge-based food forest in New York City that provides fresh produce to residents by circumventing laws prohibiting agriculture in the city. Mattingly spoke at the program about her work and the concept of an ocean commons: a space for us to

world of immigrant craftsman-

come together, a place of re-

ship and decorative arts; “the

spite from conventional gov-

sea as studio” for decorative

ernance, a global system both

from that think tank was a

folk art such as scrimshaw;

liberating in its vastness and

grant application to the Henry

and “the sea as commons,”

malleability and crushing in

Luce Foundation, which re-

through a curatorial investiga-

the responsibility it endows

sulted in a $735,000 award to

tion by contemporary artist

us with.

the Museum to support the

Mary Mattingly.

can maritime experience.” The first concrete action

And so Mattingly has im-

curation and development of

Mattingly’s project, called

mersed herself in the collec-

three new collections instal-

Mary Mattingly’s Open Ocean,

tions vault, poring over art-

20 |

Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

always challenged the rigidity of modern, terrestrial life; how its very nature permits a different tenor of creativity.” From that, she has developed an exhibition that examines the oceans from three perspectives: P As a largely unknown space that is shared by everyone but governed by few P As a massive component of private enterprise P As the “heart” of the planet, covering 71 percent of the Earth So the stories the exhibition will tell are ones of time and space, invention and commerce, and climate change and depleted resources. “Our desire to escape and our duty to protect find a valuable tension in Mattingly’s work, in direct support of the Museum’s mission to inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience,” Bell said. Elissa Bass is the Museum’s social media and digital manager.


BY THE NUMBERS

THE WATERCRAFT HALL BY THE NUMBERS The Watercraft Hall number of boats: 460 Area of boat storage, in square feet: 31,209 Canoes and kayaks: 62 Rowing boats (pulling, guide, pleasure, racing shells, practice wherries, working, St. Lawrence River skiffs): 132 Power boats: 30 Sail boats: 99 Yacht tenders: 39 Jet-ski: 1 Oldest boats (Oyster-Tonging Dugouts), in years: 195 Longest boat (Blazing Star, Buzzards Bay 25-foot Class, Herreshoff), in feet: 41.5 Shortest boat (Portable Extension boat, when folded), in inches: 23 Lightest boat (open, double-paddle canoe), in pounds: 18 Number of spars (masts, booms, bowsprit, gaffs, jib booms, spinnaker poles, whisker poles): 268 Total length of spars if placed end to end, in feet: 3,976 Number of vessels moved since October 7, 2012: 654 Number of volunteers working in the Watercraft Hall (April 1, 2019): 11 Number of volunteer hours, from 2014 to 2018: 4,735 Number of visitors (at open house events and tours, from 2009 to 2018): 6,856 The information about the Watercraft Hall was compiled by Philip Tankard and the other volunteers working in the Watercraft Hall.

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T H E WAT E R C R A F T C O L L E C T I O N

EVALUATING THE PAST WITH A VIEW TOWARDS THE FUTURE THE WATERCRAFT COLLECTION AT MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM

With this as our guiding

BY QUENT I N SNEDIK E R

principle, we categorize the

In 1929, when Mystic Sea-

vessels into four groups:

port Museum was founded as

Accessioned vessels are

the Marine Historical Associa-

those in the permanent col-

tion, our collection focused on

lection (ranging from our four

archives, models, paintings,

National Historic Landmark

and other similar items telling

vessels in the water to those

the story of ships and mari-

stored in archival status in

time commerce centered in our

the Watercraft Hall at Rossie

small, yet significant, seaport

Mill). We are bound by law and

town. It was a few years before

Museum policy to hold these

we began to collect full-size

vessels in public trust.

watercraft. Starting with the

“E” collection vessels are

1880 Mystic-built sandbagger Annie purchased in 1931, our collection has grown to more than 600 watercraft today. Before the Second World War, we collected very few vessels. However, once we acquired the Charles W. Morgan in 1941, we recognized that the principal artifacts of maritime history were watercraft and began collecting in earnest.

those that have some tradiToday, our Vision Statement for the Watercraft Collection states: “Mystic Seaport Museum will endeavor to acquire and maintain a representative collection of regionally relevant and nationally significant historic watercraft for use, exhibition, research, and preservation. The collection will strive to contain a cross section of commercial and recreational American watercraft to provide tactile artifacts to enrich the enduring connection to the American maritime experience.” Top: In 1961, Life Magazine did a photo spread featuring the “unsinkable” nature of the Boston Whaler (see page 24). The boat used to create those iconic images was donated to the Museum’s collection by the family of Robert Pierce, co-founder with Richard Fisher of Boston Whaler. The boat lay in a field at the Pierce home for more than 50 years. Above: Donzi Hornet The Sting – Offshore racer Don “Donzi” Aronow changed the face of recreational power boating by making “muscle boats” available to wide audiences at about the same time American “muscle cars” became popular. The Museum’s fully restored 1968 Donzi Hornet has been on display in the Pilalas Family Reception Lobby, Thompson Exhibition Building.

22

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SPRING / SUMMER 2019

tional design elements but are mostly of modern manufacture, in many cases reproductions, and are approved for educational uses. Examples are the Boat House livery boats and the whaleboats. Uncatalogued watercraft are an amalgam of other vessels in active use, for example the Dyer Dhow dinghy fleet, other Sailing Center craft, the Shipyard workboats, etc. Yachts on Exhibit are boats taken as donations for


Advancement purposes and

but they are all canoes, kay-

designated for ultimate resale.

aks, or other paddle watercraft,

During their time at the Muse-

which are somewhat easier to

um, these vessels can serve a

manage and maintain than our

variety of functions, including

diverse collection ranging from

display and private charters.

a 350-ton whaleship to our own

At the time of writing, there

canoe and kayak collection.

are 460 vessels in storage in

As we reimagine the Wa-

the Watercraft Hall. In 2017,

tercraft Hall as a premier

we reached an all-time high

year-round small boat exhibi-

of 479. Our numbers fluctu-

tion area, we have begun to

ate as we move vessels in and

reexamine the collection as

out of exhibits, lend them to

a whole. This is a healthy and

other institutions, and refine

necessary process for any

the collection.

collection of historic artifacts.

By all accounts, we hold

Maintaining relevance requires

the largest accessioned col-

periodic evaluation and as-

lection of historic watercraft

sessment. What we deemed

save one, the Canadian Canoe

historically important in past

Museum (Le Musée Canadien Du

decades may not be regarded

Canot) in Peterborough, Ontario,

in the same light today. Reduc-

Canada. This institution holds a

ing the number of watercraft

fabulous collection of more than

will reduce redundancy, pre-

Mystic Seaport Museum has received a generous seven-figure pledge from the Stone

600 accessioned watercraft,

serve only the best examples,

family. The pledge is from a trust established by the late Robert G. Stone, Jr., who was

Recognizing a future for plastics following the Second World War, Carl F. Beetle, of Beetle Cat and Beetle Whaleboat fame, put his efforts into fiberglass. This 1947 BB “Swan” #5 (Accession # 2005.76, BB, meaning Beetle Boat Company) is on display in the Small Boat Exhibit (a.k.a. the Catboat Shed) on the Museum grounds, and was molded at the GE plant in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, using techniques developed during the war to produce radar domes. Beetle Plastics survives today manufacturing fiberglass tanks and pipes in Texas.

Watercraft Hall:

a long-term member and trustee of the Museum. He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees between 1989 and 1995. The gift is going towards a new, all-year opened exhibition area of vessels in the Watercraft Hall. Read more on page 10.

and create more space to al-

it must be reviewed and voted

low us to continue collecting

upon by our 12-member Wa-

significant watercraft types. As

tercraft Committee. Once our

we all know, history marches

deaccessioning procedure has

on and we must be cognizant

been accomplished, we make

of vessels that, while perhaps

every effort to pass the ves-

commonplace in the not-too-

sel on to a sister museum or

distant past, are reaching a

educational organization.

point where they should be preserved for posterity.

Some of the watercraft acquired during the peak years

We have strict criterion

of collecting after the Rossie

governing the “deaccession”

Mill was added to the Mu-

process for watercraft fol-

seum in 1973 were acquired

lowing standards of museum

with the intention of docu-

ethical

vessels

mentation only, not planned

that are not relevant to the

to be retained permanently.

collection; unable to be pre-

Thorough documentation of

served in a responsible man-

watercraft was an extremely

ner; have deteriorated beyond

labor-intensive process and

recovery or usefulness or are

consequently few have been

hazardous to health or safety

recorded in recent decades.

(i.e. lead contamination, now

A complete understanding of

Top: Toy (1987.137.1) – This vessel, a 1930 outboard racing hydroplane, competed successfully in her class becoming national champion in 1931 and setting a record speed of 44mph. She will soon be on display in the upcoming Streamlined: From Hull to Home exhibition, which opens on June 15.

outlawed wood preserva-

hull form, structure and mate-

tives, etc.). Some vessels are

rials, and building methods is

Above: Duck Boat – This ca. 1880 duck boat is the Museum’s latest wooden acquisition. Built on the south shore of Long Island, New York, she has been owned by succeeding generations of the same family since she was new.

inferior duplicates and redun-

necessary for anyone to re-

dant. Before a vessel can be

sponsibly document and record

removed from the collection,

a vessel. Today, with the use of

practices:

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| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

23


14-foot 1956 Plasticraft Deluxe Runabout (2002.17). At the 1947 show, Carl Beetle, of the famous Beetle Whaleboat and Beetle Cat family, introduced one of the first fiberglass production sailboats, the Beetle Boat Company “Swan” (at the same show, Ray Green introduced the first fiberglass Rebel class sloop). We have BB Swan #5 (2005.76) on display in our Small Craft Exhibit building on the Museum grounds. Looking to the future, we will remain dedicated to preserving historic, wooden vessels; however, we would be remiss in our mission were we to ignore fiberglass and other modern materials. As the Clark Senior Curator

The text and photo spread in Life Magazine in 1961.

24

technology, we have electronic

today there are more private

been more than three-quar-

means to rapidly gather what

collectors holding historically

ters of a century in production

used to take many hours.

significant boats.

and certainly has achieved

to have the expertise of my predecessors during the peak decades of growth available for

In support of the Watercraft

While Mystic Seaport Mu-

Collection, we enjoy the back-

seum is known internationally

One of the first principles

ing of a strong cadre of volun-

as a mecca for wooden ship

of historic preservation is that

teers. Led by Phil Tankard, this

and boat preservation, we rec-

by preserving the recent past

group gathers weekly to put in

ognize that historic watercraft

and evoking a sense of nostal-

many hours performing tasks

are, and have been, made from

gia, people can be drawn to an

preserving our collection. They

other materials. We have 26

interest and understanding of

lead tours of the collection, or-

vessels of materials other than

a deeper past. By considered

ganize it by type, keep track of

wood, including four of steel,

collecting and exhibiting more

our watercraft database, move

three covered with animal

modern watercraft, including

vessels in and out for exhibit,

hide, two of aluminum, three of

materials other than wood, we

and perform a myriad of other

thermos plastic, three fabric-

fulfil this emotional connection

tasks. More recently, they have

covered vessels, 15 fiberglass-

for many younger audiences.

taken on electronic documen-

reinforced plastic (FRP or more

Fiberglass technology ad-

tation using photogrammetry

commonly simply fiberglass),

vanced rapidly during the Sec-

and supporting software.

and one micarta canoe (mi-

ond World War and was read-

In the past, collecting had

carta is industrial high-pres-

ily adapted to many peacetime

been more opportunistic than

sure laminate and refers to a

uses including watercraft. The

planned. Recently, we have

composite of linen, canvas, pa-

introduction of mass-produced

John Gardner loved peapods

started to define areas of

per, fiberglass, carbon fiber, or

fiberglass boats moved recre-

and dories, Fuller canoes and

weakness and develop a plan

other fabric in a thermosetting

ational boating into the economic

guide boats, Peter Vermilya

to seek out and acquire vessels

plastic; it was developed by

reach of working-class families.

dinghies, and Hewson work-

to fill in the gaps. These days,

George Westinghouse in 1910).

The first production of fiber-

ing vessels. I tell everyone

we are offered far fewer wood-

The total number of water-

glass powerboats appeared at

en watercraft than in previous

craft made of materials other

the New York Boat Show in 1946,

my legacy as curator will be

decades. To a large extent, it’s

than wood represents less than

introduced by Winner Plastics of

simply a matter of there be-

6 percent of our total acces-

Trenton, New Jersey, and mar-

ing fewer historic vessels out

sioned collection. While today

keted under the name “Plasti-

there as time goes on, and

fiberglass is ubiquitous, it has

craft.” Our collection includes a

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

SPRING / SUMMER 2019

historic status.

for Watercraft, I am fortunate

consultation and advice. Such luminaries as Maynard Bray, Ben Fuller, Dana Hewson, and others, as well as senior staff and board members help contribute to our decisions. While past watercraft collection curators have always looked broadly for the best examples of all historically significant watercraft types, anecdotally, I think I’ve detected a slight slant of preference on the part of these notables toward certain types acquired during their tenure. Bray was focused on Herreshoff and workboats,

fiberglass-reinforced plastic. Quentin Snediker is director of the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard and the Clark Senior Curator for Watercraft.


THE STORY BEHIND THE MUSEUM FLAG

BY PAUL O’ PEC K O In an address to the Treasury

WHAT’S IN A LETTER?

Board of Trustees and multiple

Department on Flag Day in 1915,

Mallory women have been in-

President of the United States

strumental in shaping the direc-

Woodrow Wilson gave an elo-

tion and look of Mystic Seaport

quent speech about the Stars

Museum. Additionally, the family

and Stripes. In his speech he

dates to the early 1800s in the

noted, “The flag is the embodi-

Mystic area. All the right boxes

ment, not of sentiment, but of

have been checked, but the an-

history. It represents the experi-

swer to the genesis of the flag

ences made by men and women,

is a different one. The image on

the experiences of those who do

the left with a flag on a mast is a

and live under the flag.” While

detail from a painting in 1857 by

he was speaking of our national

Joseph B. Smith of the Mallory

flag, he could have been talking

clipper ship Twilight. The Mallory

about almost any flag, including

family has used variations of this

our own Museum’s burgee, or

theme over the years, but never

house flag.

the large “M” in a white diamond on a blue field.

The Museum burgee is bathed in history. The experiences of the

That latter flag was the per-

people who served, and serve,

sonal flag of Charles W. Morgan,

under it have given it special

who was an agent for a number

meaning for more than 175 years.

of whaleships as can be seen

175 years? But the Museum

from an image from the 1850

is only 90 years old this year.

signal book of New Bedford and

How can the flag have a history

Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Once the whaleship Charles

going back almost twice as far in time? The large letter “M” in the center of the burgee has inspired plenty of speculation and opinions over the years as to what it stands for. Because it is the flag of Mystic Seaport Museum, it would naturally seem

W. Morgan came to the Museum

“The flag is the embodiment, not of

in 1941, we adopted the flag as

sentiment, but of history. It represents

our own. So you can see how

the experiences made by men and

that flag have varied experi-

the people who served under

women, the experiences of those who

ences over the 178 years since

do and live under the flag.”

has played a large part in the

to stand for Mystic. But where does the design and the mean-

—Woodrow Wilson­

the Morgan first flew it. History flag’s transformation from a symbol of a profitable whaling company to the embodiment of

ing come from originally? There are many possibilities considering how many significant

a successful nonprofit institution, Mystic Seaport Museum. Our

names at the Museum start with the letter “M.” The Mallory name,

current staff have now taken on the mantle of those “who do

in particular, would seem to be the leading contender consider-

and live under the flag.”

ing the involvement of the family in the Museum almost from the

Paul O’Pecko is vice president of Research Collections and director of

beginning. Three Mallory men have served as the Chairman of the

the G.W. Blunt White Library. SPRING / SUMMER 2019

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

25


S U M M E R AT T H E M U S E U M

SUMMER AT THE MUSEUM Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine asked Museum photographers Andy Price (left) and Joe Michael (below right) to choose their favorite summer pictures. This is not an easy task, as they take thousands of photographs every year. Here is what they picked out.

Photographs on page 26 by Andy Price; photographs on page 27 by Joe Michael.

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SPRING / SUMMER 2019

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine | 27


ON BOOKS

L. Francis Herreshoff: The Flowering of Genius

Mystic Seaport Museum has just published L. Francis Herreshoff: The Flowering of Genius, the second and concluding volume of Roger C. Taylor’s triumphant biography. Comparing Herreshoff’s design philosophy and graphic and literary output with that of his chief competitors, the biography sheds important new light on the history and practice of yacht design as both a science and an art. It offers a richly illustrated and moving account of the ways in which Herreshoff’s difficult formative years and idiosyncratic creative vision led him to produce not only yachts of such legendary speed and timeless beauty and appeal as the R Class sloop Live Yankee, the M Class sloop Istalena, and the ketch Ticonderoga but also such haunting failures as the J Class sloop Whirlwind and the 12 meter sloop Mitena. It shows how Herreshoff’s expressive mastery of the drawn line extended to his second career as a celebrated yachting journalist, historian, and controversialist. Deeply researched and finely written, these two volumes constitute the most comprehensive study of an American yacht designer ever published—and a brilliant, full-length portrait of a great American artist. Llewellyn Howland, III, is a writer, editor, and antiquarian maritime bookseller.

Mystic Seaport Museum: Official Guidebook A good way to prepare for your next visit to Mystic Sea-

was published almost 15 years ago. The Official Guidebook

port Museum is to purchase the Museum’s new guide book:

has expanded chapters on the history of the institution, its

Mystic Seaport Museum: Official Guidebook (2018; Beckon

buildings, and its historic vessels. Completely re-illustrated

Books, 145 pages).

with historic images from the collections and stunning con-

The book can function both as a guide for your next visit,

temporary photographs of all areas of the Museum by staff

but also as a souvenir or gift, as the depth of content goes

photographers Andy Price and Joe Michael, the book shows

beyond the basics of a day at Mystic Seaport Museum. And

the Mystic Seaport Museum grounds at their best.

the Museum has grown since the previous “visitor’s guide”

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ON BOOKS

Twain at Sea: The Maritime Writings of Samuel Langhorne Clemens EDITED BY ERIC PAUL ROORDA

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (nom de plume “Mark Twain”) made his first voyage in 1866 from San Francisco to Hawaii. This trip was followed by many more seafaring voyages: for example, he circumnavigated the world on a steamship in 1895-1896. In the splendid Twain at Sea: The Maritime Writings of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, editor Eric Paul Roorda has collected colorful stories, passages, and texts from Mark Twain’s many books, periodicals, letters, and notebooks, which show that “the salty Samuel C,” as Roorda calls him, was truly one of America’s foremost maritime authors. Clemens grew up on the Mississippi River. As a young man he spent four years as a riverboat pilot, and it was on the Mississippi he found his pen name. While traveling in shallow waters, a boat had a man in the bow throwing out a line with a lead sinker that was marked into fathoms (6-foot intervals). “‘Mark twain’ was the call for the second mark on the lead line, indicating two fathoms, or twelve feet, of the Mississippi beneath the steamer’s keel [… which] translated to worry-free travel,” the volume editor states. Even when Clemens was not writing about the sea, it was still present: “Maritime language infused Clemens’s work, which he peppered with references to ships, frequently incorporating salty characters,” Roorda writes. Twain at Sea is a book for all lovers of Clemens and of the sea.

Conversations with Turner: The Watercolors EDITED BY NICHOLAS BELL

Nicholas Bell, senior vice president for Curatorial Affairs at Mystic Seaport Museum, has edited the book Conversations with Turner: The Watercolors, which will accompany the Museum’s upcoming exhibition this fall, J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate. The book’s format is inspired by this introduction of Britain’s seminal visual artist to new audiences. Following an introductory essay on J.M.W. Turner’s lifelong pursuit of excellence in watercolor

Breaking the Banks: Representations and Realities in New England Fisheries, 1866-1966

by David Blayney Brown, an international cadre of established and rising scholars and artists meet in dialogue in a series of thematic “conversations” in print. Addressing such areas as the evolution of Turner’s art in watercolor, evidence of rapid changes to England’s industry and culture in the early 19th century, his treatment of time and memory, and the ques-

BY MATTHEW MCKENZIE

The popular image of the New England fisherman is often one of a crusty, tough individual who braves the high seas in all weather to haul in his catch and grind out a living. In his book Breaking the Banks: Representations and Realities in New England Fisheries, 1866-1966, historian Matthew McKenzie takes a fresh look at the facts behind this romantic ideal, and what he finds instead is a sophisticated, organized industry aware of its economic and legislative power. McKenzie, professor of history and maritime studies at the University of Connecticut and a faculty member of the Museum’s Munson Institute, traces the Boston haddock fleet as it moves from sails and oars to mechanized propulsion. The industrialization of the fishery begets efficiency, money, powerful owners, and collective bargaining. Fighting regulations is practically a religion and throughout the story the Yankees show they are no strangers to taking to the hallways of political power to advance their cause.

tion of how his works influence contemporary artists working today, these conversations are intended to offer the reader accessible entry points into the medium central to Turner’s development as an artist. Ranging from precocious landscapes of the 1790s to the impatient yet critical color experiments of the 1840s, more than 90 watercolors illustrate the genius that led Turner to tower over Western painting in his day, and, arguably, in ours. For the volume, 16 scholars and artists participate in conversations about Turner’s painting and its continued relevance today, including David Blayney Brown; filmmaker John Akomfrah, CBE; Olivier Meslay of The Clark Art Institute; Timothy Barringer of Yale University; Susan Grace Galassi of The Frick Collection; Alexander Nemerov of Stanford University; and Sam Smiles of the University of Exeter. The book will be co-published by Mystic Seaport Museum and Skira Editore.

But as is often the case with natural resources, success can be overdone. McKenzie’s analysis of data indicates the fishery was failing due to overfishing even before the arrival of foreign boats in the 1960s. This story is not over. Fishing communities up and down the East Coast struggle to adapt and thrive—or merely survive—in an era of depleted stock, regulatory mismanagement, and environmental change. What should a 21st-century fishery look like? McKenzie argues one must look to the past to begin to answer that question.

To order these or other books, please call 860.572.5386 or email msmbookstore@eventnetwork.com Don’t forget your 10 percent members’ discount! Remember, we ship anywhere. Go to www.mysticseaport.org for upcoming book signings.

Dan McFadden is director of Communications. SPRING / SUMMER 2019

| Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine |

29


FROM THE COLLECTIONS

diary and numerous arti-

BY PAUL O’ PECKO

facts from his two-and-a-

A couple months ago,

half-month trip in a small

Steven Callahan dropped

rubber raft in our collec-

off a carload of boxes

tion. In addition to his diary,

containing parts of his

the exhibition will include

life’s story at the Muse-

his sextant, which he made

um’s Collections Research

from pencils, his spear gun,

Center. Immediately, the

which helped him harvest

receiving staff knew that

the protein that would keep

Mystic Seaport Museum

him alive, and drawings

just came into possession

that he used to illustrate his

of the building blocks for

book. On day 58, he notes,

a great exhibition.

“I’m happy that my sextant

Back in 1981, Callahan

says we’re at 17 degrees

hoped to single-handedly

latitude, but it could be off

sail from the Canary Is-

by a degree or more. One

lands in a transatlantic

degree the wrong way and

race. On his way to the is-

I add a month to my trip.”

lands, his self-designed,

Some of the other skills

self-built, 21.3-foot sloop, Napoleon Solo, met heavy weather off the coast of Spain and was damaged. After weeks of repairs, he eventually sailed for the Caribbean at the end of January 1982. Little did he know that within a week he would be fighting for

he honed, e.g. making lures to catch fish, he used to his

Steven Callahan in his raft, Rubber Ducky III, after six weeks afloat. At right is a page from his diary.

later benefit when work-

76 DAYS

ing as a consultant on the movie Life of Pi. Spending what seemed like endless

ADRIFT

his life when Napoleon Solo sank after being

rammed by an unknown object, probably a whale. Over the next 76 days, sitting in a life raft, Callahan managed to catch enough fish and manufacture enough fresh water to survive. He was also able to convince himself that he wanted to survive and, against long odds, did just that. Somehow, he retained hope of survival and even a bit of a sense of humor, as can be seen in passages in his diary, which he kept while adrift. His diary, a stack of 3” by 5” sheets, was kept dry in

Down to 1/2 pt. a day until can replenish. Overcast and Atlantic doing ‘the shuffle’ again-waves on stbd. beam, aft and port quarter—makes being on raft like on a waterbed w/ 2 huge, untiring kangaroos.” Callahan’s book about his ordeal, Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea (1986), spent months on the New York Times’s best seller list and has spawned editions in at least 20 languages. We are excited to have his

weeks floating in a raft at sea also gives a perspective on the ocean and sky that can be valuable to a director who is attempting to set a certain mood for a film about survival at sea. Steven Callahan’s story is an amazing one. The upcoming exhibition, which will open in January 2020 in the C.D. Mallory Building, will inspire and reinforce the notion that the human spirit can indeed be a force to be reckoned with. Paul O’Pecko is vice president of Research Collections and director of the G.W. Blunt White Library.

a plastic bag in the raft. Early on during the voyage, the diary begins with the note: “A bit of fishing. But no luck. I’m a rotten fisherman. Trying to conserve energy and water.

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To get more information about the Collections Research Center of Mystic Seaport Museum and online resources, please visit research.mysticseaport.org


EVENTS AT MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM BEACHES, BEACONS, AND BOATS April 27-September 22 The Maritime Gallery DECORATION DAY May 27 VIKING DAYS June 1-2 SEA MUSIC FESTIVAL June 6-9 NEW EXHIBITION STREAMLINED: FROM HULL TO HOME June 15-August 25 Collins Gallery MEMBER ONLY EVENING STREAMLINED: FROM HULL TO HOME June 20 SEAPORT AFTER SEVEN: SUMMER SOLSTICE June 21 THE PLEIN AIR PAINTERS OF THE MARITIME GALLERY AT MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM June 22-September 22 The Maritime Gallery WOODENBOAT SHOW & SMALL CRAFT WORKSHOP June 28-30 INDEPENDENCE DAY July 4 ARTS ON THE QUAD SERIES Begins July 13 ANTIQUE & CLASSIC BOAT RENDEZVOUS July 27-28

MOBY-DICK MARATHON July 31-August 1 MODEL YACHT REGATTA August 2-4 MEMBER PREVIEW MARY MATTINGLY’S OPEN OCEAN August 10 NEW EXHIBITION MARY MATTINGLY’S OPEN OCEAN August 10-January 31, 2021 R.J. Schaefer Building ANTIQUE ENGINE SHOW August 17-18 MAYFLOWER II LAUNCH September 7 MEMBERS ONLY OVERNIGHT ON JOSEPH CONRAD September 14-15 COASTWEEKS REGATTA September 15 MEMBER APPRECIATION NIGHT September 20 BY LAND AND BY SEA: ANTIQUE VEHICLE SHOW September 22 MYSTIC RIVER OYSTER FESTIVAL September 28 ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL MARINE ART SHOW September 28-December 31 The Maritime Gallery NEW EXHIBITION J.M.W. TURNER: WATERCOLORS FROM TATE October 5-February 23, 2020 Collins Gallery

2019-2020 ADVENTURE SERIES Begins October 17.

CHOWDER DAYS October 12-14 AMERICA AND THE SEA AWARD GALA October 30 NAUTICAL NIGHTMARES October 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 EDUCATORS’ APPRECIATION DAY October 19 PILOTS WEEKEND October 19-20 HALLOWEEN: TRICK-OR-TREAT October 31 MINIATURES BY MARITIME MASTERS November 16-January 31, 2020 The Maritime Gallery FIELD DAYS November 29 – 30 LANTERN LIGHT TOURS Begins November 29 COMMUNITY CAROL SING December 22 HOLIDAY MAGIC December 26-31

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