Sea History 114 - Spring 2006

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he Nacional M aricime Museum and N oningham Trenr Uni versity are sponso rin g a o ne-day conference on Sawrday, 20 M ay 2006, "Shipwreck in che Lo ng 18ch Cencury." In the long l 8ch century, and es pecially in che Romantic period, shipwrecks were all too frequent evems that simulcan eou sly fascinaced, excited and appalled the British population at all levels of society. W ith some 5,000 Britons a year dying at sea, acco rding to o ne escimace in 18 12, chey we re cragedies that touched a greac many families and also impinged significantly on eco no mi c and scracegic well-being of E ngland. This, in wrn, gave shipwrecks, and representations of shipwrecks, co nsiderable ideological significance. If Bri ra nni a ruled ch e waves, as James Thomson proclaim ed in 1740, and if British maricim e prowess was a mark of Providenti al fa vo r, whac did che shipwreck signi fy? H ow were such traum ati c events to be nego ciated culw rall y and ideo logically? lhe Wreck ofthe East lndiaman 'Dutton' at This o ne-day, interdisciplinary co nference will address the Plymouth Sound, 26January 1796 social and perso nal impact of the shipwreck, paying particular atby Thomas Luny (1 82 1, oil o n canvas, 770 x 11 20 mm) tenti o n to che many cultural representations chat such m aricime disasters gave rise to- the vario us wrinen accounts of wrecks, bo ch literary and non-literary; the visual images, in paintings, engravings and ch e like; the dram as and chearrical speccacles. The conference is being held in che Th e Leo pold M ull er Leccure Theatre at the Na tio nal Maritime M useum, G reenwich, Londo n. For more inform aci o n, co ntact the Research Administrator, Ph. 020 83 12 67 16; e-mail : uk; in fo and regiscracion form s ava ilable o nline ac: www. - NMM, London.

CALL TO ARTISTS: Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay, Oregon, has issued a Call to Artists for their 13th Annual Marine Art Exhibition next summer. Submiss io n deadline is 6 May 2006 . The exhibicion wi ll be on display from 2 1 Jul y - 23 September 2006. Coinciding with th e exhibition opening will be th e Plein Ai r/Wet Paim evem for marine paimers. This year's featured artist is Sylvia Wacers. (Fo r details on eligibili ty and submi ssio ns, see: www.coosart. org. Coos Art Museum , 23 5 Anderso n Ave nue, Coos Bay, OR 97420; Ph . 54 1 267-3901 ; e-mail: info@coosart. org)


n September, So uch Srreec Seapo rt Museum in New Yo rk C ity put o n display a rare wooden fi gurehead represeming che famous Swedish so pra no Jenn y Lind. How che figurehead cam e to be rediscove red is a fasc inacing story in icself. In che 1840s and 50s, Jenny Lind (18 20- 1887) caught the world 's an ention wich her crys tal voice, becoming famous as the "Swedish Nightingale." P T. Barnum organized an Ameri can tour in 18 50 th ac catapulted her into imernational stardom. In 185 1, shipbui lders in Eliot, Maine, Jenny Lind in laun ched the clipper ship Nightingale, named "La Sonnambula" in Jenny Lind's ho no r. A carved likeness of che singer graced the ship's bow. Ac firsc, Nightingale made reco rd-senin g voyages between England j enny Lind.figurehead and po res in che Far Ease, bur in che lace 1850s, she became in fam ous as a slave ship. Early in the C ivil Wa r, Nightingale was capcured by ch e Unio n navy and served as a bl ockade vessel at sourhern ports. Afcer the war, che ship was so ld several times, finall y to a No rwegian captain who reficted her as a freighter. Nightingale was eventually lost in the No rth Atlantic in 1893 . H ow did che figurehead survive the ship's sinking? In 1885, Nightingale's bow was severely damaged when ch e ship scruck a reef near che coast of No rway. The figurehead was apparently removed durin g repairs o n che ship and never reinstalled . In 1994, about 100 yea rs after Nightingale sank, Swedish anciques dealer Ka rl-Eri c Svardskog discove red a beauciful ship's figurehead covered in dust and dirt in che back of a barn . The Nightingale figurehead will remain on displ ay at South Street Seaport Museum ch ro ugh December 2006. (So uth Street Seaport Museum 12 Fulton Street NewYork NY 10038; Ph . 2 12 748-8600; www.souchstsea --South Street Seaport Museum