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Maritime History Exhibition: All Hands! Yankee Whaling and the U. S. Navy

September 1, 2023 - September 8, 2024

The maritime history exhibition All Hands! Yankee Whaling and the U. S. Navy will open at the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s Braitmayer Gallery on September 1, 2023, and remain on display until September 8, 2024. All Hands! explores the deep cultural connections between American whaling and the U.S. Navy from the 1780s through the First World War. The exhibition, curated by Michael P. Dyer, Curator of Maritime History, will feature a diverse array of objects, such as whalemen’s scrimshaw of naval battles, medals of service, and marine paintings and prints, as well as personal biographies and objects from sailors who served in both branches. This is the first collection to explore this foundational topic, considering how the United States became a global sea power thanks, in large part, to the efforts of the US whaling fleet and the experiences of the many whalemen who enlisted in this branch of the service.

It will highlight U.S. Naval Hydrographic Office sea charts to which whalers contributed, Federal documents supporting the United States Exploring Expedition, and narratives about the numerous naval protection and police operations in support of whalers in seas around the world. Objects on loan to the exhibition from other institutions include cultural artifacts from Oceania collected by Lieutenant John Collings Long and on loan from the Portsmouth Atheneaum. A half hull and ship model of the Essex are on loan from Mystic Seaport Museum, and the Naval History & Heritage Command is lending the Joachim Pease medal of honor. The objects and stories in All Hands! reflect their service and experiences and demonstrate how influential US whaling was to the development of the American Naval force today and to establishing its international dominance on the high seas.

More details can be found at https://www.whalingmuseum.org/exhibition/all-hands/.


September 1, 2023
September 8
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New Bedford Whaling Museum
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New Bedford Whaling Museum
18 Johnny Cake Hill
New Bedford, MA 02740 United States
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