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Robbins Reef Lighthouse: A Home in the Harbor

Through 2017
Noble lighthouseNoble Maritime Maritime Collection
The Noble Maritime Collection acquired ownership of the Robbins Reef lighthouse, located at the mouth of the Kill van Kull, in 2011. This exhibition pays tribute to the lighthouse, including its history, its restoration, and representations by various artists, including Kathy Fieramosca, Denise Mumm, Robert Padovano, Pamela Talese, Len Tantillo, Dan Thompson, Sarah Yuster, William Behnken, Elle Finn, and  John Stobart.

Ocean Scene, HENRIETTA Scudding
Mystic Seaport

Mapping Ahab’s “Storied Waves”—Whaling and the Geography of Moby-Dick
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Throughout Moby-Dick Melville gives clues as to how Ahab managed to actually locate one whale in all the planet’s seas. These clues had their basis in actual whaling practice. They include practical navigation, the development and use of cartography, the study of accrued whalemen’s knowledge as compiled in logbooks and journals, lists of whales seen and taken, owner’s instructions to masters and other forms of shared knowledge among whalemen. The fiction of Ahab’s search in Moby-Dick reflected a reality that actually culminated in Matthew Fontaine Maury’s Wind and Current Charts. These charts were the first publicly defined maps showing the habitats of whales worldwide and were compiled completely from whaler’s logbooks and journals. We have several of the very logbooks read by Maury in the collection. This exhibit will examine the tools, techniques and resources mentioned by Melville and demonstrate their practical application to real 19th century whalers.

Captain Bligh: Myth, Man, Mutiny
Through7 January 2018
National Museum Cornwall
This exhibition remembers William Bligh in the 200th anniversary year of his death. Featuring relics from the voyage and a specially built reproduction of the Bounty launch, the exhibition challenges the myths and stereotypical perceptions about the mutiny story, one which has become larger than life in Hollywood retellings. Bligh’s Cornish roots also play an important part in the exhibition.


17th National Exhibition, American Society of Marine Artists
Through 2 April
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed
Through 7 January 2018
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
The largest gathering of real objects and original tattoo artworks every assembled in the UK features over 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artifacts. The 100 Hands Project, one of the components of the exhibition, is a collection of one hundred silicone arms, each one tattooed with an original design by 100 of the leading tattoo artists in the UK.

Potomac Waterfowling: Gunning the Nation’s River
Opens 8 April
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Through decoys, photographs, period objects, and historic documents, Potomac Waterfowling demonstrates our capital’s influences on the waterfowling culture of the Potomac—especially the decoys carved for the region’s gunning clubs. “The Potomac River decoy style is unlike anywhere else—it encompasses techniques and details found all over the Chesapeake Bay,” said CBMM Director of Education and Associate Curator Kate Livie, curator of the exhibition. “Decoy carvers were bringing the traditional decoy forms from their hometowns to the Potomac region when they moved to DC for work. So, you see it all—from classic Upper Bay birds to Chincoteague stools—all created to harvest the Potomac’s enormous waterfowl population.”

This exhibit is sponsored by Judy and Henry Stansbury, and the world’s leading decoy auction firm, Guyette & Deeter. Entry to the exhibition is free for CBMM members or with general admission. Potomac Waterfowling will travel to the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, MD, 10–12 November, and return to CBMM’s Waterfowling Building through March 2018. 

36 Hours: Jutland 1916, the Battle that Won the War
Through spring 2019
National Museum of the Royal Navy
Through the largest collection of Jutland artifacts ever assembled, this exhibition recognizes the significance of Jutland and humanizes the period for us through the personal stories of those who experienced it. See the exhibit website for more details.

TREC-1Great Lakes Shipwrecks
25 April
Tom Ridge Environmental Center Presque Isle
This exhibit, developed by Pennsylvania Sea Grant, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Erie Maritime Museum and the Erie County Historical Society, will focus on the many shipwrecks of Lake Erie, and the stories told by their artifacts.

The Original Gus Wagner: The Maritime Roots of Modern Tattoo
South Street Seaport Museum
The Original Gus Wagner: The Maritime Roots of Modern Tattoo explores August “Gus” Wagner’s (1872–1941) early life as a merchant seaman and tattoo artist who traveled the world from 1898-1902, and his return to the United States as a professional tattooist and tattooed man. Most of the artifacts are not on view due to their fragile condition and conservation needs. The reproductions and video projection in the exhibition are a testimony of the richness of Gus Wagner’s image vocabulary, his life and artistic influences, and a relatively unknown area of American history during the period from the 1890s to the 1930s.

Chesapeake Ammo, Camo and Calls
Through March 2017
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Chesapeake Ammo, Camo and Calls explores the fact that waterfowling is not just about decoys. From the evolution of shotguns to the vivid, beautiful boxes made to hold ammunition, this exhibit explores the personal, intimate way that innovation has changed the sportsman’s field experience.
Chesapeake Ammo, Camo and Calls is generously sponsored by Judy and Henry Stansbury, and the world’s leading decoy auction firm, Guyette & Deeter. Entry to the exhibition is free for CBMM members or with general admission. Chesapeake Ammo, Camo and Calls will travel to the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Md. on November 11-13, 2016, and return to the museum’s Waterfowling Building for exhibition through .

Jutland: the Battle and its Legacies
20 May 2016 to 2018
National Maritime Museum
Visitors to the exhibition will learn of the battle and the experience of serving aboard British and German warships through objects such as paintings, photographs, ship models and plans, sailor-made craft work, medals and eyewitness accounts. The exhibition will also cover the immediate aftermath of the battle, as well as the protracted controversies it generated which continue to this day.

See the Light: The Preservation of Midcoast Maine Lighthouses
27 May–22 October 2017
Maine Maritime Museum
The new millennium has seen the U.S. Coast Guard handing over stewardship of the nation’s lighthouses to the public and private sectors. With the participation of at least a dozen Midcoast Maine lighthouse organizations, See the Light, on view in the Marjorie W. Kramer Gallery, will survey the challenges and success stories of preserving these iconic maritime structures.

37th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition
1 October–31 December
Mystic Seaport‘s Maritime Gallery
This marine art exhibition and sale is a comprehensive juried show showcasing recent works of more than 100 award-winning marine artists from around the world—paintings, drawings, sculpture, scrimshaw, and ship models depicting tall ships, sailing yachts, working craft, commercial vessels, warships, and scenes of the shoreline, beaches, harbors, and wildlife that inhabit our seafaring world.
See the exhibition page for details.

Pull Together: Maritime Maine in the 1914–1918 Great War
7 October 2017–10 June 2018
Maine Maritime Museum
Pull Together will examine Maine’s contributions (and losses) of ships, resources, and personnel in the Great War, including Bath-built commercial sailing vessels sunk (or missed) by the German navy, coastal defenses and patrol craft, and the service careers of Maine-born mariners and Maine-built ships of all kinds, from yachts to four-stackers to submarines. Other related topics will include life in the “delirium” of wartime Bath as revealed in contemporary newspapers, propaganda, posters, photography, and other original collection sources at Maine Maritime Museum.

Seduction and Celebrity: The Spectacular Life of Emma Hamilton
National Maritime Museum
The exhibition carries visitors through the arc of this remarkable story, told through over 200 objects from public and private lenders around a core from the Museum’s own collections. Emma’s compelling story will be explored through exceptional fine art; antiquities that inspired Emma’s famous ‘attitudes’; costumes that show her impact on contemporary fashions; prints and caricatures that carried her image to a mass audience; her personal letters and those of Nelson and William Hamilton; and finally the uniform coat that Nelson wore at Trafalgar, retained by Emma until destitution forced her to part with it.