Ceramics and other faces

Posted on
DSCF8466

One thing I learned a couple of years ago is that ceramic figurines are definitely not for me.  We have quite a collection here at The Mariner’s Museum and some of them are hilarious or have downright terrifying faces.

The picture above shows two ceramic pieces, one depicting a sailor leaving his sweetheart and the other is the sailor returning to his sweetheart.  This makes me laugh every time because the sailor didn’t just get a tan, he’s red as a lobster!  When he left he was pasty white and being out in the sun, as sailors are, has done quite a number to him.  I imagine his sweetheart probably had a difficult time recognizing him (imagine her reaction!).   Read more

Enjoying the Beautiful Outdoors

Posted on
Lion's Bridge
Lion’s Bridge

With the arrival of Spring and sunny, warm weather, I am reminded of all the fun things the museum has to offer outside of the building (especially as my office is rather chilly). It seems as though a lot of people don’t already know this, but the museum owns 550 acres of property, including the Noland Trail and Lake Maury. Part of the vision of our founder, Archer Huntington, was to create an outside space for the public to be able to enjoy along with the museum. Lake Maury was created by constructing a dam (the Lion’s Bridge) near the James River.

Many people in our community are very familiar with Lion’s Bridge as it is a frequently visited area. I mean, what’s not to love? There are a few places to sit down and enjoy beautiful weather while also getting great views of the James River and Lake Maury while the majestic lions stand guard. Every November festive wreaths are placed around the necks of the lions to help bring in the Holidays, which has become a popular event in the community. As for the history of the lions, they were sculpted by the museum’s founder’s wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington (click HERE to learn more about her), ca 1932.   Read more

Chesapeake Bay Gallery Update

Posted on
not much clearance lifting it out of the gallery
not much clearance lifting it out of the gallery

Last week we finished moving artifacts out of the Chesapeake Bay Gallery, which now looks very empty! Hampton Roads Crane and Rigging helped us move out the last two large objects, a Coast Guard buoy and an engine.

First to come out was our 7X15 lighted Coast Guard Buoy from 1952. As it stood in the gallery it almost touched the ceiling, so getting it out was rather interesting because there was not much space to work with. Luckily, the top comes off. It is now outside in front of our business entrance for everyone (including confused joggers) to enjoy.
   Read more

Chesapeake Bay Gallery Update

Posted on
Deadrise being lifted out of the gallery
Deadrise being lifted out of the gallery

Yesterday was a very exciting day for us as we moved several of our larger objects out of the Chesapeake Bay Gallery, leaving some really large, empty spaces. We took the boats from the gallery out to our warehouse for storage. This is a big step for us in getting the gallery clear for future exhibitions. Next week we will get out the last few remaining objects, which are a steamboat mirror, 14-ton engine and large buoy.

The first to go was our Deadrise Oyster Workboat, ca 1955.


   Read more

Learning to trust Wikipedia

Posted on
USS Lancaster Eagle
USS Lancaster Eagle

Coming up with ways to allow the public better access to our collection is something we constantly think about. After all, that’s the main reason we created this blog. Besides this blog, I also try to post an object a week on Twitter for our followers to see. Here’s our Twitter handle if you don’t already follow us, @MarinersMuseum. Another activity I became interested in this past summer was editing Wikipedia. We’re conditioned to believe that Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source and we should not look there for answers (yet we all do anyway), but I’ve learned that this isn’t necessarily the case. There are a great many people working to make sure that the articles are well-written and, more importantly, use proper sources. I tend to use Wikipedia as a place to start when I begin researching something. I can usually find a few major details and then some resources that I can turn to for more information.

Knowing that people come to Wikipedia so frequently, whether they admit it or not, I believe it is important for us, the museum, to use the site to let the public know what we can offer them. I have gradually been working on adding our objects to various pages, especially examples from various artists. Some of my favorite additions include a picture of our music box model on the page for the PS Commonwealth, an anchor on the SS Christopher Columbus and a painting for John Cleveley the Elder.   Read more