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Ready to roll...
Waiting to be tied down to the truck so they don’t shift.

The Artifacts in the Park campaign rolls on and so do our anchors. Some of them recently took a ride down Jefferson Avenue to Davis Boat Works in downtown Newport News.

Thanks to a generous offer from Senator Frank Wagner, our process has changed dramatically. Wagner donated the services of his marine repair facility, Davis Boat Works. With their expertise, staff from Coastal Cleaning and a blasting process involving recycled glass media, a job that would take us months to complete by hand is now reduced to just a few days. When the cleaning is completed, each piece gets coated with an anti-corrosive product and a polyurethane finish that will protect the artifacts for at least 20 years.   Read more

Art in the Park – Iron Stock Trotman Anchor (DA 64)

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DA64 transport 5-7-13-b

As mentioned in a previous article, we have a current project going titled Artifacts in the Park where we are working on cleaning up some of our large, metal objects (anchors, cannons, propellers, etc.) after being sponsored by someone, or a group of someones.  These artifacts will then be moved out to areas all over the park for our visitors to enjoy.  No sense in keeping all of our awesome objects to ourselves!

The first object I’m going to discuss is an iron stock Trotman type anchor, ca 1852-1890 (Accession # DA 64).  This particular design was patented in 1852 by John Trotman (hence the name), who had improved upon the designs of Hornibal, Porter and Piper.  This type of anchor was frequently used in the marine merchant service.   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

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One thing the museum has recently started doing on Facebook is #Way Back Wednesdays, showcasing photographs from way back when (we’ve been around for 80+ years after all).  We would have done the usual #Throw Back Thursdays, but we were worried that would conflict with our Thursday events, of which we have many (First Thursdays, Thursdays by the Lake, etc.)

These first two pictures never cease to make me laugh.  The one on the left shows our Gondola (ca 1850) being transported to the museum in 1950.  Guess they didn’t have a truck big enough!!  Our gondola, besides being incredibly beautiful, is one of the oldest known to exist, if not the oldest.  It is currently on display in our Small Craft Center.  The picture on the right is an English Naval Cannon (ca 1756-1781) that was raised from the bottom of the York River during diving operations in 1934 getting painted.  We joke about it because the gentleman doing the painting looks as though he could be a male model with his abs and beautiful, flowing hair.  They couldn’t have done that photo better if they had planned it that way.  Hah!   Read more

The Beautiful Outdoors Part 2

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As promised, I’m here to bring you more information and photos about what our wonderful park and trail have to offer visitors (we really are so much more than just a museum!).  One new thing we have outside is our 1952 United States Coast Guard buoy that used to be in the Chesapeake Bay Gallery (pictures are available in other posts of us removing it).  I’ve mentioned this before, but it is now sitting outside of our business entrance for all who pass by to enjoy.  And I have to say, it looks great!

The spot where the buoy is sitting used to house the propeller from SS United States, which can now be seen as you turn onto Avenue of the Arts at the front of our property with the fountain.   Read more

Japanese Wood Block Prints

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Occasionally we come across a project idea that cannot be fulfilled by someone at the museum, either because there is not enough time or because no one has the particular expertise needed.  So when these instances occur, we are very grateful when we can find volunteers who are able to fill in these holes in our staff.  One current project where this is the case is with our Japanese wood block prints, cataloging and researching them.  In this case, we were fortunate enough to come across Rachel Berman, who has a Master’s degree in East Asian art and has been kind enough to volunteer to work on our Japanese prints.

Above are three beautiful examples of the Japanese prints, which are very colorful and eye-catching.  I particularly like the first one as it appears to be an ordinary woman performing an everyday task.  Rachel’s input on these pieces will be incredibly valuable to us as we have translations (although not always completely correct), but we do not know much beyond that.  She will help us learn about any history of the piece or significance, including some that have owner’s stamps on them.  Rachel will also be checking our translations to make sure that they are correct.  After the project is complete, this information will be put into the object files for future reference, as well as into our computer database so anyone researching us online will be able to find this information.   Read more