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

May Artifact of the Month – Box from the USS Cyclops

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One of the greatest unsolved sinking mysteries of the U.S. Navy is the story of USS Cyclops, a steel twin screw collier that went missing during World War I, rumored to have disappeared within the Bermuda Triangle. Our Artifact of the Month is actually a chest from Cyclops, which was donated to the museum in September 1941. Unfortunately, nothing was found within the sea chest, which was found under the donor’s home in Norfolk, Virginia in 1926.

One of the greatest unsolved sinking mysteries of the U.S. Navy is the story of USS Cyclops, a steel twin screw collier that went missing during World War I, rumored to have disappeared within the Bermuda Triangle. Our Artifact of the Month is actually a chest from Cyclops, which was donated to the museum in September 1941. Unfortunately, nothing was found within the sea chest, which was found under the donor’s home in Norfolk, Virginia in 1926.

Donor Celebration

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Norddeutscher Lloyd Line poster

Last week was a whirlwind of activity for us and for several others in the museum as we celebrated the donation of the Herbert Beazley steamship collection by Norma Beazley, who is a wonderful lady.  Last year Cindi and I spent two days in Houston packing the collection and then two days driving it back to the museum in a moving truck.  It was a long journey, but very worthwhile when we started to see what exactly it was we had brought back (a total of about 22,000 pieces!).  We had objects, videos, photographs, postcards, slides, books and a very large number of archival pieces.  Archival pieces generally include flat paper pieces such as menus, deck plans, passenger lists, receipts, tickets, baggage tags, etc.  Between us and the library staff (as well as a number of awesome interns) it took us about two months to completely inventory the collection.

What is so great about this collection (besides how massive it is) is how many wonderful things have now come to our museum because of it.   Read more

Exploring the "Age of Exploration"

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Entrance to the Age of Exploration
Entrance to the Age of Exploration

As my time here at the Mariners’ Museum comes to a close, I’ve realized that I know our collection very well, but I only know a little about our exhibitions.  I want to use my last couple of weeks here to discuss some of our exhibitions and explore them for myself! For my first one I looked at the Age of Exploration.

We all learn about the explorers who sailed the Atlantic in the 15th-17th centuries at a young age.  Here at the Mariners’ Museum, we have a great collection of exploration artifacts and a VERY thorough explanation of this era in history.  While the amount of stuff in the gallery may be a little overwhelming, there is a wealth of information to go with it.   Read more