It’s time again for some more old photos from the museum for our Way Back Wednesdays theme. This month’s photos focus on the gallery spaces and, in one case, an interesting way to get a large object into the exhibition (a problem we still sometimes face!).
The above photo was taken in November of 1943 and shows one of the old gallery spaces. It features quite a number of figureheads/carvings and paintings/prints. The amount of objects showcased in this exhibition is mind-boggling and I imagine it might have been quite overwhelming for guests. This is what I would imagine a Cabinet of Curiosity would have looked like. While I can appreciate the objects out for visitors to clearly see, it also makes my heart skip a beat because touching can cause so much damage and this is also an easy way to have objects stolen, which has indeed happened to us. Nevertheless, I do enjoy the old images of the galleries.
Above is another photo from an old gallery, taken in October of 1941. This space isn’t quite so cluttered as the other, but still has a lot of objects in it. The boat in the background is a whaleboat (accession # BU 02) made in 1933 by Charles Beetle of Beetle Boat Building Company, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It is currently on display in our wonderful Small Craft Center. The figurehead in front is Semiramis from the yacht Narada (accession number OF 01). She was made by Ramage and Ferguson in Scotland after the original figurehead for the yacht was lost. Unfortunately, this lady is in storage at the moment.
This next photo was taken in March of 1953 and shows a corner of what today is known as The Great Hall of Steam. The figurehead (accession number OF 0055) on the left, is attributed to the iron hull ship Benmore, which was built in 1879 by J. Reid & Co. in Glasgow, Scotland. We also call her Columbia and she can still be seen out in the Great Hall of Steam exhibition as she was put back up about 3 years ago after conservation. I like this picture because Ienjoy seeing all of the china out on display like that. We don’t put too much out at a time anymore because we haven’t had an exhibition where that would make sense.
This last photo is my favorite of the four. I’m not sure if they are removing the boat or trying to get it into the building, but the fact that the only way to get it in/out was to create a boat-shaped hole in the building cracks me up! To be fair, this boat is incredibly large, as the people standing next to it show. It is a Portuguese Fishing boat (accession number BF 01) from 1926 and is 51′ long (holy moley!).
That’s all I’ve got for this month, but don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for more Way Back Wednesdays!