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Lectures

Our lectures cover a wide range of maritime topics. Catch a Maritime Connections staff lecture or Civil War Lecture by John Quarstein during the day. Experts and maritime authors lead lectures in the evenings. Maritime Connections staff lectures and Civil War Lectures are free with Museum admission. Evening lectures are $5 and free for members. RSVP for any of the lectures online to guarantee a spot.
Steven Callahan at The Mariners' Museum

Steven Callahan, American author and survivor of 76 days adrift at sea, speaking in 2014 at The Mariners’ Museum


Lecture Dates & Titles

Lectures cover a wide range of maritime topics and are presented by nationally and internationally recognized authors, filmmakers, historians, scientists and other experts in their fields. Author lectures are followed by a book signing. Books are available in the Museum Shop and may be purchased either the night of the lecture or in advance online.

Tickets are required for all evening lectures

  • Adult and child tickets are $5 each.
  • Mariners’ Museum Member tickets are free.

Lectures begin at 7:00 PM  •  Doors open at 6:15 PM

Open for dinner before evening lectures!

Full menu is available from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Grab a meal, snack or cup of coffee before the lecture begins.  View the menu

Unless otherwise noted, lectures are held in the Main Lobby of The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

Become a Mariners’ Member
Attend select lectures for FREE!

To learn more about Member benefits like free admission to select lecture series programs, please visit MarinersMuseum.org/Membership.

Special thanks to our lecture sponsors:

Virginia Health Services logo
WHRO Public Media logo
Hunnicutt Lecture Fund logo

Notice About Reservations:

Members will receive free admission to our Lecture Series Programs with reservation. Reservations will be accepted online until 4:00 PM on the day of the lecture as well as available at the door. When placing a reservation over the telephone, leaving a voicemail does not guarantee that your reservation has been accepted. Reserved seating will be held until 6:55 PM (or 5 minutes before the program begins), afterwards seats will be available to all guests.


Please check back later for our list of Fall lectures and dates!

Civil War Lectures

 

Please join John Quarstein, renowned historian and director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, as he teaches about the intriguing maritime history of the Civil War. This long-running series explores the ships, personalities, technologies, and battles that would shape our nation for the next 150 years.

Civil War lectures are free with Museum admission, but reserving a seat is suggested as seating is limited. Reserve seats online –see each lecture below.

Become a Mariners’ Member
Attend select lectures for FREE!

To learn more about Member benefits like free admission to select lecture series programs, please visit MarinersMuseum.org/Membership.


15 JUN

Summer on USS Monitor

Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center

Saturday, June 15, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

In support of the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, the ironclad USS Monitor spent that extremely hot and humid summer on the James River. The vessel was guarding against any possible excursion by the ironclad CSS Richmond. Monitor‘s crew suffered terribly from the heat. Crew member George Geer noted temperatures throughout the ship “were just intolerable: 110 degrees in the storeroom, 127 degrees in the engine room, 155 degrees in the galley, and 85 degrees on the berth deck.” The ventilation system was inadequate to bring sufficient fresh air into the iron vessel. The officers and crew suffered beyond compare in their floating Hades on the James.

RSVP Here

13 JUL

CSS Hunley

Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center

Saturday, July 13, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Originally known as Fish Boat, CSS H. L. Hunley was the first submarine to sink a warship. Even though this Confederate weapon sank twice during testing, Hunley was able to destroy the blockader USS Housatonic with its spar torpedo on February 17, 1864. Following the attack, Hunley sank, taking with it the submarine’s entire crew.

RSVP Here

10 AUG

The Siege of Port Hudson

Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center

Saturday, August 10, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

This siege was the final action associated with the Union’s effort to control the Mississippi River. Port Hudson was commanded by Gen. Franklin Gardner, where his gun emplacements overlooking the river defeated a portion of Adm. David Glasgow Farragut’s fleet on March 13, 1863. Union General Nathaniel Banks did not formally begin his operations until May 22, 1863. Banks’s first two assaults against the Confederate entrenchments failed, resulting in a siege that lasted until July 9, 1863, when Port Hudson surrendered. President Lincoln then said, the “Father of all rivers now flows unvexed into the sea.”

RSVP Here

14 SEP

Samuel Dana Greene, Hero of the USS Monitor

Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center

Saturday, September 14, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

An 1859 graduate of the US Naval Academy, Samuel Dana Greene was serving aboard USS Hartford when the Civil War erupted. Greene volunteered for service on USS Monitor and was named that ironclad’s executive officer. The young lieutenant commanded the turret during the Battle of Hampton Roads. Due to the wounding of Lt. John Worden at the end of the engagement, Greene was named Monitor’s commander for one day but was later replaced by Lt. Thomas O. Selfridge Jr. Greene continued to serve in the Navy until he committed suicide in 1884, reportedly brought on by his service on Monitor.

RSVP Here

Maritime Connections

 

This is a new lecture series presented by The Mariners’ Museum and Park staff. Go behind the scenes of the Museum and explore our collection while learning about the work we do. This series will explore the ways our staff cares for our collection, designs our exhibits, brings objects to life, and helps us all to connect with the world’s waters. These lectures will be held on the first Saturday of each month.

Maritime Connections lectures are free with Museum admission, but seating is limited.

Become a Mariners’ Member
Attend select lectures for FREE!

To learn more about Member benefits like free admission to select lecture series programs, please visit MarinersMuseum.org/Membership.


1 JUN

Capturing the Action in Maritime Photography

Presented by Sarah Scruggs, Curator of Photography/Photo Archivist

Saturday, June 1, 2019 · 10:30 AM & 2:30 PM

Expanding on The Mariners’ Museum’s current exhibition Seizing the Moment: The Evolution of Action Photography, curator of photography Sarah Scruggs will provide a brief history in the technical advancements that led image-makers to be able to stop action. View exciting action images from The Horace Havemeyer III Collection, which showcases featured photographers Edwin Levick and Morris Rosenfeld, as well as work by other contemporary photographers who depicted the evolution of marine photography from a documentary approach to more of an artistic perspective.


6 JUL

Monitor Archaeology: methods, finds, and hypotheses

Presented by Hannah Fleming, the Museum’s Material Culture Specialist

As more and more conservation projects are started, progressed, and finished, new questions, hypotheses, and details are revealed. Join Hannah Fleming, the Conservation Department’s Material Culture Specialist for a recap of the archaeological methods used to recover and excavate the USS Monitor, a discussion of the finds that have influenced our understanding of the ship, and to hear hypotheses on oddities and occurrences found throughout the project. From there, you are encouraged to make your own decisions about what actually happened on the Monitor.