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.
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 the night of the lecture.
Tickets are required for all evening lectures
Lectures begin at 7:00 PM • Doors open at 6:15 PM
Unless otherwise noted, lectures are held in the Main Lobby of The Mariners’ Museum and Park.
Special thanks to our lecture sponsors:
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.
Presented by Rowan Jacobsen, James Beard award-winning author
Thursday, November 14, 2018 • 7:00 PM
The New Golden Age of Oysters
Oysters, which were once so central to the economic and ecological health of our coasts, are again rising stars. Rowan Jacobsen, America’s go-to oyster guru, explains their unique appeal, the factors that make one oyster different from another, the recent breakthroughs in oyster restoration, and the central role the Mid-Atlantic is playing in their renaissance.Buy Tickets Here
Rowan Jacobsen is the James Beard Award-winning author of A Geography of Oysters, American Terroir, The Living Shore, The Essential Oyster, among other books. He has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and elsewhere. He has also written for the New York Times. Jacobsen is the founder of the websites Oysterguide.com (for his opinions) and Oysterater.com (for everybody else’s), and is a longtime advocate for living shorelines and coastal restoration.
Presented by Harry Warren & Brian van Eerden
Thursday, January 24, 2019 • 7:00 PM
Tapping History: The Untold Story of Longleaf Pine, Naval Stores, and a Vanished Forest
Tar, pitch, turpentine and rosin—known collectively as naval stores—were as important in the era of wooden sailing ships as petroleum is today. The South once dominated the naval stores industry, which tapped vast longleaf forests for resin and ultimately decimated them. Uncover the history of our region’s naval stores and ghost forests. Learn the myths behind the term “Tar Heel.” Discover how conservationists are bringing back the majestic longleaf as part of Virginia’s heritage and our resilient future.Buy Tickets Here
This lecture is being co-sponsored with:
Harry Warren, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, received a BA degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and an MA in history and museology from East Carolina University. His 34-year museum career includes work at the North Carolina Aquarium, the Smithsonian, Cape Fear Museum and as director of the North Carolina Museum of Forestry, where he retired in 2013.
Brian van Eerden is the director of The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Pinelands Program. He manages the Conservancy’s land acquisition and forest management projects across southeastern Virginia. He received his MS degree in botany from the University of Georgia and his BA degree in plant science from Pennsylvania State University.
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.
Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center
Saturday, November 17, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Rear Admiral John Adolphus Bernard Dahlgren is known as the ‘father of American naval ordnance.’ Dahlgren was assigned to the Washington Navy Yard in 1847 as an ordnance expert, and served there until 1863. As commander of the yard, he would establish the Bureau of Ordnance. Dahlgren is most famous for his small boat howitzer design as well as his design of the cast-iron muzzle loading shell gun known as the Dahlgren gun. Named commandeer of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, he maintained the blockade of Savannah and Charleston until those ports were captured by land forces commanded by William T. Sherman.RSVP Here
Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center
Saturday, December 8, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Christmas Day 1862 was a joyful day for the Monitor Boys. Great food, cannon demonstrations and comradeship filled the hearts and minds of the heroes of Hampton Roads. Yet, that evening their thoughts turned serious as Capt. John Pyne Bankhead told them of the order sending Monitor south. They all knew their ship was unseaworthy, and some feared passing Cape Hatteras. The USS Monitor left Hampton Roads under the tow of USS Rhode Island on 29 December. It encountered a fierce storm on the afternoon of 30 December. Heavy seas overwhelmed the ironclad with only 47 of its crew of 63 surviving as Monitor sank in the early morning of 31 December. Indeed, the little ship that had saved the nation was no more.
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 reserving a seat is suggested as seating is limited. Reserve seats online –see each lecture below.
Presented by Sarah Puckitt Scruggs, Curator of Photography and Archivist at the Museum
Saturday, December 1, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Join Curator of Photography Sarah Scruggs on a journey to several European cities in the 1920s and 1930s, through the photography of Edward B. Hungerford. Over the course of his lifetime, Hungerford traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe and found ways to spin these adventures off into publications. Every year, Hungerford traveled more than 75,000 miles by train just for the fun of it, according to one piece of personal correspondence referenced by the Watertown Daily Times. Hungerford eventually calculated that over the years he had ridden more than 1.5 million miles on rails, according to the same piece. Hungerford wrote for the Saturday Evening Post and Harper’s Magazine and published many commercially successful books. His photographic collection includes cities and waterways in the United States, Canada, and several European countries.RSVP Here