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Women’s History

Women’s History

Join us in celebrating the stories of women whose contributions, courage, and sacrifices have shaped maritime history.

Around the Museum

Women’s history is weaved throughout the galleries of The Mariners’ Museum, even extending to the building itself. Here are some of our favorite highlights. 

  • Anna Hyatt Huntington in the studio
  • Lion statue
  • Reaching Jaguar
  • Statue of a tiger yawning
  • Statue of Conquering the Wild

Location: Huntington Room and near the Lions Bridge

Anna Hyatt Huntington was a prolific sculptor whose career spanned almost 80 years. She had a lifelong fascination with animals; most of her work features wild and domesticated creatures. Anna gained popularity almost unheard of among 20th-century artists, and her art is still popular today. 

Steamboat Kate Adams Model

Location: Gallery 7 (display case near Huntington Room)

Kate Adams was named after the wife of prominent Tennessee entrepreneur Major John D. Adams. Naming ships after women was a very common practice. Women and female figures were associated with nurturing and protection. Look for other ships in the galleries with feminine names.

Exhibit - casemate

Location: The Casemate of CSS Virginia 

Once believed to have been enslaved, Mary Louvestre was a free African American woman who managed to get a copy of the plans for CSS Virginia. She took the plans to Gideon Wells, Secretary of the Navy, in Washington DC.

Mary Louvestre, a Union spy?

Portrait of Martha Geer and part of a letter that was sent from Mr. Geer.

Location: Wall of the Monitor Center Entrance

George Geer wrote several letters to his wife Martha during his service onboard USS Monitor. The correspondence between Martha and George provides direct insight into life on board Monitor.

women standing in front of Turret

Location: Ironclad Revolution Entrance (Recovery video)

Retired US Navy Captain Barbara “Bobbie” Scholley led several salvage team expeditions to the wreck of USS Monitor and helped raise the turret. She is a Women Divers Hall of Fame member, which promotes exciting opportunities for female divers. Watch the video below to see how Bobbie’s team partnered with others to recover the turret from the depths of the ocean.

  • Close view of an Alaskan native covering umiak with skin
  • Looking down on Alaskan natives covering umiak with skin.
  • Oomiak (Umiak) canoe

Location: International Small Craft Center

The umiak is known as the “women’s boat.” Inuit cultures of the Arctic have used these and similar vessels for hunting, fishing, and moving from place to place for generations. Inuit women used umiaks to move their families and goods as they migrated seasonally. Women were also instrumental in the construction of the umiak when the animal skin was stretched over the frame to create the body of the boat, as well as helping make repairs.

In Our Collection

The Mariners’ Collection is home to an array of beautiful images and artwork related to Women’s History.

Discover the Collection

What is a maritime museum, and what does it have to do with you? Our vast Collections explore people, places, ships, art, cultures, and more throughout time and from all over the world! Take a look at the highlights below to discover your connection to the world’s waters.

women ringing a bell
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