The Stars that Guide Us: Roy Rossow - New Bedford Whaling Museum

The Stars that Guide Us: Roy Rossow

The Stars that Guide Us: Roy Rossow

New Bedford Whaling Museum

Center Street Gallery

December 15, 2023 – April 21, 2024

Exhibition Programs


February 1st


The Stars that Guide Us, created by artist Roy Rossow, is slated for the Museum’s Center Street Gallery from December 14, 2023 through April 21, 2024. The project represents a significant creative endeavor and the generation of two interrelated but distinctive bodies of work. The paintings created address New Bedford’s working waterfront, contemporary maritime trade and activities, and historic celestial navigation. In this way the exhibit connects mariners of today with whalers of the past. Drawn to nocturnes as subject matter, Rossow has developed a distinctive style, which couples bold coloration with an evocative sense of glowing light.

The Stars that Guide Us will marry two related bodies of work, specially created for the exhibition from sketches and studies made during visits to the Museum galleries and observation decks before sunrise and after sunset. The first group include scenes of New Bedford’s working waterfront and contemporary maritime trade and activities, including fishing vessels, freighters, ferries, and tugboats, seen at night with glowing orbs of incandescent light flashing in the darkness and the shimmer of reflection cast on the open waters. The second group are inspired by the ways in which stars and celestial bodies cast a similar emanating glow as the lights of the maritime vessels. Rossow pictures the radiance of celestial forms as luminous, burning bodies in the dark, drawing connections between star charts and celestial navigation practices of mariners in centuries past. Joining this impactful installation will be a selection of objects and models from the New Bedford Whaling Museum collection that reflect these ideas related to astral navigation and the working waterfront.