On View

Spend an hour, spend a day or more. There is always something to see at the Museum.

On View Exhibitions

The New Bedford Whaling Museum proudly celebrates and showcases some of the talented artists of the region. The exhibition rotates regularly and is located on the first floor of the Museum. This is an area that is accessible for free, no admission required.

This special exhibit features artwork by the student winners of the international Ocean Awareness Contest run by local nonprofit Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs.

A City for the Arts: Masterworks of Greater New Bedford celebrates our region’s tremendous impact through the centuries on American Fine Art, that continues to resonate, reverberate, and inspire. From William Bradford to Albert Bierstadt to Clement Nye Swift, our region has been home to some of our country’s most revered master artists.

Energy and Enterprise Energy and Enterprise: Industry and the City of New Bedford tells the story of New Bedford’s evolution from a whaling port to a manufacturing center. Energy and Enterprise Energy and Enterprise: Industry and the City of New Bedfor …

Grab your passport and experience a new world encountered by New Bedford whalers. Voyages connected world cultures through commerce and helped establish American hegemony in far-flung ports. Through both commercial activity and crewmen enlisting and disembarking, these voyages set in place the initial pattern of immigration that follows to this day.

An exhibition dedicated to the science and behavior of whales, their cultural impact, the current threats to their survival, and empowering all to support conservation efforts.

In 1602 English seafarers explored coastal Massachusetts for timber, fish and furs. By the 1620s, strong differences in religious beliefs led groups like the Pilgrims (and later the Puritans) to leave England and colonize Massachusetts in pursuit of a better life.

Installed in 2012, this is a sumptuous “permanent” exhibition of the best, most representative, and most compelling curiosities of our vast scrimshaw holdings — a generous selection drawn from the world’s largest and greatest collection. The exhibition is the partial result of 25+ years of cataloguing and research.

This exhibition explores the Republic of Cape Verde, its people, maritime history, connections to New England, and the legacies that continue to tie New Bedford and its culture to Cape Verde.

The Azorean Whaleman Gallery is the only permanent exhibition space in the United States that honors the Portuguese people and their significant contributions to this country’s maritime heritage.

Step aboard the spectacular Lagoda, the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s half-scale model of the whaling bark. Built inside the Bourne Building in 1915-16, with funds donated by Emily Bourne in memory of her father, whaling merchant Jonathan Bourne, Jr., Lagoda is the largest ship model in existence.

Virtual attendees joined artist Alison Wells and Whaling Museum Curator of Social History Akeia de Barros Gomes for a discussion of Alison’s artistic journey.

John Bockstoce has been described as an “Arctic Ulysses.” An Arctic anthropologist, historian, and archaeologist with a deep appreciation for Arctic people and culture, Bockstoce navigated the Northwest Passage—an icy and dangerous voyage—over the course of a decade.

This exhibition presents whaling from the perspective of a new recruit. From your first encounter with whaling agent Jonathan Bourne (1811-1889) to your voyage’s end and your payout at the conclusion of the exhibit (and an imagined two-year voyage between) you’ll encounter the men, materials, and activities aboard a typical whaling vessel like our iconic half-scale

An exhibition dedicated to the science and behavior of whales, their cultural impact, the current threats to their survival, and empowering all to support conservation efforts. The Whaling Museum tells the story of human interaction with whales in the world’s oceans.

This exhibition, based on Stan Grayson’s newly published A Man for All Oceans: Captain Joshua Slocum and the first solo voyage around the world, explores the life of Slocum particularly in regards to his monumental and most well-known voyage alone on the Spray.

The Two Nations of Manjiro Nakahama explores the remarkable life and influence of Manjiro Nakahama (1827-1898), the first Japanese person to live in and learn English in the U.S. after his rescue at sea in 1841 by the John Howland, a New Bedford whaleship.

Stand on the bow of the world’s largest model whaleship, the Lagoda, and watch the Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World scroll by in a life-sized digital format projected in a full theatrical setting, and experience what Benjamin Russell and other whalers saw as they left the port of New Bedford and traveled the sea in search of whales.

An exhibition dedicated to the science and behavior of whales, their cultural impact, the current threats to their survival, and empowering all to support conservation efforts. The Whaling Museum tells the story of human interaction with whales in the world’s oceans.