On View

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

On View Exhibitions

Delicate and monumental installations by ceramicist, sculptor, ocean advocate Mattison poignantly illustrate the widespread, devastating effects of ocean warming and pollution on marine species.

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.

Geography, environment and habitat have all contributed to the growth of cultures that hunt whales for food, bones and oil for survival in regions where agriculture is difficult or impossible.

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.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum proudly celebrates and showcases talented regional artists. Featured artist: Roy St. C. Rossow. The exhibition is located on the first floor of the Museum. This area is accessible for free, no admission required.

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.

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 …

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.

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.

An exhibition devoted to the life, times, and legacy of Captain Paul Cuffe–an abolitionist, entrepreneur, merchant, whaler, navigator and much more.

A special exhibit at New Bedford Whaling Museum featuring remarkable, historic women who shaped their SouthCoast communities, the nation, and the world.

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.

While many seal species use the waters off of New Bedford, harbor seals and gray seals are the most common and have a year-round presence in New England and beyond.

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

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

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.

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.

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.