Current Exhibitions

Inner Light: The World of William Bradford

Oils, watercolors, and sketchbooks illuminate the life and work of one of New Bedford's greatest artists.


Large-scale photographs by internationally renowned artist Nuno Sá, the most awarded wildlife photographer from Portugal.

Treasures of the Whaling Museum: Touchstones to the Region’s Past

This show highlights objects included in our new souvenir book that are not included in thematic exhibitions in other galleries.

The Dr. Gilbert and Frima Shapiro Gallery

A permanent new exhibition space featuring New England Fine and Decorative Arts, including the Museum’s Pairpoint and Mount Washington Glass Collections.

International Gallery

Highlights of the Museum’s exceptional collection of fine and decorative arts, navigational instruments, ship models, artifacts, manuscripts, and maps from around the world.

Energy and Enterprise: Industry and the City of New Bedford

Focusing on the people, products, and infrastructures behind the rhythmic rises and falls of an industrial city.

Harboring Hope in Old Dartmouth: 1602-1827

This exhibition contextualizes the story of yankee whaling within the larger scope of Old Dartmouth history and the evolution of the port city of New Bedford.

In the Heart of the Sea: Hollywood goes A-Whaling

Thanks to the generosity of Warner Bros. Pictures, this exhibition features four costumes on loan from the film In the Heart of the Sea with additional artifacts included from the Museum collection.

Following Fish

From the upper deck of the Museum you can see a beautiful panoramic view of the local fishing fleet. Come imagine yourself at the local fishery in the past, present, and future.

"Go a whaling I must, and I would": Life Aboard a New Bedford Whaling Vessel

This exhibition highlights the men, materials and activities aboard a whaling vessel.

A Voyage Around the World: Cultures Abroad, Cultures at Home

Grab your passport and experience the diversity of cultures encountered by whalers as they travel the world. 

Mapping Ahab’s “Storied Waves”

Whaling and the Geography of  Moby-Dick – an examination of the tools, techniques and resources mentioned by Melville.

Scrimshaw: Shipboard Art of the Whalers

A sumptuous exhibition of the best, most representative, and most compelling curiosities of our vast scrimshaw holdings.

Cuffe Kitchen & Park

A multi-media experience about prominent merchant, philanthropist, community leader, civil rights advocate and abolitionist Captain Paul Cuffe (1759 – 1817).

Cape Verdean Maritime Exhibit

Connections between New Bedford and Cape Verde, the unique characteristics of Cape Verdean culture, and the special legacy of that culture and history here in New Bedford.

Azorean Whaleman Gallery

Chronicling Azorean/American cultural exchange in the 19th century.

Whales Today

The story of human interactions with whales would be incomplete without discussing today's scientific work.


Climb aboard an 89-foot, half-scale model of the Bark Lagoda, built inside the Bourne Building in 1916.

Skeletons of the Deep

Come learn about the four whale skeletons at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

From Pursuit to Preservation: The History of Human Interaction with Whales

Explores the human fascination with whales and the history of whaling. 

Harpoons and Whalecraft

The full spectrum of whaling weaponry devised in the 19th century, from classic harpoons to massive guns, providing new insight into the greatest big-game hunt ever pursued by man.

Last modified: July 21, 2011