The East Unlocks its Gates: American Whalers and Trade in Asia
Companion Exhibition – Enlightened Encounters: The Two Nations of Manjiro Nakahama
Lecture: The East Unlocks its Gates – American Whalers and Trade in Asia Learn more
Exhibition Opening Date: October 8, 2017
This companion exhibition to Enlightened Encounters focuses on the broader connections between the eastern seaboard of America and Asia. Drawing from its permanent collections, the Museum presents a deep look at relationships built between American whalers and merchants and the East.
The East Unlocks its Gates: American Whalers and Trade in Asia explores the lucrative trade in hard goods between New Bedford merchants and the treaty ports of China, route finding through the East Indies, and the story of American whalers and the opening of commerce with Japan. Several American seaports specialized in trade with Asia. Merchants in Salem, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore all had significant investments in China, India, and the East Indies. By the 1830s prominent New Bedford and Fairhaven whaling merchants expanded their interest beyond the whaling industry and engaged in the China Trade. Come learn about the fascinating connections between Asian and Pacific maritime cultures and New Bedford in this exhibition.
Top banner caption: (detail) Houqua’s Garden. Anonymous Chinese Artist, c. 1850. Oil on canvas mounted on Masonite, 26 x 44 in.