International Gallery

Exhibition Dates: May 30, 2015 – September 2016

The newly constructed International Gallery highlighted the Museum’s exceptional collection of fine and decorative arts, navigational instruments, ship models, artifacts, manuscripts, and maps from around the world. The gallery provided a permanent home for the Museum’s exceptional collections, including Dutch Old Master whaling paintings and prints, 18th and 19th century British and French maritime paintings and ship models, 19th century Chinese paintings and Japanese whaling prints, and 20th century Norwegian, Russian, and Native American works of art. Spaces designed specifically to house ephemeral works on paper allowed the Museum to showcase fragile artifacts that had not been publicly displayed for many years. This International Gallery exhibition demonstrated the historic global range and dominance of New Bedford’s maritime heritage in whaling and other industries.

The International Gallery exhibition was made possible in part by the gift of Edgenie & Donald S. Rice and Sloan & Hardwick Simmons.


Featured in the Exhibition

Li Zhizao, [Map panel of the Pacific Ocean.] 17th century. Watercolor on paper. 2001.100.4531.

This is panel 3 of a 6 panel map copied from Matteo Ricci’s original 1602 Mappa Mundi, or world map and painted by hand. This very rare manuscript copy is the only extant copy in North America the others being in China and Korea with woodblock print copies held in Bologna, the Vatican and Japan. This map has launched a great deal of study including the original sources for the monstrous beasts that appear on it.

Zhizao-Ricci map