The Art of the Ship Model
Exhibition Dates: March 1, 2013 – March 2015
Guest curator R. Michael Wall, a leading expert on ship models from the American Marine Model Gallery of Gloucester, Massachusetts, and former curator Judith Lund, explored the Museum’s great scope of models and invited viewers to understand these works as a genuine decorative art form. Most models on exhibit had been selected from both the Old Dartmouth Historical Society and the Kendall Whaling Museum collections, while some were acquired on loan.
This model depicts a scene from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.
Many have long considered marine models a legitimate form of decorative art, and the recent recognition of modelers as professional artists has significantly increased appreciation. Works by notable professionals such as Erik Ronnberg Jr., Michael Costagliola, Roger Hambidge, and others exemplify the creative aspect behind ship models reflecting original research and high quality construction methods.
This exhibition explored various ways to look at ship models from the artistic perspective acknowledged and distinguished by some of the world’s foremost museums. Additionally, the exhibit discussed construction of some of the models and their creative presentation.
Models selected carefully depicted ensembles of New Bedford area yachting, American whaleboats, vintage half hulls, ethnological northwest (Arctic) small craft, and whaling vessels from the age of sail to modern catcher boats. Additionally, the exhibition highlighted the importance of ship models to our maritime heritage and informed everybody to participate as stewards of this exceptional art form.
View a slideshow from the Sailors’ Series lecture presented February 28, 2013 titled The Art of Ship Models: Collections of the Past, Present and Future with R. Michael Wall, Owner of the American Marine Model Gallery. (The lecture is also on YouTube.)
This exhibition was sponsored by the Kenneth T. & Mildred S. Gammons Foundation
Last modified: March 15, 2017