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

Exhibition Dates: September  2015 – April 2017

With over 750,000 individual objects and a fine research library, the Museum has numerous unique “treasures” in rarity, quality, beauty, and historical interest. While many of our treasures are on display throughout the Museum, this show highlighted objects included in the new souvenir book of the same name that are not included in thematic exhibitions in other galleries. A typical museum displays only 10% or less of their collections at any given time, while the rest is hidden behind the scenes in storage. This was an opportunity for visitors to get a glimpse at some of the wonderful treasures of the Museum to enjoy as individual objects and for their own sake.

AUDIO VERSION –Treasures of the Whaling Museum: Touchstones to the Region’s Past
Listen to each chapter of Treasures of the Whaling Museum here.


This book is a must-have memento for whaling history enthusiasts, scholars and a growing number of visitors from around the world to the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Long sought after, the 216-page, hard-cover, full-color book highlights 297 images of super­latives from our collection, along with interesting texts and stories. Designed as a keepsake volume of the Museum experience, the book covers the full breadth of whaling, regional history, and art. Purchase online, at the Museum Store or in the Museum gift store The White Whale.


Banner Caption: detail of Houqua’s Garden. Anonymous Chinese artist, c. 1850. Oil on canvas mounted on masonite, 26 x 44 in.