Annual Scrimshaw Weekend to include discussion of controversial bills
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — The New Bedford Whaling Museum hosts the 27th annual Scrimshaw Weekend, May 15-17. This internationally renowned event is the world’s only regular forum where collectors, dealers, curators, folk art and whaling history buffs share their interests in the indigenous art of whalers. This year’s meeting is scheduled to address ivory regulation during the inaugural plenary meeting of the Antique Scrimshaw Collectors Association, Saturday, May16 at 4:30 p.m. The group will discuss legislation pending in several states that seek to add blanket restrictions to existing federal law, which will impact antique scrimshaw.
Stuart Frank, Senior Curator Emeritus for the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Scrimshaw Weekend host, noted, “Elephant ivory has nothing whatever to do with scrimshaw: the presence of elephant ivory in connection with anything that purports to be scrimshaw, or is claimed to be scrimshaw, is a sure indicator of fakery, forgery, misrepresentation, and chicanery.”
As an educational public service the New Bedford Whaling Museum website provides links related to scrimshaw and ivory, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Antique Scrimshaw Collectors Association at: www.whalingmuseum.org/press-room.
Scrimshaw Weekend kicks off on Friday, May 15, with the 6th Annual Nautical Antiques Show, which features an exclusive, high-quality sale of marine antiques including scrimshaw, nautical instruments and tools, whaling logbooks, ship models, photos, paintings, prints, New Bedford memorabilia and more. The Antiques Show runs from noon to 6:00 p.m. with early admission at 11 a.m. The show will take place in the Jacobs Family Gallery, the Cook Memorial Theater and the Resource Room. Early admission for the Nautical Antiques Show is $10; regular admission is $5 and is free of charge for Scrimshaw Weekend attendees, Whaling Museum members, and with daily admission to the Whaling Museum. The public is also invited to attend the Nautical Antiques Show at the above $5 and $10 rates exclusive of Scrimshaw Weekend or museum admission.
The Friday evening opening presentation begins at 8:00 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater and is titled “The JFK Scrimshaw Collection: A New Deal for Collectors.” This presentation will be given by Stuart M. Frank, PhD, Director, Scrimshaw Forensics® Laboratory and Senior Curator Emeritus, New Bedford Whaling Museum.
On Saturday, registration begins at 9 a.m. with opening remarks at 10 a.m. Saturday’s presentations will include:
10:15 a.m. Panbones and Whale Teeth: The Scrimshaw of Two English Masters of the Genre, presented by the Hon. Paul E. Vardeman, JD
11:15 a.m. Farmer Goes a-Whaling: Non-Scrimshaw in the Fabulous Collection of Frederick Allen, presented by Richard Donnelly, Scrimshaw Forensics® Laboratory
1:30 p.m. Glimpses Behind the Scrimshaw: Those Pesky Scrimshandering Whalemen and Some of the Other Stuff They Did, presented by Stuart M. Frank, PhD
2:30 p.m. More Yankee Scrimshaw from Polynesia, presented by Mary Malloy, PhD, Professor of Humanities, Sea Education Association and Museum Studies, Harvard University
3:00 p.m. Campaign: The Kennedy Library and JFK Scrimshaw Collection
3:45 p.m. Annual Market Report presented by Andrew Jacobson
4:30 p.m. Inaugural Plenary Meeting of the Antique Scrimshaw Collectors Association presented by Parke Madden, president, Antiques Scrimshaw Collectors Association
Saturday evening will feature a gala banquet in the Jacobs Family Gallery, beginning with a cash bar at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. The evening concludes with a presentation titled “Farthest Refuge: Visions of St. Helena, the Penultimate Resting Place of Bonaparte, and the Advent of the Napoleonic Scrimshaw” by Stuart M. Frank, PhD.
Sunday will feature a field trip to Northeast Auctions of Portsmouth, New Hampshire to view the scrimshaw collection of the late Thomas Mittler of Michigan, one of the largest and most comprehensive private collections ever assembled. It has been catalogued, and soon will be published in an illustrated book by Nina Hellman. This once-and-only viewing of the whole collection will also include a bonus viewing of the Northeast Auctions' spring sale scheduled for the week following. The field trip is open only to registrants at the 2015 Scrimshaw Weekend and their spouse or guest. Registration to the field trip will be limited.
Registration (after May 1) for the three day weekend is $335 for Whaling Museum members and $370 for non-members, which includes regular admission to the Nautical Antiques Show, all sessions Friday through Saturday, and the gala banquet on Saturday evening. The Saturday dinner and evening program can be purchased separately for accompanying guests at $75 per person. The Sunday field trip is an additional $70 per person which covers the cost of transportation and lunch in Portsmouth. Full scholarships are available to university-level students, courtesy of Northeast Auctions.
The 27th annual Scrimshaw Weekend is sponsored by Northeast Auctions of Portsmouth, N.H.; The Maine Antique Digest; Antiques and The Arts Weekly (“The Newtown Bee”); and New England Antiques Journal.
For more information or to register for the event, call 508-997-0046 ext. 100 or visit, www.whalingmuseum.org/programs/scrimshaw-weekend.
About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of whales and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours April through December: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open on Holiday Mondays. The Museum is open until 8 p.m. every second Thursday of the month and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information, visit www.whalingmuseum.org.