Celebrating Sippican: the Golden Age of Marion – Lecture and Exhibition Opening 

Tuesday, May 2, at the New Bedford Whaling Museum

New Bedford, Mass. – Experience Marion history as the city rose in social and cultural prominence in the late 19th century, becoming a destination resort community for noteworthy individuals from President Grover Cleveland to artist Charles Dana Gibson. In partnership with the Sippican Historical Society, the New Bedford Whaling Museum will host a lecture and exhibition opening for Celebrating Sippican: The Golden Age of Marion, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 from 6 pm to 8 pm. The program is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged by going to www.whalingmuseum.org or by calling 508-997-0046.
The exhibition was co-curated by Judith W. Rosbe, author of Marion in the Golden Age, and Frank McNamee, owner of Marion Antiques Shop. The lecture will be led by Judith W. Rosbe.
The Golden Age of Marion began after the Civil War when the town transformed from a sleepy seaside village to a summer gathering place for artists, writers, actors, musicians, intellectual leaders, and celebrities at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

Rear Admiral Andrew A. Harwood, upon his retirement after active duty during the Civil War, decided to settle in Marion in 1871 because of its oceanfront location. He had a daughter, Bessy, who invited her childhood friend, Richard Watson Gilder, the noted New York City editor of The Century Magazine, and his family to come to Marion to summer. The Gilders liked Marion so much that they purchased a summer home and a small stone building as a meeting place where their friends could gather.

Among the Gilders’ guests were President Grover Cleveland and the First Lady. President Cleveland loved to fish in Buzzards Bay off Marion and they loved Marion so much that they even named one of their daughters, Marion. Other friends of the Gilders followed: architectural critic Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer, Arctic explorer General Adolphus Greely, writer Henry James, newspaper editor and author L. Clarke Davis and his family, war correspondent and author Richard Harding Davis. Noted artists also followed the Gilders to Marion including sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, and portrait painter Cecil Clark Davis. World-famous architect Henry Hobson Richardson designed a house in Marion and Marion boasts the smallest house ever designed (in 1881) by the famous architect. Authors Henry James, Mark Twain, and the Lincoln biographers John Nicolay and John Hay came to Marion during the summer. Famous actors and actresses also came: Joe Jefferson, Ethel Barrymore and her brother Lionel Barrymore, Maude Adams and Helena Modjeska. Musicians Walter Damrosch and Fritzi Scheff enjoyed Marion too.

Photo Caption: 

Charles Dana Gibson, Picturesque America, Anywhere along the Coast. Pen and ink over graphite
underdrawing, 1902. © Life Publications Co.

For high-resolution images contact:
Tina Malott
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
New Bedford Whaling Museum

About the New Bedford Whaling Museum

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales through time, 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.; January through March, Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $17, seniors (65+) $15, students (19+) $10, child and youth $7. For more information visit www.whalingmuseum.org.