October 6, 2016

Frozen in Time: Early New Bedford photo album reveals richness of daily 19th C life
Lecture and book signing


NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Archeologist Susan Lukesh, Ph.D. explores a mid-nineteenth century neighborhood through the lens of an early New Bedford photo album during her presentation, Frozen in Time: An Early New Bedford Carte de Visite Album on Thursday, October 20 beginning at 6 pm at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Created against the back drop of the Civil War, the album profiles a closely knit group of people who belonged to the leading families of the city that knew Herman Melville and Frederick Douglass during these same decades. Lukesh moves these people, seemingly frozen in time, backwards and forwards to explore their stories and connections, focusing on highlights for the presentation. Lukesh will be signing copies of her book, upon which the lecture is based. The Frozen in Time lecture is free to Whaling Museum members; $8 for non-members and is sponsored by the Samuel D. Rusitzky Lecture Fund. To register call (508) 997-0046 ext. 100 or visit whalingmuseum.org.

An archeologist working as historian, Lukesh approaches the album as an artifact and poses the question, “How do we know what we know?” The album was compiled by Lukesh’s great-great-grandmother. Lukesh used her experience in research, artifact interpretation, and writing to develop the narrative of the book.

Frozen in Time offers a glimpse of the rich panorama of nineteenth-century New Bedford. It reveals details of daily living, the marrying, working, and dying of those portrayed, and present the personal side of the development of this famous whaling capital through its transition to a strong mill economy. These details also show how the financial and intellectual capital of the city fueled development throughout the United States.

In his forward to the book Frozen in Time, R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Brown University writes, “Looking at the portraits, leafing through the book and reading her discussion of each of those photographed one comes to recognize the Grinnells, the Snows, the Hunts, the Tabers and others as if they lived next door in that earnest, ambitious and supremely optimistic America of the decades surrounding the Civil War.”

Susan Snow Lukesh grew up in eastern Massachusetts hearing family stories, and later started studying her family tree back to the 17th century. She served 20 years in higher education administration, excavating in Southern Italy and Sicily during the summers. More information is available at susanslukeshLLC.com and

Contact: Gayle Hargreaves
Director of Marketing
New Bedford Whaling Museum
508-997-0046 Ext. 139 (office)


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. The Museum is open until 8 p.m. every second Thursday of the month. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is: Free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $16, seniors (65+) $14, students (19+) $9, child and youth $6. For more information, visit www.whalingmuseum.org.

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