August 17, 2017

“Scrimshaw 101” Seminar at the Whaling Museum

September 9: An Introduction for Newcomers and a Refresher for Seasoned Hands

NEW BEDFORD, Mass.  — One of the world’s foremost authorities on scrimshaw will lead a seminar about the indigenous shipboard art of 19th-century whalemen at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 10 am to 5 pm.  Stuart M. Frank, Ph.D., Senior Curator Emeritus of the Whaling Museum, will be joined by the faculty of the Scrimshaw Forensics® team for “Scrimshaw 101.” Seasoned hands and newcomers to the world of scrimshaw are welcome. Registration is required. Cost to attend is $25 for Whaling Museum members; $35 for non-members. Register at or call 508-997-0046 ext. 100.

Topics to be covered at “Scrimshaw 101” include scrimshaw pictorial works (boxes, canes, swifts, and other built works); how to authenticate, restore, and care for scrimshaw; and an up-to-date report of the scrimshaw market. Handouts, bibliographies, and reference materials will be provided.

Scrimshaw provides scholars and historians with a unique window into an early American industry, as well as unusual insights into 19th-century work and family life. The art and craft of scrimshaw are inextricably tied to the history, economics, and shipboard dynamics of the American whaling industry. Scrimshaw emerged contemporaneously with the most vigorous epoch in American maritime enterprise. What began as humble shipboard toolmaking evolved into an occupational art form, keeping idle hands busy during long voyages. Work that was little valued in the past has come to be appreciated in recent decades as valuable artworks and historically significant, occupationally rooted artifacts. 


For images contact:
Tina Malott
Director of Marketing & 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