Whaling Museum summer programs and events

For images contact Gayle Hargreaves

NEW BEDFORD, Mass – The New Bedford Whaling Museum has announced its summer 2016 line-up of exhibitions, programs and events.

NEW FOR 2016

Casa dos Botes Discovery Center
Where families explore and learn together
Gift of William M. Wood, III

Grand Opening Sunday, May 22
Kids free all day on May 22
Special activities: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

On Sunday, May 22 the New Bedford Whaling Museum opens the Casa dos Botes Discovery Center, a new family-friendly interactive zone honoring the legacy and heritage of the Portuguese Community. The Discovery Center is located on the same site where members of New Bedford’s Azorean community first began constructing whaleboats in the city in 1997. Families are invited to explore and learn together through a variety of watercraft-themed activities. Visitors can climb aboard a real Azorean whaleboat; hoist anchor from the deck of a whaleship; dock a fishing boat; learn about navigation; and “spot a whale” from the crow’s nest.

Birthday Parties
Beginning this summer, the Whaling Museum is offering all-inclusive children’s birthday party packages on weekends for groups of up to 20 guests. These unforgettable, unique birthday experiences can be scheduled for either 11a.m. or 1:30 pm. on Saturdays and Sundays and take place in the Museum’s new Casa dos Botes Discovery Center. Prices start at $299. Most packages include Museum admission, guided tour, and a party host. Many options and add-ons are available, including photography, DJ, T-shirts and more. For information or to book contact grouptours@whalingmuseum.org or 508-717-6885.



Inner Light: The World of William Bradford
July 1, 2016–July 2017
Opening Reception:  Friday, July 1 / 6-8 p.m.
Open to the public

Highlighting the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s extensive collection of William Bradford (1923-1892) oil paintings, watercolors, and sketchbooks, “Inner Light” is designed as a deep retrospective of this important regional artist. Bradford’s affiliations with many prominent artists, collectors and thinkers of his time placed him and New Bedford in a central role of influence on culture and fine art in the mid-19th century. During the exhibition, the Museum will unveil Bradford’s 1854 oil painting Schooner Ellenor, Boston, 1869, a recent gift from Herbert and Patricia Pratt. The painting is an important addition to the Museum’s Bradford collection, which is one of the world’s largest. An accompanying exhibition of important manuscripts, sketchbooks, and works on paper will be displayed in the Museum’s Grimshaw-Gudewicz Reading Room.

Mapping Ahab’s “Storied Waves”– Whaling and the Geography of Moby-Dick
Open through Summer 2016

Throughout Moby-Dick, Herman Melville gives clues as to how Ahab managed to actually locate one whale in all the planet’s seas. These clues had their basis in actual whaling practice. They include practical navigation, the development and use of cartography, the study of accrued whalemen’s knowledge as compiled in logbooks and journals, lists of whales seen and taken, owner’s instructions to masters, and other forms of shared knowledge among whalemen. The fiction of Ahab’s search in Moby-Dick reflected a reality that actually culminated in Matthew Fontaine Maury’s Wind and Current Charts. These charts were the first publicly defined maps showing the habitats of whales worldwide and were compiled completely from whaler’s logbooks and journals. “Mapping Ahab’s ‘Storied Waves’ - Whaling and the Geography of Moby-Dick” examines the tools, techniques and resources mentioned by Melville and demonstrates their practical application to real 19th century whalers.



AHA! (Art, History & Architecture) is New Bedford’s free Downtown Cultural Night featuring more than 60 downtown New Bedford venue partners. AHA! takes place on the second Thursday of each month. During AHA! guests enjoy free admission to select galleries at the Whaling Museum.

June 9: Place Making Now & Then
July 14: Kids Rule!
August 11: #FindYourPark
September 8: Festa, Fiesta. Fête: Celebrate New Bedford Cultures

Melville Scholars Workshop and Lecture
Tuesday, June 7
Beginning at 1 p.m.

Moby-Dick Marathon and Herman Melville fans, and anyone curious about why Melville remains relevant today can join the Melville Scholars at the New Bedford Whaling Museum for an afternoon and evening of full Melville immersion.

Workshop: Who is Melville?
1 – 2 p.m.
Was Herman Melville America’s great novelist, a global adventurer, philosopher, natural historian, poet, fierce satirist or brilliant wordsmith? The Melville Society Cultural Project will offer different angles on this fascinating writer in a roundtable discussion

Melville Scholar-led walking tours of the Whaling Museum (of 45 minutes each)
2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.
Scholars and participants will examine objects and materials that shed light on, or might be informed by, Moby-Dick and other Melville works.

Reception & Lecture: “Mapping Melville”
Reception at 6 p.m.
Lecture at 7 p.m.
This roundtable addresses the Whaling Museum’s current exhibition in the newly-christened Melville Room, “Mapping Ahab’s Storied Waves,” curated by Michael P. Dyer.

Workshop, lecture and reception: $15 Museum members, $20 non-member


Free Fun Friday
Friday, July 22
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
New Bedford Whaling Museum admission is free all day on July 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during Free Fun Friday. Programming includes children’s activities on the Museum’s plaza, how-to demonstrations, and hands-on fun throughout the Museum. Free Fun Friday is supported by the Highland Street Foundation.

New Bedford Whaling Museum Highlights Tours
July 6 – August 26
Daily at 11 a.m.
Docents lead these 45-60 minute tours, hitting all the highlights of the Whaling Museum.

Curator Talks
All year
Tuesdays and Thursdays – 2 p.m.
Join a Curator for a special talk in one of the Whaling Museum’s galleries. Tours leave from the front desk.

Lagoda Centennial Gala
Saturday, August 6
6:30–9:30 p.m.
A grand celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Whaling Museum’s beloved Lagoda ship model, with live performances, cuisine and cocktails inspired by the whale ship Lagoda’s voyages to all “Seven Seas.” The gala evening includes a silent auction featuring an original painting by New Bedford artist Arthur Moniz, created in commemoration of the Lagoda Centennial. Moniz’s painting exquisitely encapsulates the true majesty of the Lagoda inside the grand edifice of the Bourne Building, where she was masterfully built a century ago, like a “ship in a bottle.” Catering for the evening will be provided by Russell Morin Fine Catering. Individual tickets are $175. www.whalingmuseum.org


Weekly Family Programs
July 6 – August 26
These fun family programs are free with admission to the Museum. No advance registration is required. Open to children of all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Crafts Table
Daily 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Etch soap scrimshaw, send off a Sailor’s Valentine, use signal flags to send a secret message, design your own paper plate whale and many other activities.

Drawing Lessons
Mondays - 1 p.m.
Artist and storyteller, Joe Quigley, will help art enthusiasts explore their talents.

Whale of a Tale Story Time
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.
Join us for stories, rhymes, creative movement, music and crafts.

Whales: Magnificent Marine Mammals
Wednesdays - 10 a.m.
Enjoy learning about how whales live in the open ocean with activities and experiments. 

All Aboard the Lagoda
Fridays – 10 a.m.
Dress as your favorite crewmember and take an imaginary whaling voyage on the Lagoda! Experience the chase, learn the ropes, encounter foreign cultures and learn about whaling in New Bedford through role-playing.

Round the World
Fridays - 11 a.m.
See the world through artist Benjamin Russell’s eyes. Russell created the Whaling Museum’s panorama – the world’s longest painting. Learn about the panorama and how it was constructed. Build your own panorama to take home!


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.