Whaling Museum’s February Vacation Week features Paul Cuffe Day and free “Whales Today” fun

February 18 – 22, 2019

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. –The New Bedford Whaling Museum launches February Vacation Week on Monday, February 18 with family-friendly activities celebrating one of New Bedford’s most remarkable figures, Captain Paul Cuffe, a 19th century abolitionist, entrepreneur, whaler, merchant, and visionary. Vacation Week continues February 19-21 with hands-on fun focused on the Museum’s newly expanded exhibition “Whales Today.” A special ocean-themed New Bedford Science Café Kids takes place on Friday, February 22. The Whaling Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford. Full details and scheduling are at www.whalingmuseum.org.

The Whaling Museum opens at 9:00 a.m. and Paul Cuffe Day activities run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, February 18. These include special Museum tours, crafts, and story-telling.  Admission to the Museum and all of its galleries is completely free for New Bedford residents on Monday, February 18. Captain Paul Cuffe Day is supported in part by a grant from the New Bedford Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Also on Monday, visitors can be among the first to view the Museum’s expanded “Whales Today” exhibition, which focuses on whale ecology and biology, marine mammal conservation, ocean health, and how human interaction with these giants of the deep has evolved over time.

Free hands-on family fun focused on “Whales Today” will take place in the Museum’s Jacobs Family Gallery from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19 through Thursday February 21. Visitors will learn about whale and marine mammal anatomy, the impact humans have on their daily lives, and the research that helps us better understand these mysterious mammals. Access to the rest of the Museum is subject to regular admission fees.

To end the week, the Museum is hosting the New Bedford Science Café Kids on Friday, February 22. This event is free and open to the public and runs from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Science Café Kids is presented by Buzzards Bay Coalition, City of New Bedford Department of Parks and Recreation, New Bedford Science Café, New Bedford Whaling Museum, and University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth and UMD School for Marine Science and Technology.

Tina Malott
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
New Bedford Whaling Museum
508-997-0046 Ext. 140

Contact TINA MALOTT for high-resolution images.

cuffe silhouette

The most well-known image of Captain Paul Cuffe is his iconic silhouette, done in England in 1812. Silhouettes of African Americans are quite rare. Like most other Quakers, Cuffe probably believed that portraits were an expression of personal vanity, wrongly focusing on the body rather than the light within.


cuffe silhouette booth

In the exhibition Captain Paul Cuffe: His Work, Vision, and Living Legacy, visitors can create their own shadow silhouette using a bright light and photo-sensitive surface. #mycuffeshadow


breaching Atlantic Right Whale

Male North Atlantic right whale breaching in the Bay of Fundy in August 2012. Photo Credit: Marianna Hagbloom, Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium.


blue whale heart model

Life-size model of a blue whale heart in the Whaling Museum’s Jacobs Family Gallery.


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: January through March, Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; 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 $17, seniors (65+) $15, students (19+) $10, child and youth $7. For more information, visit www.whalingmuseum.org.