Captain Paul Cuffe Day

To celebrate the life, times, and legacy of one of New England’s most remarkable figures.

Captain Paul Cuffe Day

Monday, February 18, 2019
9 am – 4 pm

Captain Paul Cuffe was a seafarer, entrepreneur, educator, visionary, and much more. He rose to prominence and became one of the wealthiest men of color in the nation. 

To celebrate the life, times, and legacy of one of New England’s most remarkable figures, the Museum hosted Captain Paul Cuffe Day!

On Monday, February 18, Museum admission was completely free for New Bedford residents and the day featured Cuffe-related hands-on activities, expert tours, and more.

This program was supported in part by a grant from the New Bedford Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Mass Cultural Council logo


Docent-led Captain Paul Cuffe Tours (meet at front desk)
10:30 am  |  12:30 pm  |  1:30 pm

Silhouette Making (Jacobs Family Gallery)

10 am – 2 pm
Any image representing a person is known as a portrait. There is a lack of authentic portraiture of Cuffe partly due to Quakerism that looked down upon celebration of the body and anything perceived as an ostentatious design that did not promote the virtue of humility. The most iconic image we have is the silhouette. A silhouette is an art form popular in the Victorian 18th and 19th centuries. Museum goers were able to explore their own silhouette-making talents.

Storytelling (Theater)

11:30 am  and  1:00 pm
Storyteller Rochel Garner Coleman
Rochel performed engaging family-friendly storytelling inspired by Captain Paul Cuffe. Known nationally and internationally for his stories of Black historical legends,  Rochel creates a living experience with his audiences and they are swept into a world of imagination colored with the stuff of life.

Captain Paul Cuffe exhibit silhouette booth.
Captain Paul Cuffe exhibit silhouette booth.