Sailors' Series 2023: “One Might Fancy Oneself at Sea”: New York Yacht Club and its Collections - New Bedford Whaling Museum

“One Might Fancy Oneself at Sea”: New York Yacht Club and its Collections

Thursday, October 19, 2023 | 6:00PM

Dickinson- headshot

Doors open at 5:30pm | Program at 6:00pm

$10 for members | $20 for non-members

A lite reception will follow the lecture.

Supported by Ruth and Hope Atkinson

Supported in part by
The Samuel D. Rusitzky Lecture Fund

The Sailors’ Series is an annual, legacy lecture series of the New Bedford Whaling Museum that presents a wide variety of experiences and adventures by individuals with lifelong commitments to sailing, boats, and the sea.

Sailors’ Series 2023 is sponsored by:


Babbitt Steam Specialty Company

Join us on Thursday, October 19 at 6:00pm for our next Sailors’ Series lecture, with special guest Alice Dickinson, Curator of Collections at the New York Yacht Club.

Upon entering New York Yacht Club’s (NYYC) 44th St. clubhouse, opened in 1901, a visitor proclaimed, “except for the absence of motion, one might fancy oneself at sea.” Founded in 1844, NYYC has been a leader in the sport of sailing for over 175 years. Spread across two historic properties located in New York City and Newport, RI, the club’s collections speak to innovation and tradition on the water. The world-renowned model collection grew from an 1845 bylaw requiring members to donate a model of their vessel to race. The rule set about a tradition of documenting member vessels through these objects and as a result, the evolution of yacht design can be tracked by examining the approximately 1,300 models on view. The clubhouses’ walls feature paintings by marine artists including James Edward Butterworth, Frederick Schiller Cozzens, and Eduardo de Martino. Representing years of racing, the trophies, one of the most significant collections of late nineteenth-century presentation silver in the country, includes monumental works by Tiffany & Company, Whiting Manufacturing Company, and Gorham Manufacturing Company.

About Alice Dickinson

Alice Dickinson curates and manages the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) collection of models, fine and decorative arts, housed within the New York City clubhouse (Warren & Wetmore, 1901) and Newport, RI, house (Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson, 1906).

While at NYYC she has curated exhibits on a variety of subjects including World War I Navy recruiting posters, gilded age yachting apparel, and design and innovation in the 1899 America’s Cup. Her most recent project is the newly opened Silver Gallery, a permanent installation illustrating the history of the club through its notable trophies. She has lectured and written widely on the collection including authoring Significant Trophies of the New York Yacht Club, published in 2019.

Before coming to New York, Alice held roles at The Preservation Society of Newport County and at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Alice holds master’s degrees from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware and from Tulane University.