30th Annual Scrimshaw Weekend

Friday, May 4 – Sunday, May 6

The annual Scrimshaw Weekend is the world’s only forum devoted to the indigenous shipboard art of whalers during the “Age of Sail.” Enthusiasts from across the country and abroad will gather to share the enjoyment of this distinctive and beautiful art form.



Friday, May 4 | 9th Annual Nautical Antiques Show

Noon – 5 pm  |  Early admission 11 am – Noon
Browse thousands of antiques from some of New England’s most respected dealers.
9th Annual Nautical Antiques Show webpage (with list of vendors)

Admission to Nautical Antiques Show
Free with Museum admission, for Whaling Museum members, Nautical Antiques Show participants, and Scrimshaw Weekend attendees.
Early admission at 11 am for an extra $5.00.

Scrimshaw Weekend Registration 11 am – 5 pm

Scrimshaw Weekend Opening Presentation 8 pm
“Glimpses from Away Offshore: Interesting and Unusual Scrimshaw in the Nantucket Historical Association” — Stuart M. Frank, Ph.D.


Saturday, May 5 | Scrimshaw Weekend

Saturday begins with registration and coffee followed by a full day of presentations, buffet lunch, and an afternoon coffee break. The evening features a cocktail reception, banquet dinner, and keynote presentation by Tom Conley – “Treasures: The Collection of Barb and Tom Conley.” Stuart M. Frank will sign copies of his new book, Dutch and Flemish Old Master Paintings in the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Presentation Highlights

  • Scrimshaw in the Sippican Historical Society
  • Favorite Scrimshaw: Submissions from Friends and Colleagues
  • The Jaws Swift-Clamp Maker
  • 19th-Century Scrimshaw Curiosities, Oddities, and Puzzles
  • Annual Market Report
  • Antique Scrimshaw Collectors Association: Ivory-ban Legislation Updates


Sunday, May 6 | Off-Site Field trip   

9:30 am – 6 pm
Visit two world-class private scrimshaw collections. Price of field trip is not included in Scrimshaw Weekend admission.


Registration Information

Museum members $315  |  Non-members $370
Plus 1 dinner guest $75.00

By phone: 508-997-0046  x100  
Online: Scrimshaw Weekend Registration
By mail: Send payment to Scrimshaw Weekend, New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740. Checks should be made payable to New Bedford Whaling Museum and include  Scrimshaw Weekend in the check memo.

Full scholarships are available
to university-level students, supported by the generosity of Robert C. Eldred Co., and Skinner, Inc.

Discounted hotel rooms are available at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New Bedford until April 20th, 2018.

Schedule subject to change.


Scrimshaw: Shipboard Art of the Whalers
Installed in 2012, this is a sumptuous “permanent” exhibition of the best, most representative, and most compelling curiosities of our vast scrimshaw holdings. Learn more

The Museum published a catalogue of our collection, in conjunction with the Scrimshaw exhibition, entitled Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved: Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum, by Stuart M. Frank, Ph.D. Available online and in the Museum store.

View The White Whale gift store Scrimshaw Collection here.



The 30th Annual Scrimshaw Weekend is sponsored by

Antiques and the Arts Weekly
Robert C. Eldred Co.
The Maine Antique Digest

Skinner Auctioneers logo