Lecture: The East Unlocks its Gates – American Whalers and Trade in Asia

November 15, 2017

detail of painting titled Houqua’s Garden Dr. Akeia Benard, Curator of Social History; Michael P. Dyer, Curator of Mari­time History and Charlotte Hamlin, Lecturer in Textiles, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, discussed the Museum’s Collection as representing the cultures of East Asia, Japan in particular, whaling in the North Pacific, and New Bedford’s commercial trade with China.

Attendees were able to explore the relationships built between American whalers, merchants, and the East. They learned how trading was the impetus behind the Western “Age of Discovery,” ushering in key components of maritime history of the modern age. Attendees also explored the remarkable life and influence of Manjiro Nakahama (1827-1898), the first Japanese person to live and learn English in the U.S., while the panelists examined his rescue at sea in 1841 by the John Howland, a New Bedford Whaleship.

TICKETS: Members $10 | Non-members $15

Learn more about the exhibition – Enlightened Encounters: The Two Nations of Manjiro Nakahama and the companion exhibition  – The East Unlocks its Gates: American Whalers and Trade in Asia

Caption: (detail) Houqua’s Garden.  Anonymous Chinese Artist, c. 1850. Oil on canvas mounted on Masonite, 26 x 44 in.