Beyond the Frame: The Essence of a Memory

“Full Tide” by Frederick Judd Waugh, 1929. Oil on Canvas. 1942.0446.000001 | Photo by Kyra Duffley/The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

Let your eyes soften, and take a deep breath. Picture a happy memory or a moment. In this second of subconscious awareness, what do you see? Is it crisp and vivid, or soft and a little blurry? What do you feel? Happy or wishful, possibly something more visceral? An excited flutter in your chest or a slight prickle of the hairs on the back of your neck? What is it about this moment that left a lasting impression on you?

Think. Feel.   Read more

A Year of Reflection: Our Favorite Photos of 2021

Farquhar Celestial Navigation Sphere Device 1X3, collection-number: 1953.0021.000001. Photo: Brock Switzer/ The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

If you’re reading this blog post, then, first, congratulations! You made it through 2021 or, as I’ve seen it called, 2020 part two. All joking aside, it has been a whirlwind of a year. Pandemic numbers ebbed and flowed like tides, and we all tried our best to return to some semblance of normalcy in our lives, most of us finding out that “normal” has changed.

For our part, the Museum reopened our galleries and invited you all to join us once more, to connect with the world’s waters and to each other. Our staff returned, events resumed, and our work continued. We never really closed at the onset of the pandemic. We simply switched to providing what we could to our community on virtual platforms. Now we are back in person, and Amanda and I have had a lot of photographing to do.   Read more

River Monitors

Map of Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

At the onset of the Civil War, General Winfield Scott noted that a Union victory could be achieved by controlling the Mississippi River. Scott believed the entire Mississippi Valley could be controlled using only 12 to 20 gunboats and 60,000 soldiers. More resources would eventually be needed; however, the Federals ultimately enabled, as President Abraham Lincoln said, the ‘Father of All Rivers to flow unvexed to the sea.’ 

Because the Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles was preoccupied with establishing a blockade of the Confederate coastline, he placed control of the Western Gunboat Flotilla to the War Department. This action would give a strong unity of command as the Union army and naval forces endeavored to wrestle the river from the Confederacy. Commander John Rodgers was initially placed in command of the flotilla; however, he was soon replaced by Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote.    Read more

A Pirate “Takes” a Wife

Marmalakè, Pirate of Micone. Watercolor portrait by Joseph Partridge, 1827-1828. (Accession#1940.687.01/QW160)

As promised, here is the rip-roaring story of how Manolis Mermelechas, a pirate of Mykonos, Greece, “took” his wife (and I mean “took” literally, not figuratively!).  Pay attention Hollywood…there’s a great plot for a pirate movie here!

Just in case you didn’t read my last post (which is too bad because Kevin Foster described it as a “ripping great yarn!”), Manolis Mermelechas was a native of the Greek island of Psara who fought against the Turks during the Greek War of Independence.  After the Turks invaded and captured Psara in 1824, Mermelechas and his men shifted their base of operations to the pirate haven of Mykonos and continued their attacks on Turkish merchant vessels (and the ships of other countries, hence the designation as pirates!).  On one cruise, Mermelechas and his men seized a Turkish merchant ship off the town of Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesbos. It ended up being a capture that changed Mermemlechas’ life forever.    Read more

Beyond the Frame: The Story of the Ship

“The Story of The Ship” Series by Harry Neyland. 1924 Oil on Canvas. Old Accession Numbers: QO1, QO2, QO3, QO4, QO5. | Photo by Kyra Duffley/The Mariners’ Museum and Park

Everything in this universe has a life cycle – even inanimate objects, concepts, or institutions, though they may look different from that of a living being. But there’s always a beginning – a spark or an idea. There are stages of growth, life, aging, and ultimately – an end.

The Story of the Ship is a story of life cycles. In this circa 1924 series by Harry Neyland, the artist uses 5 small oil on panel paintings to illustrate the creation, life, and demise of this vessel. But there are two life cycles directly associated with this series.    Read more