Conquering the (never really conquered) Wild

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Conquering the Wild (Accession # 1934.0629.000001) seen from the Lions Bridge. Image credit: The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

Anyone who has traversed The Mariners’ Museum and Park’s Noland Trail, or visited the Lions Bridge, has passed by one of the Museum’s largest artifacts: Conquering the Wild. Arguably less remarked upon than the iconic Lions seated just yards away, Conquering the Wild is nonetheless a staple in the history of the Museum and iconic in its own right.

Like the Lions, Conquering the Wild was designed in clay by Anna Hyatt Huntington and scaled into Indiana limestone by Robert Baillie.   Read more

The Return of IR

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Improvised ‘blunderbuss,’ ca. 1900. Image Credit: The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

Back in 2019, Molly McGath and I posted about the Conservation team’s digital infrared camera . The camera has been used numerous times in the intervening two years, but I wanted to share a particularly cool little mystery the IR camera recently helped us figure out!

Last month, two of our curators were looking into the provenance of a really interesting artifact in our Collection: this improvised ‘blunderbuss,’ essentially fashioned out of pipe and a crudely shaped wooden stock. We had little information about this gun, other than the fact that it belonged to Rear Admiral James Kelsey Cogswell in the late 19th century.   Read more

More than Skin Deep: Material Identification of a Gut Skin Parka

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Iñupiaq Gut Skin Parka, (2019.0024.000001).

Earlier this year, Collections Manager Jeanne Willoz-Egnor posted about the Museum’s newly acquired gut skin parka.

In addition to establishing provenance and the cultural significance of this incredible object and the people who made it, the Museum was interested in learning more about the specific materials used to create the parka. This information adds to our understanding of how the parka was made and used and the unique story of its life. And as Jeanne pointed out, identifying the materials present had pretty important legal implications in the process of its acquisition!   Read more

Even the lion has to defend himself against… lichen?

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The Lions are ready for the catwalk again. Conservation cleaning of four of the Museum’s most iconic treasures is complete for this year.

These before and after images highlight the reduction of biological growth from the surface of the stone. As mentioned in a previous post  (see A Lion by Any Other Color…), lichen, moss, and ‘mildew’ all degrade the surface of the stone. Without regular and careful cleaning and care, the details in Anna Hyatt Huntington’s sculptures can be lost over time.   Read more

A Lion by Any Other Color. . .

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The conservation team in front of the Southwest Lion during cleaning. Left to Right: Assistant Objects Conservator Paige Schmidt, USS Monitor Collections Manager Mike Saul, Assistant Conservator Laurie King, Archaeological Conservator Erik Farrell, and Volunteer Conservator Arianna DiMucci. Image Credit: The Mariners’ Museum and Park, photographer: Crystal R. Hines

If you’ve visited our Lions Bridge over the last couple of weeks, you may have seen our signature Lions turning shades of red and orange.  Never Fear! Nothing is wrong.  Rather, the conservation team is giving our Lions a ‘grooming.’

These cleaning sessions are done to maintain the longevity of our Lions.  Biological growth and air pollution on the limestone sculptures and granite bases will damage them over time.   Read more