Seeing Similarities in Unlikely Places

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view of a wood structure used in shipbuilding to support the bow of a vessel.
Arizona (Battleship: BB-39), 1915, Robert G. Skerrett Collection, The Mariners’ Museum, #P0001.014-01-PN2795.

Even though I work in a maritime museum, my art training still brings a sense of wonder to certain images. I know that this photograph is documenting a step in a process, but this was not my initial response to this image.

In the case of this photograph, I saw it first as sculpture. Not as utilitarian support. Not as a temporary object. I looked at the overall shape, the materials, and how they were used. I appreciate the photographic composition and the black and white tones. Then, I began to consider its intended use.   Read more

Fabulous Fotos: Meet Cricket, the mighty tinclad

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USS Cricket (1863-1865, “Tinclad” # 6), The Mariners’ Museum and Park, #MS0091-02.-01-0096

Upon first glance, this vessel appears to be just another steamboat. The word tinclad piqued my interest. Naturally, I am familiar with ironclads from our exhibition Ironclad Revolution and the conservation of USS Monitor’s turret in our Batten Conservation Complex. But tinclad vessels? Sounds a bit wimpy to me.  It turns out that Cricket has a great history, albeit not significant, in the American Civil War.   Read more

Tell Me About It: Protective Gear or Telecommunication?

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Man Wearing a Voice Pipe, ca.1915. The Mariners’ Museum, #P0001.004-PC189.

Tell Me About It is an occasional blog on photographs that have piqued my curiosity for some reason. I am seeking information from you, our readers, in hopes of learning more about these subjects.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that this contraption is a Speaking Tube–I had cataloged it as a gas mask. The photograph is World War I vintage (that’s my excuse!).   Read more

Fabulous Fotos: A winter’s day // In a deep and dark December…

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Panoramic view of a partially frozen lake.
Wrechen Lake, Germany, 2016, Thomas Meyer. The Mariners’ Museum, #MS0661-15.

Lyric from I Am a Rock, Simon & Garfunkel, released 1965.

Nothing says winter visually like a blanketed sky and soft lighting. The scene is captured in muted colors except for a child in a bright blue jacket.   Read more

A Year of Reflection: Our Favorite Photos of 2021

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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