Built with WHAT??! Bones, Hair, and Prisoners: Model Ships of War

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This is an image from The Dance of Death by Hans Holbein the Younger, dated 1538. Public Domain

Model ships made of bone. On this Halloween Eve, that’s a strange and sort of mysterious idea. It might seem even a little bit creepy to think about.

Who would think to use discarded bones to create something as beautiful as a model ship?    Read more

Continuing work with the Ship Models

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Work continues on the exhibition for the 50th anniversary of the Hampton Roads Ship Model Society, with models having arrived every day for the past two weeks.  We have almost reached the finish line though with only a couple more models set to come in.  Although anyone can walk through and see the work we’re doing, the exhibition officially opens August 5th and will remain open until February 11th, 2018.  The models are so lovely and it’s amazing the amount of work and skill that goes into making them.  The model makers clearly have a tremendous amount of patience.

There are a lot of models that people will recognize in this show, including America, CSS Virginia, USS Monitor, and SS United States.  We get a lot of questions about our model of SS United States, which is currently in storage, so it will be great to have one on display again.  There are two models of America (where the America’s Cup race gets its name), which make an excellent contrast to the AC72 displayed in the gallery next door.  It shows you just how far technology has taken us.   Read more

Almost Ready

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This week we finished clearing all of the artifacts out of the Great Hall of Steam.  The room has been cleaned and painted and is now awaiting the arrival of AC72 from Oracle Team USA, which will be here Monday.  Meanwhile, the gallery has become an excellent place to host staff meetings.  We’ve also begun organizing the gallery where the ship models now live, which should be open in two months or (hopefully) less.  More updates to come!

New Year and Major Changes

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This year we have some big changes coming to our galleries.  In early December we closed Abandon Ship:  Stories of Survival, and a week or so later closed the Great Hall.  To make way for an awesome new exhibition about the America’s Cup that will be in the Great Hall, we had to move all of our beautiful ship models into the area where Abandon Ship was.

This area will then become our new Great Hall of Steam.  There will also be a few new models coming out to be displayed, including some of our smaller ones.  Our model makers will also be moving into a new space in this gallery.  All of this change has been interesting to watch as the Great Hall has pretty much looked the same since the 1930’s.   Read more