Beyond the Frame: The World Beyond

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Detail of “Steamship ALAMO” by Antonio Jacobsen, ca 1898. Oil on Canvas. 1982.0066.000001 | Photo by Kyra Duffley/The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

In the darkness of a black canvas, a faint glimmer of light peeks through a circular opening before you. You approach it, feeling for the small brass handle – the metal is cool to the touch. The door is heavier than anticipated and creaks as you pull it open, revealing an unbelievable scene. You peer through this apparent porthole, wondering if instead it’s a portal to another place or time because suddenly you hear the roar of the sea on a blue skied, blustery day, and feel the warm sunlight beaming through this opening. But more shockingly you see a ship steaming straight towards you. Do you shut the door and retreat from this “twilight zone”-esque experience or do you keep looking further and deeper through this opening to join the world beyond the portal?

A Snap Judgement

At many times in our lives, things are very rarely what they seem to be. We tend to look around, quickly form an opinion, and move on. But all that truly gives us is an often inaccurate version of reality. But if we stop and take the time to observe and learn, we can see the bigger picture. I have to admit, when I was first introduced to the world of maritime art, I was quick to judge.   Read more

Beyond the Frame: Uniquely Jane

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“Gloucester Harbor” by Jane Peterson. 1920, Oil On canvas. 1976.0034.000001 | Photo by Kyra Duffley/The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

A symphony of bold, brilliant hues dances and dazzles through the quick but sure brushstrokes of this work. The pastoral scene simultaneously seems to bubble over with fervent energy and placate the viewer with its tranquil peace. That balance is a delicate one that has been carefully and uniquely orchestrated. 


A square painting filled to bursting with spectacular color and energy hangs on a rack in painting storage. Every time I pass this rack, it catches my eye and I say to myself “I need to wait on this one”. But these pieces have a special way of working themselves into my head and so on a gloomy late winter day I decided it was time.    Read more

Beyond the Frame: Everything

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A Selection of Watercolors form the Sketchbooks of Horace Havemeyer III | The Mariners’ Museum and Park. (L to R) 2019.0002.000201, 2019.0002.000189, 2019.0002.000132

There is a flame of creativity that flickers within us all. A burning compulsion to grow, make, build, program, write, dance, or sing. It may be the smallest spark or a roaring fire, but nonetheless this flame of creativity warms the soul. This warmth nurtures us, bringing peace and healing. 


This episode is a pretty big departure from the normal “structure” of Beyond the Frame. This is for a few reasons, and I want to share those with you. I like to try to give extra context with these blogs when I can and this is an episode that I think deserves a little extra context.   Read more

USS Monitor: Oil Reservoirs

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Image source:

What’s an Oil Reservoir?

Oil reservoirs are a tool commonly found on USS Monitor‘s engine. Also known as an oil cup or lubricating cup, they were used on steam engines to keep valves and levers constantly lubricated. The diagram below shows how they directly screwed into valve joins. 

 While there were many ways to oil engine parts, the kind we have found on Monitor are the “wick feed” variety (top left corner). The oil soaks the wick and slowly but continuously drips oil into the valve joins.    Read more

The Multicultural Mariner

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With a new year ahead, our team at The Mariners’ Museum and Park is embracing a new theme in our galleries and programs: The Multicultural Mariner. Multiculturalism incorporates ideas, beliefs, and people from many different countries and cultural backgrounds. This theme is built around our mission: we connect people to the world’s waters, because through our waters – through our shared maritime heritage – we are connected to one another. We’re excited to share some of the topics, people, and cultures we plan to highlight throughout the year.

Annual Heritage Months:

There are several periods within the year designated toward recognizing specific ethnic and marginalized groups. We plan to highlight:   Read more