New Bedford Whaling Museum to Receive Two Grants from the NEH

NEW BEDFORD – Two recent grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities will support New Bedford Whaling Museum projects with national scope.

A $136,000 grant from the NEH Division of Education Programs will fund a two-week “Summer Institute for Teachers” in 2018 that will illuminate the art and contexts of Herman Melville’s famous 19th century American novel Moby-Dick, and help teachers interpret the book for 21st century students.

The NEH Division of Public Programs has awarded a $40,000 Exhibition Planning Grant to the Museum to support the development of a traveling exhibition based on one of the gems in the Museum’s collection, the Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World.

Completed in 1848, the 1,275 foot panorama is the longest painting in the United States and is currently undergoing conservation at NBWM.

During the “Summer Institute for Teachers,” 25 teachers from around the nation will encounter the rich worlds of Moby-Dick, and gain a better understanding of Melville’s literary power and how to interpret the book’s wonders for their students.

Six Melville scholars who comprise the Melville Society Cultural Project will serve as principal faculty of the Institute.

Painted by Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington of New Bedford, the Panorama travelled the United States between the 1850s and 1870s as a moving picture show.

The NEH grant will support the development of a traveling exhibition titled “A Spectacle in Motion: The Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World,” which will debut in New Bedford in 2018, and then travel to Mystic, Connecticut in late 2018.

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