“Scrimshaw 101” Coming to New Bedford Whaling Museum

NEW BEDFORD – The New Bedford Whaling Museum will host one of the world’s foremost authorities on scrimshaw at their downtown New Bedford facility next month.

Dr. Stuart Frank, who serves as Senior Curator Emeritus at the museum, will present “Scrimshaw 101” a seminar on the art form including information on how to authenticate, restore, and care for scrimshaw pieces and a full update on today’s market.

Scrimshaw provides scholars and historians with a unique window into an early American industry, as well as unusual insights into 19th-century work and family life.

According to the museum, the art and craft of scrimshaw are inextricably tied to the history, economics, and shipboard dynamics of the American whaling industry.

What began as humble shipboard toolmaking evolved into an occupational art form, keeping idle hands busy during long voyages. Work that was little valued in the past has come to be appreciated in recent decades as valuable artworks and historically significant, occupationally rooted artifacts.

“Scrimshaw 101” will be held Saturday, September 9, from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $25 for museum members, 35 for non-members.

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