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Mystic Seaport Announces 2018 Exhibition Schedule
Viking Treasures, a Mixed-Reality Art Installation, the Vinland Map, and Artifacts from
the Tragic Franklin Arctic Expedition of 1845 Highlight Museum’s Year

Mystic, Conn. (September 19, 2017) — Mystic Seaport announces its lineup of new exhibitions for the 2018 calendar year, including the international debut in May of The Vikings Begin, a presentation of priceless Norse artifacts from Sweden’s Gustavianum Museum, Uppsala University. The schedule includes also the first display in the U.S. of the controversial Vinland Map in more than 50 years.

The Museum will begin the year with the inaugural opening in January of a Mixed-Reality installation, Murmur: Arctic Realities, from contemporary artist John Grade that will transport visitors to the Alaskan tundra. The year concludes in November with the only American display of Death in the Ice: The Shocking Story of Franklin’s Final Expedition, an exploration of the mysterious fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew on their expedition to find the Northwest Passage across the Arctic in 1845.     

Murmur: Arctic Realities
January-April, 2018

Murmur: Arctic Realities will present a groundbreaking new experience by John Grade, one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. Visitors will encounter what appears to be a natural landform – a mound intricately carved from Alaskan yellow cedar. This vast sculpture represents a pingo, a hill of ice that grows over centuries in the Arctic’s highest latitudes, then collapses, pockmarking the tundra. Grade’s work replicates exactly a pingo in Alaska’s Noatak National Preserve, mapped by the artist using photogrammetry. Visitors will not only witness the pingo’s impressive scale, but will also be able to enter inside the sculpture as its walls open and close, mimicking the pingo’s lifecycle at a time when this is accelerating due to unprecedented environmental change.

Murmur will present the world’s first use of Microsoft’s HoloLens Mixed Reality technology in a museum. Grade will map fragments of Noatak’s landscape into the gallery so that visitors wearing a wireless HoloLens headset will see themselves within a holographic representation of the North. By allowing visitors in Connecticut to traverse an Alaskan marsh, Murmur will revolutionize the public’s grasp of what a museum experience can be.

The Mystic Seaport installation will be Murmur’s international debut and is made possible in collaboration with the Anchorage Museum.

The Vikings Begin: Treasures from Uppsala University, Sweden
May-September, 2018

One of the world’s finest early Viking age collections is coming to Mystic Seaport. Priceless treasures, including helmets, shields, weapons, glass, and other artifacts are safeguarded at the Gustavianum Museum of Uppsala University in Sweden, Scandinavia’s oldest university. These collections, dating as early as the seventh century, are now the focus of a major research initiative designed to significantly advance our understanding of how the Norse culture evolved. Thematic sections on Viking warfare, trade, the Baltic Sea, a ship burial, Norse gods, and relations to other cultures will employ rare archaeological finds in the discovery of how this maritime society lived more than a millennium ago. This exhibition represents the first instance most of these artifacts will have ever left Sweden.

The installation at Mystic Seaport will be the international debut of The Vikings Begin, and is made possible in collaboration with the Gustavianum, Uppsala University Museum.

The Vinland Map
May-September, 2018

When it was first unveiled by Yale University in 1965, the Vinland Map immediately became one of the most valuable and controversial documents in the world. This parchment map was dated by Yale to about 1440 – an incendiary claim as the map depicts at its far western edge Vinland, the mysterious land discovered by explorer Leif Ericsson in about 1000, what we now know to be Newfoundland. Did Norse knowledge of the New World exist within mainland Europe before Columbus sailed? The Map suggests so. Its publication riveted a public deeply invested in the question of First Contact, and eager for evidence of an American connection to Viking history. The Map’s discovery also ignited a firestorm of debate as scholars, historians, and scientists across the globe argued over its meaning and authenticity. Today most scholars concur the Map is a forgery, which does nothing to diminish the role it has played in our national conversation about who we are and where we come from.

This exhibition will place the Vinland Map on display in the U.S. for the first time in more than fifty years, allowing those who have followed the saga to see its primary evidence for the first time. Mystic Seaport will engage historians, archaeologists, scientists, and other leading experts to share the Map’s story and discuss its outsized role in modern American history.

This exhibition is made possible in collaboration with the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Death in the Ice: The Shocking Story of Franklin’s Final Expedition
November, 2018-April, 2019

In 1845, Sir John Franklin led the Royal Navy’s sturdiest two ships into the Arctic to great international acclaim. His mission: to discover a Northwest Passage to Asia. Franklin and his crew of 128 men were never heard from again. Thirty-seven expeditions were launched from several countries in a decades-long effort to discover the fate of Franklin’s men. Tantalizing clues, including graves, provisions, Inuit tales, and a single handwritten note told a grim story, but the men and ships were never found.

This most enduring of mysteries leapt back into the headlines in 2014 with the discovery of Franklin’s flagship, HMS Erebus, then two years later with the discovery of HMS Terror, each incredibly well preserved at depths of less than 100 feet in the Arctic Ocean. Dives aboard the wrecks are rapidly changing our understanding of what befell Franklin’s expedition.

This exhibition pulls together every strand of this epic history, including expedition materials from London, Inuit culture and knowledge that led to the wrecks’ discoveries from Canada, and artifacts raised from HMS Erebus, seen for the first time in 170 years. Mystic Seaport is the only American venue for this exhibition.

This exhibition is made possible in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of History, Parks Canada, the Inuit Heritage Trust, and Royal Museums Greenwich.

Traveling Exhibitions

Peoples of the Whale: Captain George Comer and the Inuit of Hudson Bay

Embassy of Canada, Washington, D.C.

April-July, 2018

Capt. George Comer (1858-1937) enjoyed dual careers as a successful Arctic whaling captain and an accomplished – though not formally trained – anthropologist. He is best known for his close association with the Inuit of the west coast of Hudson Bay. This exhibition explores this remarkable relationship.

Comer and his whaling crew fared well in the cold North, thanks in large part to the support of the Inuit, who also possessed strong whaling traditions. The Captain appreciated the remarkable ingenuity, skills, and character of his Inuit companions. They willingly shared their knowledge and helped him survive. Surrounded by one of the earth’s most harsh environments, the two groups worked together and enjoyed each other’s company.

The Inuit also supported Captain Comer’s efforts to document their rapidly changing culture, enabling him to conduct comprehensive studies of Inuit life; the first ever made in the Hudson Bay region. Today, his studies and collections provide a unique and striking record of shared legacy.

This exhibition is made possible in partnership with the Embassy of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History.

Media Images

For publicity images please visit http://bit.ly/2wuwtri

About Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum’s collection of more than two million artifacts includes more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography in the country. The newly opened Thompson Exhibition Building provides a state-of-the-art gallery to host compelling, world-class exhibitions, beginning with the current show SeaChange. The Collections Research Center at Mystic Seaport provides scholars and researchers from around the world access to the Museum’s renowned archives. Mystic Seaport is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $28.95 for adults ages 15 and older and $18.95 for children ages 4-14. Museum members and children three and younger are admitted free. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org  
and follow Mystic Seaport on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.

Contact: 
Dan McFadden
Director of Communications
Mystic Seaport
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860.572.5317

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 Mystic River Oyster Festival Comes to
Mystic Seaport September 30

 Mystic, Conn. (September 18, 2017) — The Mystic River Oyster Festival at Mystic Seaport will be Saturday, September 30, offering visitors glimpses into the history of oystering and a look at (and taste of) the modern-day resurgence of the industry .

This one-day event is a celebration of all things oyster, and features six local and regional oyster purveyors who will have oysters available for tasting and will show off their shucking skills.

The festival will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Food service will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Mystic River Oyster Festival is free with regular Museum admission. Food is subject to an additional charge.

This year the festival includes:

  • Fishers Island Oyster Farm
  • Jonathan Island Oysters
  • The Noank Aquaculture Cooperative
  • Matunuck Oyster Bar
  • Walrus and Carpenter Oysters
  • Behan Family Farms

Visitors can learn about the history of oystering on Long Island Sound and take in tonging (harvesting) demonstrations. They can also hear firsthand about the life of a modern-day oysterman during a talk by Ben Franford, a dentist who owns Jonathan Island Oysters. His oyster trade name is “Pearly Whites.” Another talk during the Festival is by Bill Lucey, the Long Island Soundkeeper, who works for Save the Sound as the watchdog for the bays and harbors, monitoring water quality, and making sure there are no infractions of the Clean Water Act. Oysters need clean water!

Traditional sea music entertainment will be provided by the Mystic Seaport chantey staff:

  • Craig Edwards & David Iler, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Geoff Kaufman & Anayis Wright, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be presentations and booths by:

  • Clean Up Sound and Harbors (CUSH), a grassroots environmental organization that operates out of Stonington in an effort to monitor water quality and educate the public about how to improve local water quality.
  • Connecticut SeaGrant, an environmental organization funded by NOAA and the State of Connecticut. They encourage the stewardship of marine resources through education and research and provide the resources for the Connecticut Shellfish Commission, which works with local oyster farmers to help with water quality, aquaculture, and education. They will also be offering information about shellfish conservation efforts.

Vendors during the festival include R. Murphy Knives, who sell premium oyster knives and other tools and equipment.

About Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum’s collection of more than two million artifacts includes more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography in the country. The newly opened Thompson Exhibition Building provides a state-of-the-art gallery to host compelling, world-class exhibitions, beginning with the current show SeaChange. The Collections Research Center at Mystic Seaport provides scholars and researchers from around the world access to the Museum’s renowned archives. Mystic Seaport is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $28.95 for adults ages 15 and older and $18.95 for children ages 4-14. Museum members and children three and younger are admitted free. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org  and follow Mystic Seaport on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.

Contact:
Dan McFadden
860.572.5317
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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                                            Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport to Open 38th Annual International 

Marine Art Exhibition and Sale September 23

Mystic, Conn. (September 12, 2017) — The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport opens the 38th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition and Sale Saturday, September 23.

The International is the most comprehensive collection of contemporary marine art in the United States. Award-winning artists from around the world will present more than 100 examples of their most recent work. Represented in this show are exceptional paintings, sculptures, and scrimshaw. The show is a commemoration of America’s maritime heritage with both intricately researched historical scenes and contemporary images that document the relationship of man to the sea.

“We are excited and honored to gather top artists in the maritime field in one exhibition. On display will be some of the finest works of contemporary marine art produced this year,” said Monique Foster, director of the Gallery. “The show will visually inspire and delight art connoisseurs, sailors, and visitors alike.”

Participating artists include Don Demers, Patrick O’Brien, Richard Loud, Neal Hughes, Laura Cooper, Sergio Roffo, Len Tantillo, William Davis, and Scott Cameron. The exhibition will honor participating artists with five awards of excellence and six named awards –including the Rudolph J. Schaefer Maritime Heritage Award, which recognizes the work that best documents America’s maritime heritage for future generations.

The exhibition will open to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 23. There will be an artists’ walk at 11 a.m. at the Gallery. The walk is an opportunity for the public to meet some of the participating artists and listen as they share how they created their works and what inspires them to produce their art.

All works in the exhibition are available to view and purchase daily between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The show can also be viewed on the Gallery website beginning September 18The exhibition runs through December 31, 2017.

Images for Download: http://bit.ly/2xXhcvw

About the Maritime Gallery

The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport is the nation's foremost gallery specializing in contemporary marine art and ship models. For more than 35 years, the Gallery has been privileged to exhibit the works of leading international maritime artists. Located at historic Mystic Seaport, the Gallery overlooks the beautiful Mystic River attracting art lovers and collectors from around the world. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org/gallery.

Contact: 
Dan McFadden
860.572.5317
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.