Mystic, Conn. ~ Restoring an Icon: The Charles W. Morgan, a new exhibition interpreting the preservation of the last surviving wooden whaleship in the world, opens in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard Gallery at Mystic Seaport June 26.
The Morgan was hauled out in the fall of 2008 and is currently undergoing a three-year restoration in the Museum’s shipyard. As always, visitors are encouraged to board the vessel and go below deck. The exhibit is designed to reveal all aspects of historic vessel restoration and bring visitors into the process.
Divided into four sections – “History,” “Workshop,” “Laboratory” and “Design Office” – Restoring an Icon details the history and significance of the Morgan, examines the vessel’s construction and restoration process, investigates the causes and types of environmental deterioration she suffers and explains how conventional techniques are similar to and different from historic methods of restoration.
Interactive exhibit components include stations where visitors can try their hand at traditional boat building techniques, examine the effects of microorganisms on wood and explore the ships plans of the Morgan. Live interpretation and audio-video stations supplement the exhibit, along with cell phone audio guides which provide access to regularly updated recordings about the restoration project.
Additionally, visitors will be able to meet the shipwrights, riggers and others who are responsible for making the restoration possible, share what the Morgan means to them and find out how they can become part of her legacy.
“As the Morgan’s story continues to evolve and play an active role in our national maritime heritage, Restoring an Icon connects visitors to the restoration work that is currently taking place and answers questions about what she has experienced and what her future holds,” said Steve White, Mystic Seaport president.
Located adjacent to the Morgan in the upper gallery of the shipyard building, the exhibit overlooks the main floor and the rigging loft where visitors can observe lumber preparation and other daily activities of a working shipyard.
The Morgan is one of four National Historic Landmark vessels at Mystic Seaport. Built in 1841 in New Bedford, MA, she served as a whaling vessel until 1921, making 37 voyages and sailing to all the earth’s oceans. The Morgan was acquired by Mystic Seaport in 1941, and as the “crown jewel” of the Museum’s collection, has since welcomed more than 20 million visitors.
Restoring an Icon was generously underwritten by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Tourism Cares.
The exhibit will remain open throughout the duration of the restoration. For more information, visit www.mysticseaport.org/restoringanicon.
Those interested in supporting this preservation can do so by visiting www.mysticseaport.org/morgan or by calling 860.572.5365.
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, the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum is located one mile south of exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $24 for adults and $15 for children ages 6-17. Children 5 and under and Museum members are admitted for free. For more information, visit www.mysticseaport.org <http://www.mysticseaport.org> or call 888.973.2767. ###