Art of the Sailor

When sailors left their homes to voyage across the sea, oftentimes they faced dangerous and extreme working conditions, horribly cramped quarters, and a journey that could stretch months to years. When stuck in these difficult and wearisome circumstances, some sailors used art to express themselves. “Art of the Sailor” will feature a unique collection of scrimshaw pieces (many of which have never been shown before at the Museum), decorative and working marine knots, unique embroidered items, and other sailor-made artifacts. Several of the items to be featured in the exhibition have never been seen outside of their privately-owned collections.

“The designs that sailors engraved onto bone or embroidered with wool, the types of useful and decorative items they made, and the various ways they used these objects all tell us something about the sailors themselves, their experiences, and the extraordinary world they lived in,” says CIMM’s Exhibitions Manager Olivia Morris. “In times of stress, boredom, isolation, and longing, sailors crafted pieces of meaning and beauty; useful and useless objects to recall country, pride, and home.”

“Art of the Sailor” runs through August 23, 2021. Entrance to the exhibition is included in the price of admission to CIMM.