"Pirates - Ship to Shore"
~ in the Horton Gallery
Pirates - Ship to shore: This dynamic new exhibit explores the life and times of the buccaneers and scalawags that roamed the east coast of North America and the Caribbean Sea during the golden age of piracy. Visit the costume room to don your pirate attire and explore the old port village of Nassau and walk the decks of the pirate ship Fortune. The bold can ready Fortune's guns to fire upon an unsuspecting ship on the distant horizon. Visitors will also enjoy the many wonderful pirate paintings by renowned artist Don Maitz housed in the village's small fort and thrill to genuine sunken treasure found in the assayer's office. Don't miss the fun and fascination of this one-of-a-kind educational experience!
Exhibit curator Jon Paul Van Harpen is back and so are the pirates to provide an exhibit that the museum promises is better than its predecessor. "Pirates - Ship to Shore" opens to the public on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at the Sturgeon Bay museum and while the exhibition will again provide a glimpse of these notorious scalawags, visitors will be treated to an eye-popping backdrop that will take them back some 300 years to a seafront port in the Caribbean.
Van Harpen, who assisted with the design of the exhibit and securing of artifacts in 2007, raised the bar this time. Most significant was his construction of a half-scale pirate ship Fortune where old blends with modern technology as the traditionally outfitted "vessel" provides would-be pirates the opportunity to engage in battle with passing merchant and naval ships.
"It's loosely based on the Royal Fortune," said Van Harpen, further explaining that the relatively small, fast and maneuverable sloops were perfect for the types of raids that made these buccaneers both feared and infamous. As visitors to the exhibit will also discover, the vessel is well armed with canons and swivel guns. A costume room will ensure that visitors are properly attired as they explore the village and take to their sailing stations aboard the Fortune.
"I wanted something more hands on," said Van Harpen, who is confident the displays and interactives will provide a treat for the entire family.
In conjunction with "Pirates - Ship to Shore" will be a pirate art exhibit featuring the works of Don Maitz. While best known for creating the "captain" character associated with Captain Morgan rums, Maitz is a highly decorated artist. He is a three-time recipient of the Chesley Award for outstanding achievement by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists and also received the Silver Medal of Excellence from the Society of Illustrators. A total of 19 of Maitz's pirate works will be on display in the fort-inspired gallery in the museum's upper lobby.
Step into an actual wheelhouse of a 1907 steamship. Put your hands on the large wooden wheel and sound Elba’s horn. Captain her as she delivers lumber, stone and other bulk cargos to ports throughout the Great Lakes.
The wheelhouse has been lovingly restored to its original state. Notice the craftsmanship of the time, the rich wood that’s used throughout and the antiquated navigational equipment of the early 1900s.