America and the Sea

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Treasures from the Collections of Mystic Seaport

Introduction by Stephen S. Lash; Essays by Daniel Finamore, Nicholas Whitman, Erik A. R. Ronnberg, Jr., William Fowler, Michael McManus, Llewellyn Howland III, and Ryan M. Cooper

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $60.00
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A stunning book that features highlights from Mystic Seaport, one of the finest maritime museums in the world

The history of America is largely a history of the sea. This marvelous book features a selection of more than two hundred of the finest objects from Mystic Seaport that tell the history of America and its maritime heritage. Presented with accessible texts and beautiful reproductions are masterpieces of maritime painting, exquisite photographs of classic yachts and powerboat races, and diverse prints and watercolors. Unique examples of American folk art—yarn paintings, reverse paintings on glass, sailors’ valentines, shadowbox ship models, and ships in bottles—are also explored in detail,  along with watercraft, scrimshaw, ship figureheads, and silver yachting trophies.


Essays written by distinguished experts describe the individual forms of expression, discuss the artists and craftsmen, and offer commentary on the ways in which America’s maritime history is interwoven with its economic development and cultural history. Elegantly designed and lavishly produced, America and the Sea offers intriguing new evidence of the indisputable relevance of maritime history to American life and art.

Stephen S. Lash is chairman, Christie’s America, and former chairman and current director of the New York City Landmarks Conservancy. Daniel Finamore is the Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts. Nicholas Whitman is the former Curator of Photography at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Erik A.  R. Ronnberg, Jr., is a professional ship-model maker. William Fowler is director of the Massachusetts Historical Society and consulting editor to The New England Quarterly. Michael McManus is author of A Treasury of American Scrimshaw and was Director of Exhibitions, Museum of American Folk Art, New York, 1986–90. Llewellyn Howland III is a trustee of the New Bedford Whaling Museum and was a founding fellow for Mystic Seaport’s G. W. Blunt White Library. Ryan M. Cooper, a collector and dealer, is a leading historian on ship figureheads.

“This marvelous book features a selection of more than 200 of the finest objects from Mystic Seaport that tell the history of America and its maritime heritage. Presented with accessible texts and beautiful reproductions are masterpieces of maritime painting, exquisite photographs of classic yachts and powerboat races, and diverse prints and watercolors. . . . Elegantly designed and lavishly produced, American and the Sea offers intriguing new evidence of the indisputable relevance of maritime history to American life and art.”—New England Antiques Journal

"The value of Mystic's latest offering is its elegant presentation and refreshing diversity of maritime themes: paintings, photographs, ship models, library holdings, scrimshaw, ship plans, and figureheads. Poignant essays by distinguished experts introduce each section and explain the historical and cultural importance of the fine art, folk art, and original documents featured within. . . . You will enjoy this bound collection of many of its hidden treasures—treasures you probably would not have access to or time to investigate while you're there."—Cathy Green, Sea History

"The book is unquestionably a gorgeous productions. Its essays help both specialists and generalists understand some of what Mystic represents. Its images will delight every reader."—Paul E. Fontenoy, International Journal of Maritime History

Selected for Association of American University Presses (AAUP) Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries, 2006
ISBN: 9780300114027
Publication Date: November 11, 2005
Publishing Partner: Published in association with Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea
159 pages, 9 x 11
175 color + duotone illus.
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS