May 22, 2024

PRESS RELEASE: Two New Exhibits

Herreshoff Marine Museum Unveils Two New Exhibits: "A Matter of Scale" and the "Love Rocks Picture Gallery"


Contact: Bill Lynn - President & Executive Director

(401) 396-5837

[email protected]

Herreshoff Marine Museum Unveils Two New Exhibits: "A Matter of Scale" and the "Love Rocks Picture Gallery"

Bristol, RI – [May 23, 2024] – The Herreshoff Marine Museum is pleased to announce the opening of two new exhibits in the Aria Gallery at One Burnside Street: "A Matter of Scale," showcasing the museum's collection of rigged boat models, and the “Love Rocks Picture Gallery,” featuring historic photos from Nathanael G. Herreshoff’s home. Both exhibits were co-curated by HMM’s Evelyn Ansel in collaboration with independent curator Matthew Bird. The gallery will open to the public beginning June 1, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore the HMM collection and the Herreshoff legacy in a new light.

The Love Rocks Picture Gallery features some 45 historic framed photos courtesy of the Herreshoff family that originally hung in the family home, Love Rocks. Most of the photos on display are annotated on the reverse in Captain Nat’s hand, and front and back have been digitized as a part of the reinstallation of this important collection. The photos are set against a stenciled backdrop inspired by a section of original wallpaper from Love Rocks which is now on display in the N.G. Herreshoff Model Room, adjacent to the Aria Gallery. A digital companion to the gallery display will feature high resolution images of Captain Nat’s handwritten notes as well as individual captions for each print written by historian Maynard Bray.

“A Matter of Scale,” also installed in the Aria Gallery, features some 30 rigged or full models from the Herreshoff Museum permanent collections, a number of which have not previously been on public display. The exhibit explores questions ranging from the philosophical to the practical, asking viewers to consider everything from the enduring human fascination with miniatures and what motivates people to build models of boats, to considering how builders go about sourcing material and gathering the necessary information to construct accurate models.

The models span almost 75 years of Herreshoff design and production, from the 1871 SHADOW to the WWII era PT and Air Sea Rescue boats. They represent a variety of scales and were made by builders both historic and contemporary, some known and others anonymous. The oldest and largest is a stunning model of the 1893 COLONIA, built by master model builder and NYYC favorite Gustav Grahn in 1903. More recent models include Rob Wadleigh’s contemporary NAUTILUS, a New York 30, and Roger Hambidge’s ARIA, a Buzzards Bay 25, both of which are spectacular in their attention to detail and accuracy.

“We are so excited to bring many of these models out of storage, some for the first time in years,” said HMM Curator Evelyn Ansel. “There’s a real range in the sophistication represented here too, which was very intentional. Our hope is that seeing some very functional and utilitarian pond yachts alongside the finest presentation models might help people realize that, as in any craft, even the most extraordinary builders had to start somewhere! We hope our visitors will all be inspired to go home and try their hand at model building, even if it’s just a rubber band boat for the sink.”

For more information about the exhibit and upcoming events, please visit the Herreshoff Marine Museum's website at or email [email protected]

About the Herreshoff Marine Museum:

The Herreshoff Marine Museum, established in 1971, is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the legacy of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and its contributions to yacht design and maritime history. Located in Bristol, Rhode Island, the museum offers a range of exhibits, educational programs, and events that inspire and educate visitors about the rich heritage of nautical craftsmanship.