Scholars, artists, historians, and scrimshaw collectors will converge on the New Bedford Whaling Museum May 10 through May 12, 2019, for the 31st annual Scrimshaw Weekend.

Scrimshaw Weekend is the world’s only forum devoted to the indigenous shipboard art of whalers during the “Age of Sail.” The Whaling Museum’s massive collection of thousands of scrimshaw objects makes it the ideal venue for the event. Scrimshaw Weekend attracts enthusiasts from far and wide who gather to study, celebrate and discover this distinctive and beautiful art form.

The weekend begins with the 10th Annual Nautical Antiques Show on Friday, May 10, and continues on Saturday and Sunday with presentations and an optional field trip to Nantucket.

The Whaling Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Mass. For more information visit or by call (508) 997-0046.

The Nautical Antiques Show features high-quality antiques from some of New England’s most respected dealers. The Antiques Show runs from noon to 5 p.m. with an early-bird bonus hour beginning at 11 a.m. The show and its early-bird session are free for Scrimshaw Weekend attendees. Admission to the show is free for Museum members and with regular admission to the Museum for non-members. Early-bird admission is available to Museum members and non-members for an additional $5.

Scrimshaw Weekend officially begins Friday, May 10 with an evening presentation on “Scrimshaw Collected by the Fishermen Themselves,” by Stuart M. Frank, Senior Curator Emeritus for the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Two full days of discovery, learning, and stimulating talks follow.

Weekend highlights include presentations on the resolution of a 30-year old scrimshaw mystery, scrimshaw tools, newly discovered features of masterworks, highlights of a private collection and from a number of museum collections, and new books and online resources.

The weekend also features a report on the scrimshaw market, the Antique Scrimshaw Collectors Association (ASCA) report, and cocktail reception, banquet, and keynote address on Saturday evening titled “What to Do and See on Nantucket.”

Registration for Scrimshaw Weekend is $340 for Whaling Museum members, $395 for non-members, and $85 for students. Registration includes regular admission to the Nautical Antiques Show, all sessions Friday through Saturday, and dinner on Saturday evening. The Saturday dinner and evening program can be purchased separately for accompanying guests at $85 per person. Tickets to the optional Sunday field trip are separate and in addition to the fee for the weekend.

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