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The Eye of the Universe

Bronze Bust sculpture of Lucretia Coffin Mott, by Victoria Guerina. NHA Purchase, 2020.7.1 and portrait of Lucretia Coffin Mott by Heather Vance Haddon, 2019.  Both are seen here on display in the Whaling Museum’s featured exhibit, The Road from Abolition to Suffrage. 

Normally, the Nantucket Historical Association offers 12 of its locations to the public, but the pandemic has impacted the ability to receive guests. Still, the Whaling Museum remains open, and the NHA has eliminated all visitor fees for the year-round community. Current exhibits include “An Island Seen” about the group of women artists who built the Artists Association of Nantucket, “The Tragedy of the Essex,” and “The Road From Abolition to Suffrage,” which runs through the end of 2020. This exhibit showcases the contributions that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and/ or People of Color) made within the whaling industry, including that of Captain Absalom Boston, the island’s first Black whaling captain, and the first man to captain an all-Black crew. The exhibit also tells the history of Native American sailors and of those from the Azores and Cape Verde, along with Nantucket’s Quaker-based abolitionist movement and the efforts of Nantucket women such as Lucretia Mott, who opposed slavery and led early suffrage efforts as a pioneering feminist in the USA. 

Russell concludes, “It’s more important than ever to keep the museum open this year. We’re happy to provide a safe, indoor experience for families and school children, especially as it gets colder and darker with the approach of winter.” 

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The Nantucket Whaling Museum was also featured on our Best of Cape Cod & the Islands! Check it out here.

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