Mariners’ Museum receives National Maritime Heritage Grant for USS Monitor Conservation
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – On Monday, April 27, The Mariners’ Museum was awarded a grant for $99,900 from the National Park Service’s National Maritime Heritage Grant Program in support of ongoing efforts to conserve and exhibit artifacts from the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor.
The grant provides for the acquisition of a state-of-the-art dry ice abrasion system for mechanically cleaning wrought iron artifacts like USS Monitor‘s gun turret and engine components. The grant also provides additional funding to hire another conservation expert to help utilize the equipment.
“This grant award from the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program is a huge force multiplier for conservators at the USS Monitor Center”, said Director of USS Monitor Center Dave Krop. “We meticulously tested this technology and believe it will increase our efficiency in the lab and potentially reduce time for certain phases of artifact treatment. It is great for the entire maritime preservation community to know that the National Park Service is committed to revitalizing this important grant program.”
The Mariners’ Museum will be the only museum in the country utilizing this technology for marine-recovered archaeological wrought iron. With nearly 200 tons of artifacts, the USS Monitor Center houses the largest marine archaeological metals conservation project in the world. Home to the iconic gun turret, gun carriages and engine, the Wet Lab provides visitors with a view of the delicate process of preserving history.
“Just like the Monitor herself, The Mariners’ Museum is employing cutting-edge innovation,” said David Alberg, Superintendent of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. “NOAA and The Mariners’ Museum are continuing to make progress in the effort to preserve this important icon of American history.”
The USS Monitor is a well-known icon in American history and culture—a poised player in a national civil war that inevitably became a major turning point in our country. The Monitor symbolized a new way of thinking and helped to shape the future of human relations in the United States.
The Mariners’ Museum, an educational, non-profit institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, preserves and interprets maritime history through an international collection of ship models, figureheads, paintings and other maritime artifacts.
Submitted by Jenna Dill, The Mariners’ Museum