Mermaids: Visualizing the Myths and Legends through Photography

Thousands of years ago, the Assyrian goddess of the sea, Atargatis, transformed herself into a mermaid by flinging herself into a lake.  She emerged with the lower body of a fish and the upper body of a human. Ever since, mermaids and mermen have captivated the imaginations of people and cultures around the world, including Europe, Asia, and Africa.  A popular subject of art and literature, they have also been the subject of operas, comics, animation,  and live action films.The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is thrilled to announce the opening of the long, Covid-delayed exhibit, “Mermaids: Visualizing the Myths and Legends through Photography,” which consists of 16 images printed on canvas by Ralph Clevenger and friends. Originally scheduled to open on April 22, 2020, the exhibit was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic closures. Now, thanks to the generous support of Mimi Michaelis, the Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation, and the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, the exhibit will be open to the public from November 11, 2021, through April 30, 2022. There will also be mermaid photo opportunities at the museum by appointment on Saturday, November 13, 2021, from 11:30am-12:30pm and 1-2pm, $10 for museum members and $30 for non-members.
The images displayed in the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum’s gallery exhibit were part of an underwater photography course Ralph Clevenger taught at Brooks Institute.  Clevenger was a senior faculty member at the Institute for 33 years, teaching courses in Natural History and Underwater Photography, among other photo and video courses. Based in Santa Barbara, California, Mr. Clevenger is continuing to pursue his passion for the natural world by specializing in location photography and video projects of eco-travel, environmental portraits, wildlife and undersea 

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