Author Archives: CAMM

About CAMM

Administrator, Council of American Maritime Museums

ICMM to Meet in Chile in 2017

Steve White presenting at 2015 ICMM in Hong Kong

Steve White at 2015 ICMM Meeting in Hong Kong

Steve White became president of the International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM) at their November 2015 meeting in Hong Kong. Twenty countries were represented at this meeting hosted by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. In his President’s Page message after the meeting, Steve stated “In Hong Kong, we explored the past and the heritage of trade while looking from the present and into the future in a port that is one of the global leaders in maritime trade today. In this environment, we were confronted with the juxtaposition of past and present, and thanks to a well-planned Congress, including our trip to Macau and to several museums in Macau and Hong Kong, the overall program illuminated our understanding of these parallel worlds.”

The next Congress is set for October 15-20, 2017, in Valparaiso, Chile. According to Steve, “It will be our first time in South America, and I ask all members to please put our bi-annual event on your calendar and to plan for the expense in your budgets.  The program planning committee is already beginning its work under the direction of Kristen Greenaway (Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum).  The theme for the program and the congress is DISCOVERIES! which is appropriate for our first congress in South America as we discover the rich and diverse maritime history of a country that includes the iconic Cape Horn.  Please visit our website from time to time to see more information regarding this important Congress.”

Extracted from the ICMM newslettter and website by Candace Clifford, April 11, 2016

Member Update – Polynesian Voyaging Canoe Hokule’a Sails into Hampton Roads


Image courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum

The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a (“Star of Gladness” in Hawaiian) is circumnavigating the globe on a voyage whose goals are as impressive as they are important. Hokule’a was built by the Polynesian Voyaging Society in the 1970s, more than 600 years after any other voyaging canoe existed.

Designed and sailed using skills that very nearly went extinct, Hokule’a seeks the wisdom of all indigenous peoples in a search for ideas on dealing with global concerns applied on a global scale. Appealing particularly to students and their communities, Hokule’a brings attention to the message of Mālama Honua – “to care for the Earth” in Hawaiian.

Hokule’a will be welcomed into Hampton Roads waters by a flotilla on Friday, April 22. She will then stay docked in Newport News for the Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 23 at the James River Fishing Pier. The celebration will include tours of Hokule’a, educational activities for families, and chances to meet the crew members. On Sunday, April 24, Hokule’a will sail to Yorktown for a traditional welcoming ceremony with Native American tribes followed by an afternoon celebration and tours of Hokule’a.

Throughout the visit, Hokule’a’s crew will participate in multiple public programs. On Thursday, April 28,  the crew will deliver a special lecture on Traditional Polynesian Wayfinding at the Museum. On Friday, April 29, the Museum will host Exploring the Seas Homeschool Day with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. There will also be special opportunities for Hampton Roads students to visit with the crew in their own classrooms.

Hokule’a will remain at Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown until May 8, when the canoe will continue sailing north, eventually visiting Washington, D.C., in time for a possible presidential declaration of National Oceans’ Month.

For more information about Hokule’a’s visit please go Or, you may contact Anne Marie Millar at (757) 591-7748 or email

Submitted by Jenna Dill, The Mariners Museum, April 11, 2016

Mystic Seaport Names Nicholas R. Bell Senior Vice President for Curatorial Affairs



Nicholas R. Bell

Mystic, Conn. (April 7, 2016) – Mystic Seaport announced today that Nicholas R. Bell has been named Senior Vice President for Curatorial Affairs, a new position at the Museum that will be responsible for the care, management, strategic development, and exhibition of the Museum’s collections. Bell will assume the position June 1, 2016.

Bell is presently The Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator-in-Charge at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, where he led the Gallery’s recent relaunch following a $30 million, two-year renovation. The reopening exhibition, entitled “WONDER,” explores the museum’s value to American culture and identity by presenting nine gallery spaces to site-specific installations by leading contemporary artists. The innovative project brought success and tremendous acclaim to the Renwick—museum attendance has increased 1,000 percent since its reopening.

“We are very proud to have a curator of Nicholas’s caliber join Mystic Seaport. We believe his deep knowledge of material culture, understanding of the public audience, and demonstrated leadership and creativity will take our collections and exhibitions program to a new level,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport. “The combination of the Thompson Exhibition Building opening this fall and this new leadership position truly signify that Mystic Seaport is moving into a new era of exhibitions.”

During his eight years at the Renwick, Bell curated six major exhibitions. The diverse projects included the thematic “WONDER;” a highly praised generational survey “40 under 40: Craft Futures,” organized to celebrate the Renwick’s 40th anniversary; the monographic “Untitled: The Art of James Castle;” and the presentation of groundbreaking research in “A Measure of the Earth: The Cole-Ware Collection of American Baskets.”

Bell’s vision expanded the Renwick’s focus from a narrow definition of craft to include a broad array of creative practices illustrating skilled making as a multifaceted approach to living in the modern world.  He reinvigorated the museum’s permanent collection through targeted purchases and gifts, including the gift of a landmark Dale Chihuly chandelier, the acquisition of the largest public collection of American revival baskets, and the second largest public collection of works by seminal self-taught artist James Castle.

Along with his curatorial accomplishments, Bell worked with the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s development team to raise funds to endow two curatorships and support the Renwick’s renovation. He also was part of a select group of Smithsonian experts who participated in TED talk-style presentations across the U.S. for the Smithsonian’s $1.5 billion capital campaign.

Bell has published seven books in the last five years, including six peer-reviewed exhibition catalogues and one edited anthology. He additionally positioned the Renwick as a center for scholarship with two international symposia in the past three years that have featured nearly 40 speakers.

”No matter how far we live from it, as Americans, the sea is bred in our bones. I believe the inclusiveness with which Mystic Seaport defines this relationship is the Museum’s greatest asset to building new connections with the public it serves,” said Bell. “Expanding on these connections is a thrilling opportunity, and I could not ask for a stronger team with which to embark on this adventure than the one already in place at the Museum.”

Bell earned a bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, and a master’s degree from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware. Bell, his wife, Allison, and their three children will be relocating to Mystic, Conn. this spring.

Submitted by Dan McFadden, Mystic Seaport, April 7, 2016

National Fisherman Collection Now Available Online

National Fisherman site

The first 5000 images in the National Fisherman Collection are now live. Ben Fuller is in the process of adding dates and locations to this group as well as reviewing the subject headings and search terms. Please contact him via with any suggestions or corrections. He expects to have the next 5000 up early in the summer.

Submitted by Ben Fuller, Curator, Penobscot Marine Museum, April 5, 2016

Public Notice for the Ferryboat Binghamton

As outlined in this Public Notice, NOEL LOVE GROSS, TRUSTEE OF TRUST B UNDER ARTICLE IIIB OF THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF NELSON G. GROSS is seeking interested qualified parties to enter into an agreement to remove the ferryboat Binghamton from its current site, in Edgewater, New Jersey, for the purpose of preservation and restoration. The Public Notice period will expire after 90 days, on June 29th, 2016. In the event that no qualified parties come forward within the 90 period to enter into an agreement to remove the entire vessel, components of the vessel will be offered to historical organizations and museums for curation.

The ferryboat Binghamton, a National Register structure, was constructed from 1904-1905. This vessel was one of six steam-powered screw-propeller, double-ended ferryboats built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock for the Hoboken Ferryboat Company. After her 62 years of service on the Hudson River between Hoboken and Manhattan, the ferryboat was sold and turned into a popular floating restaurant known as Binghamton’s in 1975. Unfortunately, the ferryboat is in poor condition due to damage sustained during Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012. The State of New Jersey has ordered the vessel’s removal for safety concerns.

Submitted by Teresa Bulger, Richard Grubb & Associates, April 1, 2016


Peter Stanford Remembered for Many Maritime Heritage Legacies

Peter Stanford, one of the 1972 founding members of the Council of American Maritime Museums, died today. The National Maritime Historical Society has posted a tribute to their late President Emeritus on their website.

Stanford was the founding president of South Street Seaport Museum, New York, and was instrumental in saving numerous historic ships, including the Lightship Ambrose; Brigantine Black Pearl; Barques Elissa, Moshulu, and Peking; Schooners Ernestina, ex-Effie Morrisey and Lettie Howard, Liberty Ship John W. Brown, steam tug Mathilda, and Wavertree.

In addition to CAMM, Peter Stanford was involved with the evolution of the American Society of Marine Artists (1977), the American Ship Trust (1978), the Hudson River Maritime Museum (1979), and the National Maritime Alliance (1987).  He also co-founded and supervised both OpSail 1976 for the nation’s bicentennial and the Statue of Liberty Parade of Sail in 1986.

A remarkable leader in the early days of ship preservation, Peter Stanford played a crucial role in bringing maritime heritage to the attention of the nation’s cultural resource community.

Submitted by Candace Clifford, using information from the National Maritime Historical Society posting, March 24, 2016

CAMM Conference Preliminary Program Now Available


Photo courtesy Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, this year’s conference host.

This year’s CAMM conference, April 25-27, in Wilmington, Delaware, will be a great opportunity to interact with fellow maritime heritage professionals.  The conference website has been updated with the preliminary program. The registration deadline, April 12, 2016, is less than a month away so make your plans to join us in Wilmington!