Penobscot Marine Museum will open a new type of artifact display with the inauguration of the Seabag Visible Storage Center on Saturday, July 23. The new facility, which the museum describes as a cross between a formal exhibit and curatorial storage, will make more than 100 additional items available to museum visitors and researchers.
“We have so many fascinating items in storage that the public rarely sees because formal exhibit space is limited,” collections manager Cipperly Good said in a recent press release. “By removing the constraints of a formal exhibit while still maintaining proper artifact storage conditions, the Seabag Visible Storage Center allows us to cycle new items for public display on a regular basis.”
Good added that a computer in the center will provide access to the museum’s object database, allowing users to look up details on any artifact on display in the Seabag or in regular storage.
Among the items that will be on display initially in the 1,424-square-foot facility are an Australian war club, a model of a West Indian whaling boat, an intricately carved 19th century Chinese table, nautical artifacts ranging from ditty boxes to ships’ wheels, and paintings of ships, ship captains and ship captains’ wives.
Funding for the facility was provided by the Davis Family Foundation and the Maine Humanities Council.
Museum officials will open the new facility at 2 p.m., after which the display will remain open until 5 p.m.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is part of Penobscot Bay Day, the museum’s 75th anniversary celebration which features live music, guided tours, nautical skills demonstrations, a silent auction and birthday cake for all. Penobscot Bay Day runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 23, and admission is free.
For the two weeks after Penobscot Bay Day, the Seabag Visible Storage Center will be open 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with weekend hours to be announced. For later dates and more information, call the museum’s Admission Center at 548-0334.
Penobscot Marine Museum is Maine’s oldest maritime museum and home to collections of marine art and artifacts, small craft, ship models and historic photography. Open seven days a week, Penobscot Marine Museum is at 40 E. Main St. (US Route 1) in Searsport. For information, call 548-2529 or visit www.PenobscotMarineMuseum.org.