CONF Mar 27, 2023

The Wider World and Scrimshaw (online/New Bedford, 28 Mar 23)

New Bedford, MA, United States, Mar 28, 2023
Registration deadline: Mar 28, 2023

Naomi Slipp, United states

We hope you can join us in-person or on zoom on Tuesday, March 28, for The Wider World and Scrimshaw, a day-long symposium at the New Bedford Whaling Museum devoted to the close object-based study of mid-nineteenth-century carving from around the Pacific Rim. Understanding that material culture serves as a rich primary source of documentation of colonial encounter, adaptation, and influence in various directions, we consider rich examples of material culture from the Pacific Rim and whaling voyages and query what they might teach us about the relationships between communities throughout the region, nineteenth-century whalers, and histories of colonial maritime exploration during the nineteenth century and beyond.

The finalized program is below. You can register online and attend online or in-person for the entire day or just a portion of the program. This program is generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art, with additional contributions from individual donors.




10:00am – Welcoming Remarks, Amanda McMullen, President & CEO, New Bedford Whaling Museum

10:15 am-12:00pm – Panel I: The Space of the Oceans and Museums

Scrimshaw and the Wider World Exhibition Presentation
Naomi Slipp, Chief Curator, and Michael Dyer, Curator of Maritime History

Courtney M. Leonard, Assistant Professor of Art and Art History, St. Olaf College

Bending Bones: Masculinity and Materiality in the Afterlives of Whales
Marina Wells, PhD Candidate, American and New England Studies, Boston University

Reconsidering Scrimshaw on Nantucket
Michael R. Harrison, Chief Curator and Obed Macy Research Chair, Nantucket Historical Association

Audience and Panelist Q+A

12:00-1:00pm Lunch is provided (in-person only)

1:00-2:45 – Panel II: The Pacific Islands and Oceania

Scrimshaw as Archive
Maggie Cao, David G. Frey Associate Professor of Art History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Whalers, World’s Fairs, and the Wilkes Expedition: Tracing the Movement of Māori Objects in American Museums
Jennifer J. Wagelie, Academic Liaison, Manetti Shrem Museum, University of California, Davis

Regalia from the Sea: Whaling Histories and Hawaiian Lei Niho Palaoa
Sienna Weldon, MA Candidate, Art History, University of California, Davis

To hold, to frame, to extend, to mend: Pilinix care within the Archive of Constraint
alejandro t. acierto, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance, Arizona State University

Audience and panelist Q+A

2:45-3:15pm – Coffee Break

3:15-5:00pm – Panel III: The Global Arctic and Pacific Northwest

The Bering Sea Meeting/Market Place: Making ‘Hybrid Arts’ and Trading It
Igor Krupnik, Cultural Anthropologist and Curator of Arctic and Northern Ethnology Collections, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institutions

The Walrus and the Palm Tree: Arctic Artists and Pacific Worlds
Bart Pushaw, Mads Øvlisen Fellow in Art History, University of Copenhagen

From talisman to trinket: ivory art and industry in the Bering Straits
Stephen Loring, Archeologist (Arctic Studies Center), National Museum of Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Institutions

For Future Generations: Indigenous Collections in Museums and Community-Based Heritage Research
Emily Jean Leischner, PhD candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia

Audience and Panelist Q+A

5:00pm – Closing remarks, Naomi Slipp, Chief Curator, New Bedford Whaling Museum

CONF: The Wider World and Scrimshaw (online/New Bedford, 28 Mar 23). In:, Mar 27, 2023 (accessed May 30, 2023), <>.