SHIP:  
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
MUSEUM:  
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
SHIP:  
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
MUSEUM:  
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Two New Museum Exhibits Celebrate Contrasting Elements of Maritime Life

Crew at play on a vessel at anchor in China

CHARLESTOWN, MA (January 17, 2023)—The USS Constitution Museum, in partnership with the USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild and the Seafarer’s Trust, proudly presents the 43rd annual exhibit, Masters of Miniature: Ship Model Show, and the new companion photography show LIFE AT SEA 2022. The exhibits, opening on Saturday, January 28, showcase the intricate and spectacular handcrafted models from local modelers alongside photography documented by seafarers worldwide, shining a light on the human side of the experiences and challenges this essential workforce faces.

Ship modeling is an art as old as shipbuilding itself and one for which USS Constitution has been a favored subject. Model shipbuilding provides a glimpse into vessels’ remarkable history and intentional design. The process reveals much about the original shipbuilder’s design, engineering, form, and functional considerations as they built a ship to accomplish a specific purpose. This year’s Model Show showcase over 70 exquisite, handcrafted models of all types created by USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild members across New England. From ninth-century ships to pleasure craft of today and everything in between, the show includes vessels of many kinds made by skilled Modelers representing Master Craftsmen and a new generation of modelers. They will be available daily to answer questions and demonstrate the craft of model building. Attendees can vote for their favorite model.

This year, the Museum also features a companion exhibit, ITF Seafarers’ Trust LIFE AT SEA 2022, to convey the human side of maritime life. Featuring submissions to the ITF Seafarers’ Trust photography competition, the images were taken by seafarers at work, communicating their unique perceptions and experiences while forging lives connected to ships and the sea. In contrast to the perfectly and intricately designed ship models, the emotionally charged imagery conveys the challenges and incredible passion of people who work in various ways connected with the sea. Robert Kiihne, Director of Exhibits at the USS Constitution Museum, explains, “These personal, moving images shine a light on the experiences of people who are often invisible to us; the seafaring men and women from around the world that make trade possible. By presenting their reality alongside the work of highly skilled Model shipwrights, we hope to explore the engineering beauty of ships throughout history and the realities their human crews face daily.”

The Masters of Miniature and LIFE AT SEA 2022 exhibits will run from January 28 through February 25, 2023. Both exhibits are open to all visitors during regular Museum hours, from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily. Admission is by suggested donation.

The Boston Marine Society sponsors Masters of Miniature.

About USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild

The USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild encourages the art of constructing model ships and supports research in nautical history through its monthly meetings, workshops, educational activities, and exhibits. Guild members maintain a working model shop at the USS Constitution Museum, with an extensive library of modeling books and plans. For more information about model building: https://www.usscmsg.org

About ITF Seafarers’ Trust 

The ITF Seafarers Trust is a UK charity established in 1981, which funds programs that advance the well-being of maritime workers, seafarers, and their families. They are funded by the Trust’s own capital funds, and by the investment income of the Welfare Fund at the International Transport Workers Federation, a global federation of transport workers’ unions representing nearly 20 million members. For more information, visit https://www.seafarerstrust.org/.

About the USS Constitution Museum 

The USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution by offering award-winning exhibits where all ages can have fun while learning and exploring history together. The Museum’s mission is to engage visitors in the story of Constitution to spark excitement about maritime heritage, naval service, and the American experience. The Museum is open seven days a week with a pay-what-you-wish admission policy, and the Virtual Museum is open 24/7. The USS Constitution Museum is a 2022 winner in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice in the “Best History Museum” category and Boston Parents Paper’s Family Favorites in the “Historic Sites & Tours” and “Museums & Attractions” categories. For more information, visit usscm.org.

Featured image: Arvy Verder’s “PATINTERO” is part of the “Life at Sea 2022” photo competition by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust on display at the USS Constitution Museum. The image captures crew on a vessel at anchor in China playing a traditional Filipino children’s game known as “block and catch” or “block the runner.”

Photo Credit: © Arvy Verder, ITF Seafarers’ Trust Life at Sea Photo Competition