Museum Manager: Greg Therriault
Business Manager: Vanessa Petruccelli
Collections Manager: Richard Doctorow
Museum Assistant: Michael Butler
Terry Elkins + Scott Sandell + Gavin Zeigler
Tours and school groups
throughout the year.
Please call for details.
Board of Directors:
Barbara pintauro~Lobosco - President
Linley Pennebaker Whelan - Vice President
Zachary Studenroth- Treasurer
Anthony Brandt - Secretary
Peter J. Marcelle
Kings, Whalers & Beach Boys How Pacific Whaling Introduced Surfing to the World
MAY 15TH-NOVEMBER 1ST
The museum is sponsoring an exciting, family-oriented exhibition
in 2005 that explores the origins, evolution and perfection of surfing
as a recreational American sport and lifestyle. Island Kings, Whalers & Beach
Boys: How Pacific Whaling Introduced Surfing to the World celebrates
the phenomenal impact of surfing on American culture, from its South
Pacific roots in the 1700s, to its discovery by whaling ships in the
1800s and its introduction to California in the early 1900s. Artifacts,
graphics, original art, music and cinematic clips will be used in the
exhibition to highlight the fascinating history of this past-time and
its far-reaching effect on American culture today. The exhibit explores
the discovery of Polynesian islanders surfing in the South Pacific, and
how whaling crews made contact with surfers in Hawaii, a favorite destination
of whaling vessels. Famous travelers and authors – Mark Twain and
Jack London among them – memorialized surfing in their writings,
long before it reached American soil.
Island Kings, Whalers & Beach Boys traces the extraordinary rise in popularity
of surfing over the last century and how it spread to Long Island’s Rockaway
Beach in 1912. Today, Montauk’s Ditch Plains is regarded as the Mecca of
surfing in New York State. It all began many centuries ago, however, in the remote
South Pacific, and has left its indelible mark on American pop culture – our
movies, music, and attitudes toward recreation and lifestyle.
The Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum, which launched a new gallery
in 2003 to accommodate seasonal exhibits, is an ideal venue for the show. The
museum has in its permanent collection a wide array of artifacts, paper documents,
and fine and decorative arts that portray the Whaling Era and its impact on 19th
century America. Of particular interest are the ethnographic objects – spears,
shields, paddles and other exotic items – brought back to Sag Harbor as
souvenirs of the whaling voyages. The objects signify the “contact period” when
many Americans – primarily Whites, but African-Americans and Native Americans,
too – first encountered the aboriginal and native peoples of far-away places.
Their customs, language, mode of dress, food-ways, arts and crafts, and countless
other characteristics left an indelible impression on American whale men, who
brought the stories of their encounters – and their keepsakes – home
to Sag Harbor.
Island Kings, Whalers & Beach Boys gives the museum an opportunity to combine
scholarly research, social history, and commentary on contemporary culture in
a single event, providing viewers with a perspective on an American tradition
whose roots may surprise those who attend the show. The exhibit also gives the
museum a platform on which to develop an engaging and meaningful school curriculum
for Fall 2005, touching on themes as varied as Colonial American and maritime
history, cultural diversity, and environmental conservation.