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  • NHA Publishes New Book: Scrimshaw on Nantucket with Stuart M. Frank

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    July 23, 2019

    NANTUCKET, MA The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) is pleased to announce the release of a new publication, Scrimshaw on Nantucket: The Collection of the Nantucket Historical Association by Dr. Stuart M. Frank this August. This beautiful hardcover book features more than 800 scrimshaw artifacts from the NHA’s world-class collection, newly photographed in stunning detail by island photographer Jeff Allen.

    Scrimshaw is an occupational folk art that has an important place in American history. Scrimshaw is the occupational folk art of America’s historic whale fishery and includes practical, utilitarian, and purely decorative objects and artworks created by whalemen during their leisure hours at sea using the bones and teeth of sperm whales, baleen from other whales, and walrus tusks. The NHA collection contains about 1,400 examples of scrimshaw.

    The NHA is thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase its unique scrimshaw collection. The book is written by Dr. Stuart M. Frank, one of the world’s foremost scholars on the subject. Dr. Frank is executive director emeritus of the Kendall Whaling Museum, senior curator emeritus of the New Bedford Whaling Museum, a collections consultant and former research associate at Mystic Seaport, and founder and director of the Scrimshaw Forensics Laboratory. He has been a research fellow of the NHA since 2012.

    Stuart is the leading authority on scrimshaw and as such we could think of none other to write this seminal book. Working closely with Michael Harrison, the NHA Obed Macy Director of Research and Collections and photographer Jeff Allen, Stuart provides great insight into the extensive and important NHA collection. We believe this publication will be the definitive source for Nantucket scrimshaw for decades to come,” states James Russell, Gosnell Executive Director.

    Scrimshaw on Nantucket, The Collection of the Nantucket Historical Association is now available for preorder on the Museum Shop online store at nha.org and will be available in-store starting on August 9. A limited edition with slipcase will be available for $250 and the regular price will be $65. The NHA will host a book release event on Friday, August 9 at 9:30 a.m. at the Quaker Meeting House. For more information on the exhibit, please visit www.nha.org or call (508) 228-1894.

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    The NHA’s mission is to preserve and interpret the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences. 

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