New Exhibition Opens on March 4 at Whaling Museum

Seafaring Pinkhams ExhibitNANTUCKET, MA – The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) is pleased to announce that its new exhibition titled “Dear Absent Ones”: The Seafaring Pinkhams, opens to the public on Saturday, March 4, 2017, in the Nantucket Corner at the Whaling Museum, 13 Broad Street.

This exhibition looks at Nantucket seafaring through the eyes of the Pinkhams, a local family whose sons and daughters went to sea over multiple generations. The focus will be on three generations of the Pinkham family: Seth Pinkham and Mary Brown Pinkham (a whaling captain and his wife); Malvina Pinkham Marshall and Joseph Marshall (Seth and Mary’s daughter and her whaling master husband, whom she accompanied on whaling voyages); and Helen Marshall (Malvina and Joseph’s daughter, who was born in the Azores and went on whaling voyages with her family). Other family members are represented in images or in relevant artifacts throughout the exhibition as well.

Visitors will explore stories of adventure, love, melancholy, and loss as evidenced in the family’s letters, clothing, toys, furniture, and portraits. The exhibition features a group of Captain Seth Pinkham’s letters to his family and friends, which were acquired at auction for the NHA in 2016 through the generosity of an anonymous donor. Additional artifacts that will be highlighted in the exhibition are textiles that belonged to Malvina Pinkham Marshall and a scrimshaw-handled jump rope made for Helen Marshall by the second mate on the Aurora.

“Having acquired this fantastic set of family papers, we are so pleased to tell the story of the Pinkham family in more depth,” says Michael Harrison, NHA Robyn & John Davis Chief Curator. “It expands on family material we already have, which includes both archival material and artifacts. We’re taking the opportunity to tell the Pinkham’s family story using the broad range of what we have in our collection.”

“Dear Absent Ones”: The Seafaring Pinkhams will be on view in the NHA’s Nantucket Corner gallery in the Whaling Museum beginning Saturday, March 4, 2017 during museum hours, and is included with museum admission.

“Dear Absent Ones”: The Seafaring Pinkhams is made possible in part by the generous support of the Charina Endowment Fund.

For additional information, visit or call (508) 228-1894.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets 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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