About the Whaling Museum
“One of the ten places to see in America before you die.” Andrew Harper
Restored in 2005, the Nantucket Whaling Museum incorporates a new, expanded exhibit and program space that connects the 1847 Hadwen & Barney Oil and Candle Factory and the 1971 Peter Foulger Museum. The new structure includes the soaring Gosnell Hall Whale Hunt Gallery, where a forty-six-foot-long sperm whale skeleton is suspended from the ceiling. The Hadwen & Barney Oil and Candle Factory, featuring the massive lever press, is interpreted as an industrial site where the complicated process of refining oil and making spermaceti candles is explained along with the other Nantucket industries that arose from the whaling era. Explore eleven unique galleries and exhibit spaces featuring thousands of artifacts and art pertaining to Nantucket life, art, and ideas and Nantucket’s unique place in the world.
Be sure to plan ample time to explore the history-rich galleries; enjoy daily programs, museum tours, and films exclusively created for the NHA; dive into featured exhibitions; play in the Discovery Room, and enjoy the unparalleled views of Nantucket Harbor from Tucker’s Roofwalk.
And don’t forget to visit the Museum Shop adjacent to the Hadwen & Barney Oil and Candle Factory, where you will find a carefully selected mixture of merchandise relating to Nantucket’s present and past.
In 2008, the Whaling Museum received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, an honor bestowed upon fewer than one of every twenty-two museums in the country. The museum was reaccredited in 2017.