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Morven Launches The Age of Sail, Richard Updike’s N.J. Collection

YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF RUM: Chances are this 19th century American ditty box contained a sailor’s sewing kit and other small items rather than a pirate’s booty, but you’ll never know. It may also have been made in New Jersey and it is on display in “The Age of Sail: A New Jersey Collection” at Morven Museum and Garden, opening with a reception Thursday evening. For more information, call (609) 924-8144 or visit: www.morven.org.(Photo Courtesy of Morven Museum and Garden)

YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF RUM: Chances are this 19th century American ditty box contained a sailor’s sewing kit and other small items rather than a pirate’s booty, but you’ll never know. It may also have been made in New Jersey and it is on display in “The Age of Sail: A New Jersey Collection” at Morven Museum and Garden, opening with a reception Thursday evening. For more information, call (609) 924-8144 or visit: www.morven.org. (Photo Courtesy of Morven Museum and Garden)

Morven Museum and Garden will hold an opening reception for its latest original exhibition The Age of Sail: A New Jersey Collection this Thursday, November 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The exhibition showcases maritime artifacts and art assembled by New Jersey collector Richard W. Updike. Mr. Updike is co-curator of the show with Morven’s Elizabeth (Beth) G. Allan. He began collecting in the late 1960s and his collection was brought to Morven’s attention by prominent Princeton book collector and dealer Joe Felcone at the time of the Morven exhibition, Portrait of Place: Paintings, Drawings, and Prints of New Jersey, 1761-1898, From the Collection of Joseph J. Felcone.

While that show featured prints, paintings, drawings, and ephemera, The Age of Sail is somewhat of a departure from the museum’s usual focus on paintings, said Ms. Allan Monday, while working to put the final touches of the exhibition in place.

“In this collection there are many three dimensional objects to display including scrimshaw pieces; one that I particularly enjoy is a pie scrimper that a sailor made either for use on board ship or to take back to someone on shore,” said Ms. Allan.

While The Age of Sail does have paintings and engravings by several artists, including views of New Jersey maritime history by George Essig (1838-1926), Frederick Schiller Cozzens (1846-1928), and Gerard Rutgers Hardenberg (1855-1915), there are also over 100 objects from the history of American shipbuilding, sail-making, naval warfare, shipwrecks, and rescue. Many items, such as sea chests and scrimshaw, reveal the daily life of American sailors on board ship.

The exhibition is the first time Mr. Updike’s collection, which Ms. Allan calls “unmatched,” is being presented to the public.

The Age of Sail: A New Jersey Collection opens November 15 at Morven Museum and Garden at 55 Stockton Street. Admission is $5 and $6. The opening reception is free. Hours are Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call (609) 924-8144 or visit: www.morven.org.

 

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