New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford

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The New Bedford Whaling Museum is a museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States that focuses on the history, science, art, and culture of the international whaling industry, and the "Old Dartmouth" region (now the city of New Bedford and towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, and Westport) in the South Coast of Massachusetts. The museum is governed by the Old Dartmouth Historical Society (ODHS), which was established in 1903 "to create and foster an interest in the history of Old Dartmouth." Since then, the museum has expanded its scope to include programming that addresses global issues "including the consequences of natural resource exhaustion, the diversification of industry, and tolerance in a multicultural society." Its collections include over 750,000 items, including 3,000 pieces of scrimshaw and 2,500 logbooks from whaling ships, both of which are the largest collections in the world, as well as five complete whale skeletons. The museum's complex consists of several contiguous buildings housing 20 exhibit galleries and occupying an entire city block within the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, although operated independently.
The museum also houses a collection of fine art, including works by major American artists who lived or worked in the New Bedford area, such as Albert Bierstadt, William Bradford, and Albert Pinkham Ryder, as well as a collection of locally produced decorative art, glassware, and furniture associated with the rise of New Bedford as a whaling port in the 19th century.

The museum's Bourne Building houses the Lagoda, a half-scale model of a whaling ship that was commissioned in 1916 and is the world's largest model whaling ship.
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New Bedford Whaling Museum reviews

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  • Far exceeded my expectations. Great mix of Local history and the importance of whaling, world wide whaling industry culture and impact, ocean ecology, as well as fabulous artwork exhibits including... 
    Far exceeded my expectations. Great mix of Local history and the importance of whaling, world wide whaling industry culture and impact, ocean ecology, as well as fabulous artwork exhibits including...  more »
  • Fantastic museum! We were supposed to be on a whale watching cruise but it got canceled due to weather. I quickly check out our options (we were staying in Cape Cod) and decided to go to the... 
    Fantastic museum! We were supposed to be on a whale watching cruise but it got canceled due to weather. I quickly check out our options (we were staying in Cape Cod) and decided to go to the...  more »
Google
  • I can't say enough about photographing weddings here. Not only is the venue lovely with truly amazing views and sunset and killer service, but its location is just awesome for photography. From doing first looks with brides and grooms down on the New Bedford waterfront to using the cobblestoned downtown for bridal party portraits. New Bedford has a great art scene and some epic graffiti as well. So within a few minutes of the Whaling Museum is a ton of killer locations for stunning wedding portraits. The Whaling Museum has a lovely outdoor space for ceremonies and some different options for cocktail hour to make your wedding day unique. If you want history and groove and an awesome experience The New Bedford Whaling Museum is a great spot for your New England Wedding.
  • Hands down one of the best museums of New England. Learn about whales, whaling. See art and artifacts of various artists from the whaling era and the mill town that New Bedford is and world’s largest ship model on which you can go on and explore. Had a great time 🐋🐳 Do catch the film 🎥 which sheds light on the rich history of New Bedford as the world’s whaling capital and as a mill town.

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