New Bedford Whaling Museum opens Signifying the Whale

New Bedford Whaling Museum opens Signifying the Whale a new exhibition on view from November 1st.

Signifying the Whale evolved from the Museum’s 2003 Whaling History Symposium presentation by Zubeda Jalalzai and Jason Fiering entitled Wayside Whaling. In it, they investigated the connections between popular icons in contemporary New Bedford, its once dominant but now defunct whaling industry and the enduring language of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; or, The Whale.

Melville wrote In Chapter 57: “In bony, ribby regions of the earth, where at the base of high broken cliffs masses of rock lie strewn in fantastic groupings upon the plain, you will often discover images as of the petrified forms of the Leviathan partly merged in grass, which of a windy day breaks against them in a surf of green surges.” And “Then, again, in mountainous countries where the traveller is continually girdled by amphitheatrical heights; here and there from some lucky point of view you will catch passing glimpses of the profiles of whales defined along the undulating ridges.”

Signifying the Whale currently is a photo group within the website Flickr and will soon expand into a museum exhibit. The public is invited to post images of signified (to be a sign or symbol of something), documented, or artistically rendered whales to the image pool. Actual whale photos will be excluded.

The exhibit, Signifying the Whale, will be crowd-sourced and generated from this continually expanding Flickr group. The images in the pool, and ultimately the exhibit, will be administered by the Museum’s curators and updated weekly. If you would like to submit images but do not have a Flickr account, send your image files via email as attachments to [email protected] For inclusion in this exhibit, the Museum would post to our Flickr photostream with credit and copyright pointing back to you, the creator.

New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740 508-997-0046