Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Trumpy Yacht Building exhibition opens at CBMM Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

An exhibition tracing the design and construction of the distinctive Trumpy wooden yachts opens August 6, 2016 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. A Single Goal: The Art of Trumpy Yacht Building focuses its attention from 1909 through 1973, when the Trumpy Yacht Yard in Annapolis, Md. produced its last boat.

"Freedom", a 104 ft fantail motor yacht designed by John Trumpy and built in 1926 by Mathis Yacht Building Company in Camden, NJ
“Freedom”, a 104 ft fantail motor yacht designed by John Trumpy and built in 1926 by Mathis Yacht Building Company in Camden, NJ
Named after John Trumpy Sr., the famous Naval architect and designer who crafted these regal vessels, Trumpy boats are legendary for their display of affluence, craftsmanship, and beautiful design. The exhibition at CBMM is funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County, and the Towns of Easton, Oxford and St Michaels.

“The Trumpy Yard left behind a rich legacy—beautiful boats, John H. Trumpy’s exquisite draftsmanship, a team of highly skilled workers, and some wonderful stories,” commented CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “A Single Goal will provide the most comprehensive look at this legacy since the yard closed in 1973.

“The Trumpy yacht demanded perfection at all stages of the build,” continued Lesher. “This exhibition showcases the exquisite amenities and finest craftsmanship that went in to each vessel made.”

Using models, paintings, historic photographs, artifacts such as wooden patterns and vintage signage and original drawings by John Trumpy, Sr., A Single Goal explores the detailed process of wooden boat building as an art form and highlights these distinctive yachts and their furnishings and finishings.

The exhibition also traces the history of John Trumpy, Sr., who emigrated from Bergen, Norway, at the turn of the century. In 1909, he joined the Mathis Yacht Building Company in New Jersey as its vice president and naval architect, where he began designing several hundred wooden yachts and other vessels that would bear his name or his design imprimatur.

Upon John Mathis’ death in 1943, Trumpy, Sr. renamed the company, John Trumpy and Sons, as the next generation of boat builders—his sons John Jr. and Donald—became instrumental in the continuation of the business. In 1947, Trumpy moved the yard from Gloucester City, N.J., to Annapolis, Md., a prime location for boaters traveling up and down the eastern seaboard.

Sigrid Trumpy, granddaughter of John Trumpy, Sr., and Maryland Hall for the Creative Art’s Director of Exhibitions, is the curator of A Single Goal, drawing upon her family’s rich historical archives and information and artifacts from Trumpy Yacht owners, restorers, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and other organizations and individuals, as well as historic photographs from the Marion Warren Collection and Rosenfeld Collection (Mystic, Ct.).

A Single Goal: The Art of Trumpy Yacht Building will be on view at CBMM from August 6 through November 27, 2016, after a showing at the Maryland Hall in Annapolis. Additional artifacts will be added to the exhibition while at CBMM, including a full size Trumpy-designed yacht tender and beautifully-drawn ship plans from the CBMM collection. The exhibition is free for CBMM members or with general admission.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving nearly 70,000 guests each year, the museum’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings, situated on 18 waterfront acres along the Miles River and St. Michaels’ harbor. For more information, visit or call 410-745-2916.