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Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Fall Speaker Series begins October 18

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., begins its Fall Speaker Series on Oct. 18 and continues on select dates through Dec. 6, 2017. All of the sessions from the four-part series will explore topics related to CBMM’s latest exhibition, Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake, on display in CBMM’s Steamboat Building through April 8, 2018. All sessions take place in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium, with advanced registration needed, as seating is limited.

Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake includes 80 matted and framed exhibition prints principally drawn from his three books The Oystermen of the Chesapeake (1970), The Lighthouses of Chesapeake Bay (1973), and Western Wind, Eastern Shore: A Sailing Cruise around the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia (1975), and are shown in a manner that enhances the stark aesthetic, artistic perspective, and intimate familiarity of his work.

De Gast’s classic work, The Oystermen of the Chesapeake, documented scenes from the last days of the Chesapeake’s golden age of oystering. On Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 5 pm, join Tom McHugh, director emeritus of the Mainstay in Rock Hall, and Ron Fithian, Rock Hall town manager, Kent County commissioner and former waterman, as they share their documentary, “Those Were the Days: Golden Age of Rock Hall Watermen, 1945-1972,” and the reflections of 18 watermen and women who worked on the water in the mid-20th century.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 5 pm, award-winning photographer Dave Harp will discuss the legacy of de Gast, whose evocative, understated photographic style and mastery of observation influenced generations of Chesapeake photographers, writers and artists.

“After de Gast: The Chesapeake Transformation Since 1972,” will be held at 2 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Dr. Bill Dennison, professor of marine science and vice president for science applications at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, will discuss how the Chesapeake has changed since de Gast captured its landscapes and people in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the impacts on the Chesapeake’s fisheries, industry, and culture.

The final offering in the speaker series will be “The Life and Work of Robert de Gast” on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 2 pm. CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher, curator of Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake, will explore the remarkable life and work of de Gast as told through the museum’s extensive collections of his photography, writing, and oral histories.

Discounted online tickets for CBMM members are $6 per session, or $20 for all four sessions. Non-member rates are $8 per session, or $28 for all four sessions, with tickets at For more information, call 410-745-2916 or email [email protected].

Photograph by Robert de Gast, 1970, collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.