On Land and On Sea: A Century of Women opens at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

An exhibition showcasing the many roles of women in the maritime world opened at a private reception on Thursday, May 23 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md.

On Land and On Sea: A Century of Women in the Rosenfeld Collection features the work of Morris and Stanley Rosenfeld, who created the world’s largest and most significant collection of maritime photography. More than 1 million of the Rosenfelds’ images are owned and curated by Mystic Seaport Museum. On Land and On Sea continues at CBMM through April 5, 2020.

The iconic photos featured in the exhibition are recognizable to the general public and treasured by boating enthusiasts. On Land and On Sea includes images selected by Margaret L. Andersen Rosenfeld, the daughter-in-law of Stanley Rosenfeld and a recognized academic and University of Delaware sociology professor emeritus who currently lives in Oxford, Md. Drawing upon her scholarship, On Land and On Sea reveals the social and historical context of women over the better part of the 20th century through the lenses of the Rosenfelds’ cameras.

“The Rosenfelds set out to capture the play of light on the water they saw in yachting, raising photography to art,” CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher said of the featured artists, who also ran a thriving commercial photography business in New York. “But their cameras captured more than they intended, incidentally documenting the changing roles of women in America. This exhibition explores new messages in the work of the most celebrated yachting photographers.”

In addition to the Rosenfelds’ work, On Land and On Sea features photographs of women from CBMM’s own collection. Highlighted artists include A. Aubrey Bodine, Constance Stuart Larrabee, and Robert de Gast. CBMM has nearly 50,000 photographs in its collection, both historic and contemporary..

“The exhibition also marks a significant moment in CBMM’s 54-year history,” commented CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “If not for the support of our generous sponsors, we would not be able to bring works of this caliber to the region. And for the first time in CBMM’s history, we have a major exhibition that has been solely sponsored by woman—47 in fact.” The Maryland State Arts Council is also a supporting sponsor.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and making this resource available to all. Every aspect of fulfilling this mission is driven by CBMM’s values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship, along with a commitment to providing engaging guest experiences and transformative educational programming, all while serving as a vital community partner. For more information, visit cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.