Dove Tales opens at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., is proud to announce that it has officially opened its newest exhibition, Dove Tales, and invites the public to join in the celebration at an opening event on Thursday, May 26.

Dove Tales explores the sources that reveal the history, construction, and cultural significance of Maryland Dove. From the tercentenary representation to the 1970s and current iteration, the vessels have served as important interpretive tools, connecting Marylanders to the far-reaching impacts of 17th century colonization, and with boatbuilding as a living historical tradition in the Chesapeake region. The exhibition will remain on display in CBMM’s Steamboat building through the end of December.

In 1978, Dorchester County’s Jim Richardson and a team of young workers completed the first Maryland Dove, a representation of the vessel that escorted colonists to the province in 1634. As the CBMM’s working Shipyard completes the new Maryland Dove in 2022, curatorial staff will draw from CBMM’s oral history archive and recent interviews with the 1970s boatbuilders for the new exhibition.

“In many ways, the current Maryland Dove project builds upon Richardson’s project, paying homage to the traditional work of Chesapeake boatbuilders,” said Curator & Folklife Center Manager Jenifer Dolde. “Richardson-trained boatwrights came to work at CBMM and, more than 40 years later, CBMM’s shipwrights actively preserve and interpret these skills on a daily basis.”

During the opening from 5­–7pm on May 26, guests are invited to view the exhibition and learn more about the work life and practices of the men and women who built Maryland Dove in the 1970s. Light refreshments will be provided, and admission is free.

Dove Tales is funded through CBMM’s Regional Folklife Center under the Maryland Traditions program of the Maryland State Arts Council, and is generously sponsored, in part, by Shore United Bank and Wye Financial Partners. On non-event days, admission to view Dove Tales is included with general CBMM admission and is free for CBMM members.

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Pictured are crew members on the 1970s Maryland Dove build as they pause to talk and laugh. Photograph by Robert deGast, 1978. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, 0975.0343.18.