Pittsfield: Whalers' art on view at Arrowead

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PITTSFIELD -- The Berkshire Historical Society announces the opening of an exhibit, "So Far from Home: Whalers and Whalers' Art."

The exhibit explores how Polynesian art influenced the art of whalers. As background, the daily life of whaling is described, and a 1922 silent movie, "Down the Sea in Ships," is shown.

The exhibit includes a large selection of scrimshaw, plus other items such as a model ship, the logbook from the whaling ship Cavalier, thanks to the generous loan of Jeffrey McCormick.

"This exhibit was only possible due to the generosity of Jeff," Executive Director Betsy Sherman said in the news release announcing the exhibit. His collection of carved sperm whale teeth alone is worth the trip."

McCormick will lecture about scrimshaw at Arrowhead on Aug. 21. Items from the society's collection include weapons and tools from Polynesia.

The exhibit is free and open to the public, daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., until Columbus Day.

Arrowhead is at 780 Holmes Road. Tours of Herman Melville's house are available for a fee. 413-442-1793; www.mobydick.org.

Arrowhead, the headquarters of the Berkshire Historical Society, is a National Historic Landmark.


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