Saturday, June 6, 2015

Whale of a Show

The Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum is one of the largest and most striking buildings on Main Street. Originally built in 1845 as the private home of a whale oil baron, it now houses whaling era artifacts and the collections of local residents enriched by the era. Maintaining a building of this stature is no mean feat. The Whale of a Show is one of the museum's necessary fund raisers. This year's event, curated by Peter Marcelle and Dan Rizzi, runs until Sunday, June 21.  Dan Rizzi also designed this year's logo emblazoned on T-shirts and caps available in the museum shop.
design by Dan Rizzi
Exhibiting artists: Anna DeMauro, James Ellis, April Gornik, Susan Lazarus, Edwina Lucas, Jill Musnicki, Dan Rizzie, David Slater, Donald Sultan, Barbara Thomas, and John Torreano are donating 50% of sale proceeds to the museum. The artists have created works especially for this show. Some of the artists are working in mediums and scale that are unique to this event. For example, Donald Sultan and April Gornik's paintings are usually large scale works, fitting for a museum collection. For this show, their works are approachable and more intimate in scale. Please visit and consider buying one of these wonderful works of art and supporting the museum.
Breached Whale by April Gornik
Watercolor 8" x 10" 
Soul of a Whale by Dan Rizzie
Mixed Media on Woody 17" x 15"
$3,500 (sold)
Mother and Child with Blue Eyes by John Torreano
Acrylic and nylon on wood 11 1/2" x 35"
Jonah and The Whale by David Slater
Acrylic mixed media on canvas 21" x 25 1/2"
Sardines by Anna DeMauro
oil on linen 29 " x 26"
Humpback Whale by Edwina Lucas
Oil on Canvas 9" x 12"
Green Jelly by Jill Musnicki
Oil on Linen 16" x 20"
Wail by Susan Lazarus
Mixed Media 21" x 17"
$1,800 (sold)
The Whale Parade by Barbara Thomas
Oil on Board 13" x 20"
$1,500 (sold)
Whale by Donald Sultan
Watercolor on Paper 9 1/4" x 13"
Entering the museum is like going back in time.
A treasure hunt.
The hallway map gives historic perspective.
Whaling artifacts
I love seeing all of the ephemera that the whalers brought back from their travels and collected in their homes.
It is so amazing that this was once a private home. Lately, the museum has been funding a large restoration program which is underway to maintain the exterior. Now that the roof won't fall down on their heads, the collections manager has the extensive job of researching and re-cataloguing the collection. The indoor work progresses in ernest. Stay tuned for exciting future exhibits.
Built in 1845 for $7,000, this building was originally the home of Benjamin Hunting II and his family. A leading citizen of Sag Harbor, Benjamin Huntting was the owner of whaling ships and made his fortune from the whale oil that was brought home on his ships. To design his family's home, Hunting enlisted the prominent 19th century American architect Minard LaFever. LaFever incorporated exquisitely detailed plaster ceilings and carved wooden door frames inside, with the temple-fronted portico and ornate corinthian columns on the outside, to make this building a piece of artwork not to be missed. After Hunting's death in 1867, his home was purchased by the well known philanthropist Mrs. Russell Sage, who occupied it as a summer cottage until the time of her death in 1918. In 1920 the building was purchased by the Masonic Lodge. The local historical society began exhibiting some of their artifacts on the ground floor shortly thereafter, and in 1945 the building was deeded to the museum. The Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum now owns the building, while the Masonic Lodge still uses the second floor as a Masonic Temple. via
 Cameo carving and Skrimshaw were common collectibles.
Sag Harbor Whale and Historical Museum
website here


  1. Love your new header too!

    What a beautiful place.. thanks for the histoy of it and featuring the artists and their art..I am fond of the whale parade:) For some reason..
    I keep saying this ..but you live in an exquisite area Gail..
    Have a lovely Sunday!

  2. Thanks M. The header is a detail of the Hannibal French house, another beauty on Sag Harbor's Main Street. Here are some photos from when it was offered for sale:


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