A quarterly rotating exhibition in the Brenda & Gary Farr Presentation Gallery, on the Upper Deck at CIMM.
LOVE LETTERS HOME
January 9 - March 26, 2017
This exhibition that explored different ways in which sailors and soldiers corresponded with their loved ones waiting back home. In the not-so-distant past, hearing from a loved one could take days, months, or even years. Separation and the longing it produced was an ever-present reality for these men, women and children of both maritime and wartime families. Letters and objects sent back home became a means of remembrance for separated families. This exhibit explores the common themes found in correspondence from sailors in the past and today: loneliness, separation, hardship, and endurance. These letters, along with mementoes, gifts, and souvenirs serve as keepsakes and reminders of affection and love over the miles.
This exhibit featured letters and photographs by Donald Brug, a Ventura native who enlisted in the Army during the 1950s, and later sailed around the world during the 1960s. CIMM was also proud to display artifacts on loan from the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme, which included“trench art”, objects made by sailors from found or recovered materials. The Seabees celebrated their 75th anniversary in March 2017.
designs from the deep: the architecture of the shell
October 10, 2016 - January 1, 2017
Visitors were invited to explore the science of shells, the tiny architects that reside within, and the differences that make each shell so unique and spectacular. The exhibit featured hundreds of stunning shells from around the world, selected from the private collection of local collector Catherine Wiggins. To many people, seashells are keepsakes from a vacation, or from a fun day at the beach. Designs from the Deep: The Architecture of the Shell expanded the awareness of beachcombers and shell enthusiasts who encounter these beautiful objects, and helped them to substaintially consider the creatures that resided within the shells, and the science that went in to creating these exquisite homes.
The collection presented was one person’s culmination of over 50 years of diving, snorkeling and climbing over rocks to gather these amazing gifts from nature. Every shell serves as a memory - a lifeline of experiences dear to the heart of a local shell collector.
June 27, 2016 - October 2, 2016
This exhibition explored the fascinating history of the infamous “Ship with Five Names.” Local attraction La Jenelle is more than just a sunken ship off the coast of Oxnard, California. Visitors delved deep into the history of this ship through artifacts and objects recovered from the wreck and collected over decades by local enthusiasts. These objects were never before been displayed together, and told a decades-long story about voyages of adventure, escape, new beginnings, and untimely endings. The exhibition told the story of each chapter of the ship, starting with Borinquen, the name under which she first sailed. She was subsequently named the Porto Rico, Arosa Star, S.S. Bahama Star, and finally La Jenelle.
ed cristal retrospective: His life as an Artist
May 9 - June 19, 2016
Flanking the front entrance of CIMM, two large grey whales are captured artistically in metal, elevating themselves dramatically from the water mid-breach. They animate the facade of the Museum and give life to the building. Artist Ed Cristál designed and began building these sculptures in 2011, when the Maritime Museum was planning its move from Fisherman’s Wharf across the harbor to the current location on Bluefin Circle.
Many artists pick a trade and focus on it, spending years perfecting their craft. Not Cristál. He was a master craftsman: a talented painter, an accomplished ceramicist, and a skilled sculptor of metal. He created 2-dimensional paintings that appear to be windows into nature; he crafted dramatic 3-dimensional sculptures that appear to be coming to life. Nearly every gorgeous surface of the Cristál’s home is a testament to how art truly lives in usually mundane scenarios (like the most beautiful honed metal kitchen cabinets imaginable!)
Ed’s life was his art, and in turn his art reflects so much about him and his life. The Museum wass honored to exhibit his work and shine a spotlight on this talented and treasured artist.