The goal of this exhibition is not only to display a representative series of mainly 19th century marine paintings (some pieces are 20th century), and discuss their artistic merit, but also, via carefully researched descriptions, point out their historical and geographical connections. These are features that transform maritime art from pretty paintings to actual historic documents.
Complimentary items from the Museum’s permanent collection includes scrimshaw, ship models and figureheads, enabling the visitor an experience including the full scope of marine art.
Catboats to Clipper Ships: Boatbuilding on Cape Cod
Our East Exhibit Gallery holds our exhibit “Catboats to Clipper Ships: Boat Building in Cape Cod”. We highlight the influence of Cape Cod on boat building, with interactive displays on lofting, planking, spar making, hand finishes, and block and tackle systems, as well as Past and Present Boat Builders of Cape Cod. There are brief videos of boat building projects across the Cape, from Clipper Ships to Catboats. Our newest addition is an exhibit on the Lightships of Cape Cod. This exhibit corresponds with our 1926 Eldredge Nautical Chart and the ships that lead the way through Nantucket Sound. We thank the Coast Guard Heritage Museum in Barnstable Village for their support of this exhibit.
Cape Cod's Largest Scrimshaw Collection
The museum is now displaying Elizabeth H. and William Graham's personal Scrimshaw collection, which is the largest publically displayed collection on Cape Cod. The collection is on permanent display at the entrance to the museum. Come see a wide variety of scrimshaw designs and materials from our whaling past.
Cook Boat Shop
Located on the lower level of the museum, directly facing the Hyannis Harbor waterfront, the Cook Boat Shop is a working exhibit space for traditional & contemporary boat building, including projects to restore historic Cape Cod water craft. Witness boat builders, both young and old, using both traditional and modern methods in boat building and restoration. Students of all ages learn from our volunteer boat builders the art of boat building. Come witness a working boat shop and hear personal stories of the people working there and the boats in the shop.
Preservation Boat Shed
An extension of our boat shop, the Preservation Boat shed houses boat building activities and traditional craft in our collection as well as our catboat, Sarah, during the winter.
Climb Aboard Park
Climb Aboard our 28 ft. boat built especially for kids. Set in our gated park, come enjoy our picnic tables for a fun filled day on the waterfront.
Sea Captain's Row
Did you know that in the 1800’s there were over 150 Sea Captains that called Hyannis home? Welcome to the beginning of a historical walk between the train & the ferries - two modes of transportation in Hyannis that have inspired the Cape & her visitors for decades! Walk by Pleasant street and delve into one of the most historic areas of Hyannis. Stop and see the mural at the corner of Pleasant Street and Main Street at Bradford’s Ace Hardware. Click here for more information!