Sea chests provided a secure place for sailors to store their personal belongings—from everyday essentials to exotic curios. This exhibit examines the function and decoration of these chests and allows visitors to take a glimpse of the items that could be stored within. A sea chest, and its contents, could reveal a lot about a person.
A Sailor’s Treasure: Sea Chests & Curiosities approaches sea chests through a new perspective, viewing them akin to a portable “cabinet of curiosities.” It also examines the 19th century ritual of “sailor’s pleasure,” where sailors would empty their sea chests and share the contents—and stories—with fellow crewmembers. The exhibit concludes with more modern examples, and considers sea chests’ lasting role in popular culture.
Generously sponsored by: